Cantley, James


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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Beta cell biology

Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for secreting adequate amounts of insulin into the blood stream to maintain glucose homeostasis. Beta cells have a remarkable capacity to adapt to metabolic challenges, such as obesity, and to increase their secretory output accordingly. However, failure of beta cells to match secretory output with demand results in hyperglycaemia, type 2 diabetes and associated morbidities. Likewise, autoimmune destruction of beta cells during type 1 diabetes leads to a loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion resulting in dysregulated blood glucose. The global population is currently facing an obesity and diabetes epidemic, making research into this area an economic, medical and ethical priority.

The Cantley lab works at the interface of cell/islet biology, biochemistry and whole body metabolic physiology, to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling pancreatic beta and alpha cell function. Of particular interest are how these mechanisms coordinate the pancreatic endocrine response with whole body metabolic status, how they adapt during obesity, and how they fail during diabetes. We are currently focussed on nutrient sensing (in particular lipid signalling), beta cell regeneration and inflammation. Publications:

If you are interested in joining the lab as doctoral student or postdoc please get in contact with Dr. Cantley.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The molecular control of beta cell function by insulin and hypoxia cellular signalling pathways., University College London

1 Nov 20031 Mar 2007

Award Date: 31 Mar 2007

Master in Science, A molecular investigation of two divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages in the Brown Long-eared Bat, Plecotus auritus: a pattern explained by cryptic speciation?, Imperial College London

1 Oct 20011 Sept 2002

Award Date: 30 Sept 2002

Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of Southampton

20 Sept 19981 Jul 2001

Award Date: 1 Jul 2001


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