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Home > About JDRF & our impact > Our network > Scientific Advisory Council
The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) provides expert, independent scientific, clinical and lay support, advice and critical insights to JDRF in the UK. It also advises on government policies affecting JDRF, the research community and those living with type 1 diabetes.
Its members are lay members with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, healthcare professionals, researchers and clinicians. They assess the applications received under the Small Grant Award scheme. They are ambassadors and spokespeople raising JDRF’s profile and increasing awareness of type 1 diabetes research and treatments in the UK.
Mark is a Clinical Academic / researcher at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He runs a preclinical team using mouse models to examine how brain responds to hypoglycaemia, how defences against hypoglycaemia becomes abnormal in diabetes and, using brain imaging techniques, what the short and long term effects of episodes of hypoglycaemia on the brain are. He is involved in a number of clinical studies focusing on diabetes technology and innovations (e.g. sensors, automated insulin delivery and new insulin preparations).
Laura is a lay member of the SAC representing parents of children with type 1 diabetes. She has three children, the youngest of whom was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 3 in 2017. Laura hopes that by being close enough to diagnosis but also far enough from that point she will be able to bring some perspective and an understanding of the important next steps including in the mental health space. Laura is a barrister and part time judge in the family court.
Gavin is one of the children’s diabetes nurses based in Glasgow. With over 20 years of experience, he is dedicated to providing the very best he can for the families he looks after. He is interested in educating families, and understands the pressures involved in looking after a child with type 1 diabetes and how much families rely on research into new treatments and technologies to give them hope for the future. Gavin also has a keen interest in other types of diabetes and is a lead in the local non-type 1 group.
Francesca is a clinical specialist paediatric and adolescent diabetes dietitian based at UCLH, London. She runs a specialist exercise and diabetes management clinic for children and adolescents. She is keen for people with type diabetes or their relatives to inform clinical services as well as being involved in research in a meaningful way. She ia a co-author of the 2018 ISPAD clinical consensus guidelines chapter on Nutritional Management of Diabetes and was a member of the JDRF Peak Expert panel.
Katharine Barnard, Professor of Health Psychology, specializes in the psychosocial impact and management of illness and long-term conditions. Her interests span models of healthcare, process evaluation, quality of life, psychosocial impact, functional health status, psychological burden and their relationship with biomedical outcomes. Recently, Katharine was awarded FDA Medical Device Development Tools qualification for the INSPIRE psychosocial measures, the first such accolade for diabetes. Katharine chairs the FDA Global Collaborative Community to reduce incidents of self-injury and suicide by people with diabetes.
Guy is a lay member of the SAC representing parents of children with type 1 diabetes. He has two sons, the youngest of whom was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 8 in 2017. Guy hopes that by sharing insights and hearing progressive viewpoints from professionals and citizens, he will be playing a small part in helping the scientific community reach the next level of diabetes management. Guy is a Consulting Director for data management consultancy Amplifi Group.
Megan is a lay member of the SAC. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. Megan is particularly interested in the connection between type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune conditions. She has participated in JDRF’s Insight and Experience panel. Having recently graduated from university with a BA in History and Politics, Megan is currently working in the non-profit sector in the field of women’s health.
Shareen is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Diabetes at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, Lead Physician for the Islet Transplant Programme in Scotland and Visiting Professor for the Islet Transplant Programme in Edmonton, Canada. She conducts clinical and laboratory based research. She is interested in the progression of diabetes related complications in people with type 1 diabetes in relation to different treatments and the mechanisms behind insulin and glucagon secretion. She also investigates the mechanisms behind islet-graft loss and aims to reduce islet loss and improve islets’ engraftment in vivo using innovative therapies including cell and gene-therapy based approaches.
Romilla is a retired Diabetes Specialist Nurse whose career spanned around 20 years in the clinical setting managing patients with both type 1 and type 2. She has always been keen to empower people with diabetes to develop self-management skills so that they as individuals with busy lives, are able to manage the daily demands that diabetes presents them with. Coming from a research background, and with the introduction of new technologies, she was always keen to embrace these in order to benefit her patients – ranging from Continuous Glucose Monitoring to Insulin Pump Therapies.
Andrew is a lay member of the SAC, representing those diagnosed under the age of 18 and having lived with type 1 diabetes for a long time. Andrew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 17 years old in 1999. Only in 2021 did Andrew start to receive a CGM on the NHS, and the impact has been life-changing. Now an AI Content Development Manager for BSI Group, Andrew is particularly interested in ensuring young, and newly diagnosed, people receive excellent healthcare and have access to the right technology to suit their needs.
David was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 30. As a lay member he is passionate about driving increased awareness across the entire Type 1 community about the range of treatment options available. As an active person with a keen interest in sport, he is also interested in research and technology which can allow individuals with type 1 to follow their passion without being restricted by their condition. David works at GoCardless and he is a product and partnership specialist in the payments industry.
James is a Research Fellow at Cardiff University. He carries out research in the immunology of type 1 diabetes, with the aim of developing novel strategies to prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. He is particularly interested in the role that intestinal bacteria play in modulating immune responses and how that may lead to changes in susceptibility to developing type 1 diabetes. He is the Treasurer of the Autoimmunity affinity group within the British Society for Immunology and an active member/participant in diabetes volunteer support groups and public engagement activities aimed at raising awareness of type 1 diabetes.
Matt is a Chartered and Practitioner Health Psychologist, a Chartered Scientist, a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of Medicine and Public Health, and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has been engaged in diabetes research – including pharmacological treatments, transplantation, self-management education, and insulin pumps – since 2006. Matt holds research, advisory and teaching roles across academic and private organizations. Matt’s passion for diabetes research and the mission of JDRF to improve lives and one day eradicate the need for exogenous insulin comes from living with a spouse and daughter with type 1 diabetes.
Wendy is a GP in North Yorkshire where she is the senior partner of Tadcaster Medical Centre. She is an experienced GP trainer and was a Training Programme Director for Harrogate GP training scheme for 8 years. She is a board member for her local Primary care network of 3 practices. Wendy provides general practice services to a wide range of patients, including those living with type 1 Diabetes and their families. She has 3 adult children, one diagnosed as a young teenager with type 1 Diabetes. Wendy has Coeliac disease so is aware of the autoimmune overlap.
Sarah is an Associate Professor in Cellular Biomedicine at the University of Exeter who utilises unique cohorts of type 1 diabetes patient pancreas samples to develop a clearer understanding of the disease processes by which beta cells are targeted and destroyed. She has particular interests in the role that enteroviruses and anti-viral responses may play in the disease and how age of diagnosis may impact on diabetes. She is a passionate advocate of Team Science and enjoys working together with numerous national and international colleagues to better understand this disease.