The role of telomere attrition in Type 2 diabetes and its complications


  • Dr Jess Buxton

    Imperial College London

Project summary

With the award of her Fellowship in 2009, Jess returned to human genetics research after a career break taken for family reasons. Her scientific interests lie in understanding the contribution of genetic variation and genomic integrity to human disease. Jess's early research revealed how massive expansion of an unstable genomic repeat region causes a monogenic disorder. She is currently investigating the relationship between leukocyte telomere length and metabolic disease, with Dr Alex Blakemore at Imperial College London. Jess has shown that children with severe obesity have significantly shorter telomeres than their normal-weight peers, a finding that has important implications for their long-term health. Through the identification of novel genetic and environmental factors affecting telomere integrity throughout life, her aim is to understand the role of telomere shortening in the onset of age-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.