Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture 2010. From hype to hope? A journey through the genetics of Type 2 diabetes


  • The Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture 2010 was delivered to the Annual Professional Conference of Diabetes UK, Liverpool, 4th March 2010.

Professor Mark McCarthy, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK. E-mail:


Diabet. Med. 28, 132–140 (2011)


Recent advances in genetic analysis have enabled researchers to perform genome-wide surveys for common DNA sequence variants associated with risk of Type 2 diabetes and related traits. Over the past 4 years, these endeavours have extended the number of proven Type 2 diabetes-susceptibility loci from a handful to the current total of over 40. Each of these loci provides an opportunity to uncover insights into the biology of glucose regulation and the pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes, insights which should support clinical translation to identify novel ways of treating and preventing disease. Here, I describe (i) progress in identification of diabetes-susceptibility loci; (ii) biological insights that have been gained in the relatively short period since these loci were discovered; and (iii) the challenges that need to be addressed if we are to maximize the translational benefits of this research.