Professor Timothy Barrett PhD MB BS FRCP FRCPCH FHEA DCH

Professor Timothy Barrett

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Leonard Parsons Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health
Director, Centre for Rare Disease Studies

Contact details

IBR West
Medical School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Timothy Barrett is Leonard Parsons Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. He is an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and Managing Director for the NIHR Wellcome Clinical Research Facility (children) at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Timothy is also the Director of the Centre for Rare Disease Studies (CRDS) Birmingham, a Research Director for the Central and South Genome Medicine Service Alliance, and co-leads the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (paediatrics).

Timothy has published over 200 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of paediatrics, diabetes and genetics of childhood diabetes syndromes. He has received major grants from The Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, UK National Institute for Health Research, European Union Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs, Diabetes UK and Wellchild. His research interests include functional genetics of rare diabetes syndromes, translational research to early phase clinical trials in rare disease, and complex interventions to reduce health inequalities in childhood diabetes. 

He leads NHS national specialist commissioned services for the rare diabetes syndromes Wolfram, Alstrom, and Bardet Biedl, and a busy clinical practice of general diabetes, type 2 diabetes in children, and tertiary endocrinology. He is an enthusiastic teacher and communicator on the themes of genomics and rare diseases, and lectures widely at national and international level. Timothy contributes to the local and national media and advises the BBC on stories relating to childhood obesity and metabolism.


  • FRCP 2012
  • FHEA 2004
  • FRCPCH 2004
  • PhD 1996
  • DCH 1988
  • MB BS 1986


Timothy Barrett qualified with MB BS in medicine and surgery from The London Hospital Medical College, London University in 1986. He undertook training posts in paediatrics as Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Hackney, St George’s Hospital London and Great Ormond Street Hospital before gaining DCH in 1988 and MRCP (UK) in 1990. He continued his paediatric training as a registrar at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and went on to study for a PhD in Genetics at University of Birmingham under Professor Sarah Bundey. The topic for his PhD was the genetics of Wolfram syndrome. He then returned to Birmingham Children’s Hospital to complete higher specialist training in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes, becoming Senior Lecturer and Honorary consultant in 1998. 

Timothy was awarded membership of The Royal College of Physicians in 1990, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 1998 and Fellowship in 2004. He became Reader in Paediatrics in 2004, Professor of Paediatrics in 2006, and Leonard Parsons Professor in 2011. He has been Program Director of The Wellcome Clinical Research Facility (Paediatrics) in Birmingham since 2008. 

The understanding of rare childhood diabetes syndromes has been a significant theme in Timothy’s research and he has led a laboratory research team embedded within medical and molecular genetics since 1998. 


Teaching team lead, Medicine and Surgery MBChB paediatrics module (year 5)
Module lead, MSc Genomics medicine  (rare diseases module)

Lectures on:

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Timothy Barrett supervises PhD students and clinical research training fellowships in laboratory or genomics studies of rare diabetes and endocrinology diseases, and translational clinical studies. 

If you are interested in studying any of these subject areas please contact Professor Barrett directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email


  • Functional genetics of rare diabetes syndromes.
  • Genomics of rare paediatric disorders.
  • Translational research to early phase clinical trials in rare disease.
  • Complex interventions to reduce health inequalities in childhood diabetes.

 Current grants (selected): 

  • MRC DPFS (CI): A Pivotal, International, Randomised, Double-Blind, Efficacy and Safety Trial of Sodium Valproate, in paediatric and adult patients with Wolfram syndrome.   
  •  LifeArc (Co-I): Targeting autophagy as a shared mechanism in rare early-onset neurodegenerative diseases.  
  • NIHR PGfAR (CI): Improving outcomes for children and young people with diabetes from socio-economically deprived and/or ethnic minority groups


Other activities

Timothy has been a member of grant awarding panels of Diabetes UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital Charities, and The Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charities Research Foundation (Chair from 2001-2006). He is currently on the scientific review panel for LifeArc. He is a reviewer for the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and NIHR funding schemes. 

Timothy was an expert witness for the Health Select Committee on obesity in children, 2004. He was deputy head of the Academic Department of Paediatrics from 2005-2009.

Current roles:

  • Managing Director, NIHR Wellcome Clinical Research Facility (children)
  • Director, Centre for Rare Diseases Studies
  • NIHR Bioresource Birmingham Hub lead (rare diseases)
  • Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (cross cutting paediatrics domain) joint lead

 Trustee for the following charities:

  • Acorns Hospice
  • Wolfram Syndrome UK

 Membership of following organisations:

  •  RCPCH Academic Training Committee


Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(5-6):419-26.

Haghighi A, Haghighi A, Setoodeh A, Saleh-Gohari N, Astuti D, Barrett TG. Identification of homozygous WFS1 mutations (p.Asp211Asn, p.Gln486*) causing severe Wolfram syndrome and first report of male fertility. Eur J Hum Genet. 2012 Jul 11. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.154. [Epub ahead of print]

Gharanei S, Zatyka M, Astuti D, Fenton J, Sik A, Nagy Z, Barrett T. Vacuolar-type H+ ATPase V1A subunit is a molecular partner of Wolfram syndrome (WFS1) protein, which regulates its expression and stability. Human Molecular Genetics 2012; doi:10.1093/hmg/dds400.

Knowles G, Pallan M, Thomas G, Ekelund U, Cheng K, Barrett T, Adab P. Physical Activity and Blood Pressure in Primary School Children: A Longitudinal Study. Hypertension 2012; doi:10.1161/hypertensionaha.112.201277 

Kendall D, Vail A, Amin R, Barrett T, Dimitri P, Ivison F, Kibirige M, Mathew V, Matyka K, McGovern A, Stirling H, Tetlow L, Wales J, Wright N, Clayton P, Hall C. Metformin in Obese Children and Adolescents: The MOCA Trial.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Cangul H, Aycan Z, Olivera-Nappa A, Saglam H, Schoenmakers NA, Boelaert K, Cetinkaya S, Tarim O, Bober E, Darendeliler F, Bas V, Demir K, Aydin BK, Kendall M, Cole T, Högler W, Chatterjee VK, Barrett TG, Maher ER. Thyroid dyshormonogenesis is mainly caused by TPO mutations in consanguineous community. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/cen.12127. [Epub ahead of print]

de Beaufort CE, Lange K, Swift PG, Aman J, Cameron F, Castano L, Dorchy H, Fisher LK, Hoey H, Kaprio E, Kocova M, Neu A, Njolstad PR, Phillip M, Schoenle E, Robert JJ, Urukami T, Vanelli M, Danne T, Barrett T, Chiarelli F, Aanstoot HJ, Mortensen HB; on behalf of the Hvidoere Study Group. Metabolic outcomes in young children with type 1 diabetes differ between treatment centers: the Hvidoere Study in Young Children 2009. Pediatr Diabetes. 2012 Sep 10.[Epub ahead of print]

Hoey H; Hvidoere Study Group on Childhood Diabetes. Psychosocial factors are associated with metabolic control in adolescents: research from the Hvidoere Study Group on Childhood Diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes. 2009;10 Suppl 13:9-14.

Besser RE, Shields BM, Hammersley SE, Colclough K, McDonald TJ, Gray Z, Heywood JJ, Barrett TG, Hattersley AT. Home urine C-peptide creatinine ratio testing can identify type 2 and MODY in pediatric diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes 2013 Jan 4. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12008. [Epub ahead of print]

Cangul H, Boelaert K, Dogan M, Saglam Y, Kendall M, Barrett T, Maher E. Novel truncating thyroglobulin gene mutations associated with congenital hypothyroidism. Endocrine [published online 15 Aug 2013]. DOI 10.1007/s12020-013-0027-7

Cangul H, Zehra Aycan, Michaela Kendall, Veysel N. Bas, Yaman Saglam, Timothy G. Barrett and Eamonn R. Maher. A truncating DUOX2 mutation (R434X) causes severe congenital hypothyroidism. J Pediatr Endocr Met 2014;27(3-4):323-327.

Farmer A, Ayme S, Lopez de Heredia M, Maffei P, McCafferty S, Mlynarski W, Nunes V, Parkinson K, Paquis-Flucklinger V, Rohayem J, Sinnott R, Tillmann V, Tranebjaerg L, Barrett T. EURO-WABB: an EU rare diseases registry for Wolfram syndrome, Alstrom syndrome and Bardet Biedl syndrome. BMC Pediatrics 2013;13:130-137.

Angadi D, Shepherd D, Vadivelu R, Barrett T. Rigid intramedullary nail fixation of femoral fractures in adolescents: what evidence is available? J Orthopaed Traumatol 2013 [online publication]; DOI 10.1007/s10195-013-0270-y  

Marcovecchio ML, Woodside J, Jones T, Daneman D, Neil A, Prevost T, Dalton RN, Deanfield J, Dunger DB; AdDIT Investigators. Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Cardio-Renal Intervention Trial (AdDIT): urinary screening and baseline biochemical and cardiovascular assessments. Diabetes Care. 2014 Mar;37(3):805-13. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1634. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Högler W, Martin DD, Crabtree N, Nightingale P, Tomlinson J, Metherell L, Rosenfeld R, Hwa V, Rose S, Walker J, Shaw N, Barrett T, Frystyk J.   IGFALS gene dosage effects on serum IGF-I and glucose metabolism, body composition, bone growth in length and width, and the pharmacokinetics of recombinant human IGF-I administration. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Apr;99(4):E703-12. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-3718. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Forsythe E, Sparks K, Hoskins BE, Bagkeris E, McGowan BM, Carroll PV, Huda MS, Mujahid S, Peters C, Barrett T, Mohammed S, Beales PL. Genetic predictors of cardiovascular morbidity in Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Clin Genet. 2014 Mar 10. doi: 10.1111/cge.12373. [Epub ahead of print]

Schoenmakers N, Moran C, Campi I, Agostini M, Bacon O, Rajanayagam O, Schwabe J, Bradbury S,Barrett T, Geoghegan F, Druce M, Beck-Peccoz P, O'Toole A, Clark P, Bignell M, Lyons G, Halsall D, Gurnell M, Chatterjee K. A novel albumin gene mutation (R222I) in Familial Dysalbuminaemic Hyperthyroxinaemia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar 19:jc20134077. [Epub ahead of print]

Cangul H, Schoenmakers NA, Saglam H, Doganlar D, Saglam Y, Eren E, Kendall M, Tarim O, Barrett TG, Chatterjee K, Maher ER. A deletion including exon 2 of the TSHR gene is associated with thyroid dysgenesis and severe congenital hypothyroidism. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar 29. pii: /j/jpem.ahead-of-print/jpem-2014-0011/jpem-2014-0011.xml. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2014-0011. [Epub ahead of print]

Adab P, Pallan MJ, Cade J, Ekelund U, Barrett T, Daley A, Deeks J, Duda J, Gill P, Parry J, Bhopal R, Cheng KK. Preventing childhood obesity, phase II feasibility study focusing on South Asians: BEACHeS. BMJ Open. 2014 Apr 10;4(4):e004579. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004579.

Hakan Cangul *, Halil Saglam, Yaman Saglam, Erdal Eren , Durmus Dogan, Michaela Kendall, Omer Tarim, E amonn R. Maher and Timothy G. Barrett. An essential splice site mutation (c.317 + 1G > A) in the TSHR gene leads to severe thyroid dysgenesis. J Pediatr Endocr Met May 2014

Cangul H, Bas VN, Saglam Y, Kendall M, Barrett TG, Maher ER, Aycan Z. A nonsense thyrotropin receptor gene mutation (R609X) is associated with congenital hypothyroidism and heart defects.  J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jun 19.

Klein DJ, Battelino T, Chatterjee DJ, Jacobsen LV, Hale PM, Arslanian S; NN2211-1800 Study Group. Liraglutide's safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in pediatric type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2014 Oct;16(10):679-87. doi: 10.1089/dia.2013.0366. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Turner KM, Percival J, Dunger DB, Olbers T, Barrett T, Shield JP. Adolescents' views and experiences of treatments for Type 2 diabetes: a qualitative study.Diabet Med. 2015 Feb;32(2):250-6. doi: 10.1111/dme.12577. Epub 2014 Oct 1. PMID: 25186101

Griffin TL, Pallan MJ, Clarke JL, Lancashire ER, Lyon A, Parry JM, Adab P; WAVES study trial investigators. Process evaluation design in a cluster randomised controlled childhood obesity prevention trial: the WAVES study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Sep 10;11:112. doi: 10.1186/s12966-014-0112-1. PMID: 25212062

Cangül H, Doğan M, Sağlam Y, Kendall M, Boelaert K, Barrett TG, Maher ER. One Base Deletion (c.2422delT) in the TPO Gene Causes Severe Congenital Hypothyroidism.J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2014 Sep 5;6(3):169-73. doi: 10.4274/Jcrpe.1404 PMID: 25241611

Cangul H, Darendeliler F, Saglam Y, Kucukemre B, Kendall M, Boelaert K, Barrett TG, Maher ER. A truncating TPO mutation (Y55X) in patients with hypothyroidism and total iodide organification defect.Endocr Res. 2014 Oct 20:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 25328990

Fenton S AM, Duda JL, Barrett T. The Contribution of Youth Sport Football to Weekend Physical Activity for Males Aged 9- to 16- Years: Variability Related to Age and Playing Position.Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2014 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 25387122

Zatyka M, Da Silva Xavier G, Bellomo EA, Leadbeater W, Astuti D, Smith J, Michelangeli F, Rutter GA, Barrett TG. Sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum ATPase is a molecular partner of Wolfram syndrome 1 protein, which negatively regulates its expression. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Feb 1;24(3):814-27. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu499. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PMID: 25274773

Neu A, Lange K, Barrett T, Cameron F, Dorchy H, Hoey H, Jarosz-Chobot P, Mortensen HB, Robert JJ, Robertson K, de Beaufort C; Hvidoere Study Group. Classifying insulin regimens - difficulties and proposal for comprehensive new definitions. Pediatr Diabetes. 2015 Apr 10. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12275.

Paisey R, Smith J, Carey C, Barrett T, Campbell F, Maffei P, Marshall J, Paisey C, Steeds R, Edwards N, Bruce S, Geberhiwot T. Duration of diabetes predicts pulse wave velocity and vascular events in Alstrom syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100:E1116-24.

Inter-participant variability in daily physical activity and sedentary time among male youth sport footballers: independent associations with indicators of adiposity and cardiorespiratory fitness. Fenton S, Duda J, Barrett T. J Sports Sci 2015;May 21 : 1-15.

Adap P, Pallen M, Lancashire E, Hemming K, Frew E, Griffin T, Barrett T, Bhopal R, Cade J, Daley A, Deeks J, Duda J, Ekelund U, Gill P, McGee E, Parry J, Passmore S, Cheng K. A cluster-randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a childhood obesity prevention programme delivered through schools, targeting 6-7 year old children: the WAVES study protocol. BMC Public Health 2015;13:15:488. 

View all publications in research portal


Childhood disease – specifically hormone problems; diabetes, obesity and related disorders; genetics of childhood diabetes syndromes

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office


Rare disease, diabetes