Professor David J. Hodson BVSc (Hons) PhD FRCVS

Professor David J. Hodson

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Cellular Metabolism, Professorial Research Fellow
IMSR Lead for Global Engagement

Contact details

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR)
Institute of Biomedical Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

David is Professor of Cellular Metabolism, Professorial Research Fellow and ERC Starting Grant holder.  He has particular interest in using multidisciplinary and innovative approaches (e.g. biophotonics, mouse genetics, modelling, chemical biology) to tackle challenging research questions in metabolism. The overall objective of his work is to identify new mechanisms through which pancreatic alpha-, beta- and delta-cells fail during type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Further details can be found at


  • Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS), London, 2018
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Bristol, 2008
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Honours (BVSc Hons), University of Bristol, 2005


David Hodson - Next generation tools to understand endocrine function in health and disease
Life Sciences in Six - Professor David Hodson
Dr David Hodson: Diabetes research breakthrough
Being a Birmingham Fellow

David Hodson completed a degree in Veterinary Science before undertaking doctoral studies in reproductive physiology and circadian biology at the University of Bristol with Dr Domingo Tortonese. Subsequently, in 2008, he moved to the laboratory of Dr. Patrice Mollard at the Institut de Genomique Fonctionnelle in Montpellier France (CNRS), where, supported by a Fellowship from the Fondation de la Recherche Medicale (FRM), he pursued postdoctoral studies focused on understanding how endocrine cells residing within the mammalian pituitary gland function as three-dimensional networks to generate hormone release. Following award of a Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship in 2012, David moved to the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, where he set up a research group devoted to understanding islet cell heterogeneity in health and disease. In 2016, David moved to the nascent Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR) at the University of Birmingham where he leads the Islet Biology Group.


Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervisor to two PhD students and two MSc students.


Research in the Islet Biology Lab tackles challenging questions concerning the regulation of hormone release from pancreatic islets in health and disease. The major aims of the group are to develop novel tools and imaging approaches to understand how alpha, beta and delta cells, which reside within the islet, release hormone to maintain normal glucose. Importantly, we use tissue from individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as animal models, to understand what goes wrong in relevant pathologies. The group is highly inter-disciplinary, and with colleagues in Europe and North America, we combine chemistry, biology and genetics to open up new avenues of exploration in islet biology.

Other activities

  • Senior Birmingham Fellow, University of Birmingham, 2016-2018
  • Non-Clinical Lecturer in Cell Biology, Imperial College London, 2012-2016
  • FRM Postdoctoral Fellow, CNRS Montpellier, 2010-2012
  • ANR Postdoctoral Fellow, CNRS Montpellier, 2008-2012
  • Locum Veterinary Surgeon, Bristol, 2005-2008


Ast, J., Arvaniti, A., Fine, N.H.F., Nasteska, D., Ashford, F.B., Stamataki, Z., Koszegi, Z., Bacon, A.,  Jones, B.J., Lucey, M.A., Sasaki, S., Brierley, D.I., Hastoy, B., Tomas, A., D’Agostino, G., Reimann, F., Lynn, F.C., Reissaus, C.A., Linnemann. A.K., D’Este, E., Calebiro, D., Trapp, S., Johnsson, K., Podewin, T.*, Broichhagen, J.*, Hodson, D.J.* (2020). Super-resolution microscopy compatible fluorescent probes reveal endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor distribution and dynamics. Nat Commun. 11(1):467. *Corresponding authors.

Frank, J.A., Broichhagen, J., Yushchenko, D. Trauner, D, Schultz, C., Hodson, D.J. (2018). Optical tools for understanding the complexity of beta cell signaling and insulin release. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 14((12):721-737.

Podewin, T., Ast, J., Broichhagen, J., Fine, N.H.F., Nasteska, D., Leippe, P., Gailer, M., Buenaventura, T., Kanda, N., Jones, B.J., M’Kadmi, C., Baneres, J-L., Marie, J., Tomas, A., Trauner, D., Hoffmann-Röder, A., Hodson, D.J. (2018). Conditional and reversible activation of class A and B G protein-coupled receptors using tethered pharmacology. ACS Cen Sci. 4(2): 166-179.

Fine, N.H.F., Doig, C.L., Elhassan, Y.S., Vierra, N.C., Marchetti, P., Bugliani, M., Nano, R., Piemonti, L., Rutter, G.A., Jacobson, D.A., Lavery G.G., Hodson, D.J. (2018). Glucocorticoids reprogram beta cell signaling to preserve insulin secretion. Diabetes. 67(2):278-290.

Johnston, N.R, Mitchell, R.K., Haythorne, E., Paiva Pessoa, M., Semplici, F., Ferrer, J., Piemonti, L., Marchetti, P., Bugliani, M., Bosco, D., Berishvili, E., Duncanson, P., Watkinson, M., Broichhagen, J., Trauner, D., Rutter, G.A., Hodson, D.J. (2016). Beta cell hubs dictate pancreatic islet responses to glucose. Cell Metab. 24(3):389-401.

Broichhagen, J., Johnston, N.R., von Ohlen, Y., Meyer-Berg, H., Jones, B.J., Bloom, S.R., Rutter, G.A., Trauner, D.*, Hodson, D.J.* (2016). Allosteric optical control of a class B G protein-coupled receptor. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55(19):5865-5868. *Corresponding authors. 

Broichhagen, J., Frank, J.R., Johnston, N.R., Mitchell, R.K., Šmid, K., Marchetti, P., Bugliani, M., Rutter, G.A., Trauner, D.*, Hodson, D.J.* (2015). A red-shifted photochromic sulfonylurea for the remote control of pancreatic beta cell function. Chem Commun. 51:6018–6021. *Corresponding authors.

Broichhagen, J., Podewin, T., Meyer-Berg, H., von Ohlen, Y., Johnston, N.R., Jones, B.J., Bloom, S.R., Rutter, G.A., Hoffmann-Röder, A.*, Hodson, D.J.*, Trauner, D.* (2015). Optical control of insulin secretion using an incretin switch. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54:15565-9. *Corresponding authors. 


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