Professor Ramzi Ajjan
- Position: Professor
- Areas of expertise: Glycaemia in Diabetes; Thrombosis in Diabetes; Reduction of Cardiovascular Risk in Individuals with Diabetes
- Email: R.Ajjan@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 7475
- Location: Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research
RA Ajjan (MD, FRCP, MMed.Sci, PhD) is a Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Leeds University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield and completed his clinical training in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. He obtained a NIHR Clinician Scientist Award in 2005 and was employed the same year by the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust as Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology. He runs a programme of basic, translational and clinical research, aiming to improve clinical outcome in patients with diabetes and metabolic disease. His clinical practice is concentrated on managing young adults with type 1 diabetes, complex patients with type 2 diabetes and individuals with thyroid eye disease. He is the local R&D lead for diabetes and endocrinology in Leeds and regional Clinical Research Network co-lead in diabetes, endocrine and metabolic disorders. He is deputy Chair of Clinical Study Group 2 at Diabetes UK and Associate Editor of Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research.
My research interests include a programme of basic, translational and clinical work, covering two interlinked areas: glycaemia and thrombosis. I run a group of 11 individuals, including 4 PhD Students, 2 Technicians, 1 Post Doc, 1 Academic Clinical Fellow and 3 Research Nurses. I have an interest in the role of glycaemia (including hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia) in increasing the risk of complications and mortality in individuals with diabetes. I am also investigating the mechanisms for increased thrombosis risk in diabetes, including the role of high and low glucose levels. My overall aim is to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in individuals with diabetes.
I have shown that severe hypoglycaemia in the community is associated with increased mortality, which can be modulated by a structured nurse intervention, at least in individuals with type 2 diabetes. I have been advocating the use of the triangle of diabetes care for optimal glycaemic management, which includes addressing hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia and glycaemic variability. Consequently, I have been involved in a number of studies to optimise glycaemic management in patients with diabetes, including the use of modern glycaemic monitoring strategies. I described three diabetes-specific mechanisms for hypofibrinolysis in diabetes, including increased incorporation of antifibrinolytic proteins into fibrin networks, compromsied conversion of plasminogen to plasmin and reduced enzyme activity, as well as hypoglycaemia-induced thrombotic alterations in coagulation factors. A large part of my work is currently focussed on reducing incorporation of antifibrinolytic proteins into the clot, using a novel technology that involves conformational small peptides termed Affimers. Also, I continue to run studies investigating new ways to optimise glycaemia in patients with diabetes.
Funding for my research work has been provided by the NIHR, BHF, Diabetes UK, Sir Jules Charitable Trust, Avacta Life Science, in addition to industry sponsorship for investigator-led research from Abbott Diabetes Care, Bayer, Eli LIlly, LifeScan and NovoNordisk. My work has been published in leading journals in the field, including Eur Heart J, Blood, Diabetes Care, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, Diabetologia, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Thromb Haemost (H index: 42).
- Diabetes UK
I lecture first year medical students, covering the curriculum in endocrinology and diabetes. Also, I contribute to immunology teaching of first year medical students.
Research groups and institutes
- Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
- Clinical and Population Science
- British Heart Foundation - Cardiovascular research