Endocrinology and Metabolism

Endocrinology and Metabolism

The Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism is based at Hospital 5, St James’s Hospital, Tallaght University Hospital and Naas General Hospital, and provides outpatient and inpatient care for patients with a wide variety of endocrine and metabolic disorders including:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Thyroid disease, including thyroid cancer
  • Adrenal disorders
  • Pituitary disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Obesity
  • Disorders of growth and development
  • Disorders of sexual development and function
  • Reproductive endocrinology

Special interests and features of our service include:

  • Multidisciplinary approach to diabetes management
  • Walk-in urgent assessment clinics at Diabetes Day Centre
  • Education for patients with diabetes and their families
  • Multi-disciplinary foot care assessment
  • Retinal screening clinics with digital retinal photography
  • Young persons clinic for diabetes (monthly)
  • Thyroid cancer service with dedicated clinic and inpatient radioiodine ablation room

We provide undergraduate teaching to medical students at various levels, including:

  • Second year medical course in Biochemistry: Introductory course on Diabetes and Obesity (Prof Nolan)
  • Second medical clinical attachments to diabetes outpatient clinic
  • Clinical team 1-month attachments at third, fourth and fifth year medical
  • Elective attachments to clinical team (by arrangement)
  • Formal lectures and tutorials – fourth and fifth year medical

Our team structure includes:

  • 2 Consultant Endocrinologist/Diabetologists
  • 2 Registrar/SpRs
  • 2 Senior House Officers
  • 2 Interns

Interns and SHO’s are attached to our service for 3 month rotations.  SpR and Registrars spend 1 year minimum. 

Postgraduate teaching takes place on a daily basis and includes:

  • Weekly multidisciplinary diabetes case management meeting (Monday mornings 08:30)
  • Weekly Journal Club (for clinical and research team) Tuesday mornings 07:45
  • Weekly Endocrine Conference (Tuesday lunchtime)
  • Post clinic case reviews: after diabetes and endocrine clinics
  • Weekly Grand Rounds – medicine and surgery (Friday 08:00)

In addition to these fixed sessions, teaching ward rounds are held at least twice per week as well as tutorials for medical membership candidates.

The department encourages medical graduates and non-medical graduates from allied disciplines to study for higher degrees.

Recent postgraduate students have included:

  • Dr Elaine Murphy, MSc (Molecular Medicine), 2000
  • Dr Obada Yousif, MSc (Molecular Medicine), 2001
  • Dr Diarmuid O’Donghaile, MSc (Molecular Medicine), 2001
  • Gordon Dixon (co-supervised with Dr P Newsholme, UCD), PhD, 2004
  • Donal O’Gorman, PhD, 2005
  • Philomena McCarthy (co-supervised), PhD (Psychology), 2005
  • Nicole Mag, MSc (Physiology) 2004
  • Jennifer Conlan (co-supervised with Dr Simon Green), MSc (Physiology)  2005
  • Dr Francis Finucane, MD, 2008
  • Nicole Burns, PhD (Physiology), expected 2009
  • Dr Yusof Rahman, PhD, expected 2009
  • Dr Mensud Hatunic, MD, expected 2009
  • Dr Imad Brema, MD, expected 2009
  • Dr Hood Thabit, MD, expected 2009
  • Dr Syed Shah, MD, expected 2010
  • Andrea Schopf (co-supervised with Dr G Martin), PhD (Psychology), expected 2010
  • Declan O’Hanlon, PhD, expected 2011

Our research is focused on Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The central base for the research group is the Metabolic Research Unit in Hospital 5, where we conduct clinical and academic investigations. The team is also affiliated with the Institute for Molecular Medicine at the Trinity Centre and the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at St James’s Hospital.

All our studies are conducted in human subjects, and we have established a high participation rate among the following main populations:

  • Type 2 diabetes.  Our clinic cares for 8,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes and is increasing at nearly 10% per annum.
  • Obesity.  Obese subjects are referred from GPs, and via the endocrinology clinic.
  • Healthy controls, across full age range from young adults upwards

The techniques we use include:

  • The glucose clamp protocol
  • Tracer studies for glucose turnover
  • Muscle biopsy
  • Exercise interventions and aerobic protocols
  • Diet interventions
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy for fuel turnover

Research Projects

Current protocols include:

  • Mechanisms of non-response to aerobic exercise in early onset Type 2 diabetes
  • RISC: relationship between insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease
  • Clinical trials of new insulin, incretins and oral anti-diabetic agents
  • DIAMAP - a survey of the current European diabetes research, from which 
    expert opinion can identify gaps and highlight strengths, to guide a Road Map strategy for diabetes research in Europe
  • GUIDANCE - to study the parameters of care of Type 2 Diabetes patients across Europe.

Our studies are funded from various sources including: the Health Research Board, EFSD, EASD, the EU Commission, the Diabetes Education and Research Fund and the Trinity Foundation.

St James's Hospital

Details of our clinical services can be obtained from St James’s website

Title Name Email

Clinical Senior Lecturer

Dr Marie Louise Healy

Clinical Senior Lecturer

Dr Niamh Phelan


Tallaght University Hospital

Title Name Email


Dr Lucy-Ann Behan

Intern Co-ordinator

Dr James Gibney


Naas Hospital

Title           Name Email


Dr Kevin Moore