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Frances Ashcroft

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Nationality  British

Role  Professor
Name  Frances Ashcroft
Fields  Genetics, Physiology
Frances Ashcroft Frances Ashcroft We are controlled by electrical impulses
Born  Frances Mary Ashcroft 15 February 1952 (age 63) (1952-02-15)
Institutions  University of Oxford Trinity College, Oxford
Thesis  Calcium electrogenesis in insect muscle (1978)
Books  Life at the Extremes, Ion channels and disease
People also search for  Francis Fukiyama, Alexis Rockman, Dan Cameron
Institution  University of Oxford, Trinity College, Oxford

Notable awards  Walter Bradford Cannon
Alma mater  University of Cambridge

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Dame Frances Mary Ashcroft, DBE, FRS, FMedSci (born 1952) is a British ion channel physiologist. She is Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Research Professor at the University Laboratory of Physiology at the University of Oxford. She is a fellow of Trinity College, Oxford and is a director of the Oxford Centre for Gene Function. Her research group has an international reputation for work on insulin secretion, type II diabetes and neonatal diabetes. Her work with Professor Andrew Hattersley has helped enable children born with diabetes to switch from insulin injections to tablet therapy.


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Portrait of frances ashcroft one of europe s leading diabetes researchers


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After attending Talbot Heath School Ashcroft gained a degree in Natural Sciences, and then a PhD in zoology from Cambridge in 1978. Ashcroft then did post-doctoral research at the University of Leicester and the University of California at Los Angeles.


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Ashcroft is a Director of OXION: Ion Channels and Disease Initiative, a research and training programme on integative ion channel research, funded by the Wellcome Trust.


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Ashcroft's research focuses on ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP)channels and their role in insulin secretion. Ashcroft is working towards explaining how a rise in the blood glucose concentration stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreatic beta-cells, what goes wrong with this process in type 2 diabetes, and how drugs used to treat this condition exert their beneficial effects. Ashcroft has authored a few science and popular science books based on ion channel physiology:

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  • Ion Channels and Disease: Channelopathies on channelopathic diseases
  • Life at the Extremes: The Science of Survival
  • The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
  • Honours and awards

    Ashcroft was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999. In 2007 Ashcroft was awarded the Walter B. Cannon Award, the highest honour bestowed by the American Physiological Society. She was one of five 2012 winners of the L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.

    Ashcroft was awarded an honorary degrees of Doctor of the University from the Open University in 2003 and Doctor of Science from the University of Leicester on 13 July 2007.

    Ashcroft delivered the Croonian Lecture at the Royal Society in 2013.

    In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) 'for services to Medical Science and the Public Understanding of Science'.

    Personal life

    Ashcroft appeared (as a diner) on MasterChef during the 2011 series, along with several other Fellows of the Royal Society.


    Frances Ashcroft Wikipedia

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