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The University of Southampton
(023) 8120 4665

Professor Richard Holt MA, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCP, FHEA

Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Honorary Consultant Physician

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Professor Richard Holt is Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Richard Holt trained at the University of Cambridge and the London Hospital Medical College. He undertook his post-graduate training in diabetes and endocrinology in the South East Thames Region. While a Medical Research Council Clinical Training Fellow, he completed a PhD on the growth hormone – insulin-like growth factor axis in childhood liver disease. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Endocrinology & Metabolism at the University of Southampton in May 2000, was promoted to Reader in March 2006 and became Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology in September 2008.

Richard’s current research interests are broadly focussed around clinical diabetes and endocrinology. These encompass studies of the relationship between mental illness on diabetes and the psychosocial aspects of diabetes. Richard also has interests in the physiology of GH and has worked to develop a test for GH abuse in sport.

Richard’s clinical responsibilities include the diabetes and pregnancy clinic, young adult diabetes clinic and the cystic fibrosis related diabetes service. He is the past Chair of the Council of Health Care Professionals of Diabetes UK.


1983-1986 St Catharine's College, Cambridge University MA, MB BChir
1986-1989 The London Hospital Medical College
1992 The Royal College of Physician MRCP
1994-1998 King's College School of Medicine & Dentistry PhD
2006 The Royal College of Physician FRCP
2007 Higher Education Academy FHEA 

Appointments Held

Current appointment

Sept 08 - present Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology
University of Southampton

May 00 - present Honorary Consultant Physician
Southampton University Hospitals Trust

Previous appointments

Aug 89 - Jan 90 House Physician
The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel

Feb 90 - Jul 90 House Surgeon
Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, Essex

Sept 90 - Sept 92 Medical SHO rotation
The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel

Sept 90 - Nov 90 SHO in Genito-urinary Medicine

Dec 90 - Feb 91 SHO in Accident and Emergency

Mar 91 - May 91 SHO in General Medicine

Jun 91 - Aug 91 SHO in the Care of the Elderly

Sept 91 - Feb 92 SHO in Nephrology

Mar 92 - Sept 92 SHO in General Medicine Harold Wood Hospital, Essex

Oct 92 - Sept 94 SE Thames Registrar rotation in General Medicine,
Endocrinology and Diabetes

Oct 92 - May 93 Medical Registrar
Thanet District Hospital, Margate, Kent

Jun 93 - Jan 94 Registrar in Medicine and Endocrinology
Professorial Dept of Medicine, King's College Hospital, London

Feb 94 - Sep 94 Registrar in Medicine and Diabetes
King's College Hospital, London

Oct 94 - Mar 98 Medical Research Council Clinical Training Fellow
King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London

Honorary Senior Registrar in General Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes
Dept of Medicine, King's College Hospital, London

Apr 98 - Mar 99 Senior Registrar in General Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes
Eastbourne District General Hospital, Eastbourne

Apr 99 – Apr 00 Lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Guy's, King's & St Thomas' School of Medicine
King's College, London

Honorary Specialist Registrar
Guy’s & St Thomas's Hospitals

May 00 – Feb 06 Senior Lecturer in Endocrinology and Metabolism
University of Southampton

Feb 06 – Aug 08 Reader of Endocrinology and Metabolism
University of Southampton

Research interests

My research interests are focused around clinical diabetes and growth hormone. Within clinical diabetes, I have an active research programme examining the links between diabetes and mental illness and the psychosocial issues of diabetes. I have also undertaken research in diabetes in pregnancy and was a member of the NICE Diabetes and Pregnancy Guideline Development Group. I am working with the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Sport to develop a test to detect athletes who are abusing GH.

The specific areas of research that I am pursuing are:

1. The development of a methodology to detect growth hormone abuse in sport the GH-2004 project. We have developed a test based on the measurement of two GH-dependent markers (IGF I and P-III-NP) that was introduced for the first time by the World Anti-Doping Agency at the London 2012 Olympic Games and led to the disqualification of two Russian powerlifters at the Paralympic Games. We are continuing to work with the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Sport to improve the test and to ensure that it can be undertaken in all World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratories worldwide.

2. I have a major research interest in the relationship between severe mental illness and diabetes. There is considerable controversy about the mechanisms underlying this relationship and I have undertaken analyses to tease out the contribution of the antipsychotic drugs. I have recently received a £2 million grant from the NIHR HTA programme to undertake a study to adapt and test a lifestyle modification programme based on the NICE approved DESMOND programme to address the problem of obesity in people with schizophrenia. I am also a co-investigator on the PRIMROSE study, whose aim is to test a primary care nurse led intervention to improve the management of cardiovascular risk in people with severe mental illness.

3. I also have interests in the relationship between diabetes and depression and am developing a web-based cognitive behavioural therapy programme for people with diabetes and depression. Using the MRC Hertfordshire cohort study, we have the relationship between depressive symptoms and prevalent and incident cardiovascular disease.

4. I am a member of the international steering committee for the second Diabetes, Attitudes, Wishes and Needs study, whose aim is to understand the facilitators of and barriers to active diabetes self-management. The study involves a multinational survey of people with diabetes, family members and healthcare professionals

5. Within the field of gestational diabetes, we have evaluated the use of glibenclamide to control glycaemia during pregnancy and have questioned the value of universal glucose tolerance tests in the postnatal period. We have contributed to multicentre international trials of insulin analogues in pregnancy. We have also examined the best meters for monitoring glucose during pregnancy


Human Development and Health

Affiliate Department(s)

Human Development and Physiology

Postgraduate student supervision

Currently supervising two PhD students

Faculty of Medicine

Member of the Research for Health and Medicine module steering committee
Undergraduate and postgraduate examiner

National and International responsibilities

Immediate past-Chair of the Council of Health Care Professionals of Diabetes UK
Leader of Diabetes UK Innovator in Diabetes Programme for Young Basic and Clinical Scientists
European Editor for Diabetic Medicine
Reviews Editor for Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism
Member of Society for Endocrinology
Member of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes – currently a member of the conference organizing committee
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Former member of NICE Diabetes and Pregnancy Guideline Development group
Former member of the NICE Diabetes Prevention Programme Development group
Member of Commission on Human Medicine Cardiovascular, diabetes and renal, respiratory and allergy expert advisory group

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Working Paper

  • Richard is a personal tutor for 6 medical students.
  • He provides diabetes teaching for both the BM4 and BM5 programmes
  • He regularly supervise 4th year medical students for their research projects and lectures on the research for health and medicine course
  • He is currently supervising 3 postgraduate research students.
  • He is in regular demand to lecture on postgraduate continuing professional development courses for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals
Professor Richard Holt
Professor in Diabetes & Endocrinology Human Development and Health Academic Unit Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton The Institute of Developmental Sciences (IDS Building) MP887 University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD UK

Room Number: SGH/DC015/MP887

Telephone:(023) 8120 4665
Facsimile:(023) 8120 5255

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