UCL Division of Medicine


Metabolism and Inflammation

The Centre of Metabolism and Inflammation aims to investigate diagnostics and therapeutics for Non-Communicable Diseases. We want to improve the health of low/middle-income communities by investigating the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Our mission 

  • Contribute to the health of low/middle-income communities by investigating the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on them using an omics approach.
  • Focusing on the inflammatory processes linking NCDs, both as cause and consequence, to metabolic dysfunction.
  • Tailoring diagnostics and therapeutics based on these findings using camelid antibodies.

Our research

Epidemiology and Omics

We have established a detailed phenotypic database, with DNA and serum samples, of a population of low/middle-income subjects: 25,000 (20,000 males completed) and 5,000 females (ongoing), awaiting whole genome sequencing and metabolomics.

Molecular mechanisms

We are undertaking detailed physiological studies to understand the specific molecular mechanisms that may underlie the abnormalities within these populations, specifically addressing resistance to the actions of insulin. As we accumulate greater volumes of data from these cohorts, we aim to develop more representative norms than those currently used for reference.

Therapeutics/Diagnostics - Generation of VHH Fragments from Immunized Camels

We have established a platform for producing camel VHH fragment antibodies to various neuro-immunomodulatory targets. In addition, unique and novel targets from results obtained in the multi-omics studies in the low/middle-income communities are also being investigated.

Our experts

Mohammed Al-Maadheed portrait

Prof Mohammed Al-Maadheed

Vidya Mohamed-Ali portrait

Prof Vidya Mohamed Ali

Basic silhouette in a circle, in light grey

Dr Nelson Orie

Chidambaram Manickam

Dr Chidambaram Manickam

Konduru Seetharama Sastry portrait

Dr Konduru Seetharama Sastry

Nada Mohamed-Ali portrait

Nada Mohamed-Ali

PhD students

Mark Stuart

Investigation of the optimal and essential analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines for the Olympic Games Formulary

This research aimed to identify the optimal and essential set of medicines that should be available at every Olympic Games to create an Olympic Model Formulary for sports medicine doctors when prescribing analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines to elite athletes. This work addresses the need for understanding the expectations of international physicians relating to the access to medicines for pain and inflammation required at the Olympic Games, evaluating the usage of medicines through analysis of actual prescribing data at a number of Olympic Games and creating a model list of medicines that is applicable to any host country, which contains parameters to enable flexibility of medicines selection based on local availability in the host country. Further, ensuring compliance of these medicines with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Fatima Al Hatimy

Investigation of the strategic decision-making process and assessment of its impact on Qatar’s healthcare system

Previous work recommended the use of rational decision-making, through strategic planning in order to improve the healthcare system in Qatar, specifying planning as a governance issue, and advocating a need for planning controls and monitoring capacity. This project is conducting a thorough quantitative assessment, using NCDs as a case study of the impact of changes within Qatar’s healthcare system, and benchmarks it against countries of similar size and government, such as Singapore.

Nada Mohamed-Ali

Investigation of Camel-derived Antibodies & VHH Fragments in Inflammatory Fibrotic Disease  

The association between chronic, sub-clinical inflammation and several metabolic diseases is well established. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been shown to be an important regulator of fibrosis in insulin-responsive organs, such as the liver, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and the heart. The cytokine appears to mediate the process leading to permanent scaring that fails to return the tissue to normal function.  The therapeutic potential of IL-6 suppression in diabetes-associated tissue fibrosis is an area of intense research activity.

Dr Maryam AlNesf Al Mansouri


Selected publications 

  1. Khelifi S, Saas K, Al-Maadheed M et al. (2021) Ultra-Fast Retroactive Processing by MetAlign of Liquid-Chromatography High-Resolution Full-Scan Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry Data in WADA Human Urine Sample Monitoring Program. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom.
  2. Smith M, Mohamed-Ali V, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2021) Age, Disease Severity and Ethnicity Influence Humoral Responses in a Multi-Ethnic COVID-19 Cohort. Viruses.
  3.  Kraiem S, Mohamed-Ali V, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2021) Analytical strategy for the detection of ecdysterone and its metabolites in vivo in uPA (+/+)-SCID mice with humanized liver, human urine samples, and estimation of the prevalence of its use in anti-doping samples. Drug Test Anal. 
  4. Voss S, Abushreed W, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2021) Biosafety Level 2 cabinet UV-C light exposure of sports antidoping human urine samples does not affect the stability of selected prohibited substances. Drug Test Anal. 
  1. Voss SC, Orie NN, Mohamed-Ali V, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2021) Horseradish-peroxidase-conjugated anti-erythropoietin antibodies for direct recombinant human erythropoietin detection: Proof of concept. Drug Test Anal. 
  2. Athanasiadou I, Voss SC, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2020) A novel mixed living high training low intervention and the haematological module of the Athletes Biological Passport. Drug Test Anal. 
  3. Athanasiadou I, Vonaparti A, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2019) Effect of hyperhydration on the pharmacokinetics and detection of orally administered budesonide in doping control analysis. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 
  4. Saad K, Vonaparti A, Al-Maadheed M, et al. (2019) Population reference ranges of urinary endogenous sulfate steroids concentrations and ratios as complement to the steroid profile in sports antidoping. Steroids.

Funding and partnerships 

Prof. Vidya Mohamed-Ali is a Scientific Advisor to the Anti-Doping Lab Qatar and a member of the Medical & Scientific Committee of the International Olympic Committee. She has contributed to over 100 conference proceedings and media output for the wider public (such as the British Nutrition Foundation Task Force publications) and attracted funding for several student stipends. She has obtained grant funding of £1.95 million and published over 90 peer-reviewed papers, four reviews and contributed chapters to three books. Her work has been cited over 6,000 times, with an H-index of 52.

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Related programmes

Contact Details




+44 (0)20 8016 8347

Postal Address

UCL Division of Medicine
Royal Free Hospital Campus
Rowland Hill Street

Metabolism and Inflammation Group picture