Developmental Endocrinology Research Group

The Developmental Endocrinology Research Group which is led by Professor S. Faisal Ahmed consists of a group of investigators who are currently based at the QEUH & RHC Glasgow campus of the School of Medicine. The research activity in the group aims to understand the link between early life disorders of endocrine function and long-term outcome and most of their work is focussed in the fields of sex and skeletal development. Their work has been funded through a number of sources including CSO, EU, MRC, GCHC, industry and overseas governments. The group achieves its mission of performing translational research that is of clinical importance by relying on strong research partnerships with a wide range of experts in the field of clinical biochemistry, e-science, molecular genetics, imaging and molecular and cell biology that exist in Glasgow and beyond.  The group also has a strong track record in developing registries for rare conditions and this work is performed through the Office for Rare Conditions Registries.


Research Contacts

Professor Syed Faisal Ahmed

Professor Syed Faisal Ahmed was appointed to the Samson Gemmell Chair of Child Health at the University of Glasgow in 2012.   He leads the Developmental Endocrinology Research Group which has a focus on understanding disorders of endocrine function that present in early life.







Dr Salma Ali

Dr Salma Ali graduated from The University of Glasgow and commenced her paediatric training in the West of Scotland in 2010. In 2018, Salma began a Clinical Research Fellow post within the Developmental Endocrinology Research Group in Glasgow and completed a PhD at the University of Glasgow, under the supervision of Professor Faisal Ahmed.  Her research interests include rare disease registries and the use of routinely collected clinical data for the assessment of outcomes in rare endocrine conditions such as DSD and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.  Salma is currently a specialty trainee in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.




Updated 17/5/2023

Dr Malika Alimussina

Dr Malika Alimussina graduated from the Astana Medical University, Kazakhstan in 2006 and completed most of her clinical training in Paediatric Endocrinology there.  From 2012 - 2017, Malika worked as a Paediatric Endocrinologist at the National Research Centre for Maternal and Child Health and Republican Diagnostic Center in Astana which served as the clinical training sites for Nazarbayev University School of Medicine.    In 2015, Malika was awarded a Clinical Fellowship from the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and spent four months attached to the paediatric endocrine department at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.  in 2017 she received a research scholarship from the government of Kazakhstan.  Malika is a member of the ESPE C&CA School Faculty, an intensive bilingual training course held annually for paediatric endocrinologists from the central Asia and Caucasas region.

Research Project Summary

For her PhD research project, Malika is focused on studying the longterm outcome and aetiology in boys with XY Disorders of Sex Development (DSD).  This project includes assessing the prevalence of endocrine and genetic abnormalities in XY DSD children, conducting a detailed assessment of the underlying genetic abnormality through an extended panel of XY DSD genes, and placing particular emphasis on genital phenotype.   She also investigates the effect of androgens on the transcriptome in this group.   These studies complement other clinical and research activities in the Developmental Endocrinology Research Group.

Dr S Ching Chen

Dr S Ching Chen is a specialty consultant paediatrician with a particular interest in diabetes and bone.   Ching is based in Paediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology at Forth Valley Royal Hospital .  She graduated from the University of Glasgow and undertook her paediatric training predominantly in the west of Scotland.  In 2013 she was awarded the Clinical Research Fellowship by the Yorkhill Children's Charity, renamed Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, and completed her MD at the University of Glasgow, under the supervision of Professor Syed Faisal Ahmed.

Research Project Summary

As part of her MD, Ching undertook a translational research project looking at the bone health of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes.  She spent a year in the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology (IMCSB) under the supervision of Dr Stephen Yarwood, to study the effects of metformin on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into bone and fat.  Her clinical study explored the feasibility of MRI as a tool for assessing bone health in healthy children and the assessment of bone microarchitecture and marrow adiposity in children with established, as well as newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes mellitus.


Dr Angela Lucas Herald

Dr Angela Lucas Herald graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 and since then, has been a paediatric academic trainee in the West of Scotland.  In 2014, Angela was appointed as Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Glasgow and later completed her PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences in 2020, after a Clinical Research Fellowship funded by the British Heart Foundation.   She is currently a Grid Specialist Trainee in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and holds a National Education Scotland/Chief Scientist Office Clinical Lecturer position at the University of Glasgow.   Her research focuses on Differences of Sex Development and accelerated vascular ageing in children.  She is heavily involved in medical education and regularly teaches and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students.  She is on the Project Management Committee of the International Disorders of Sex Development Registry and is the Digital Information Officer for the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology.  She is also the co-founder of the Back to Work programme for paediatric trainees returning to clinical practice after a period of leave in Scotland.



Updated 17/5/2023

Mr Martin McMillan

Martin McMillan is the Developmental Endocrinology Research team manager and supports the team of clinical research fellows and postgraduate research students in a variety of technical and analytical roles.   Martin also supports the group with biochemical analysis by the demonstration of techniques and analysis of samples including ELISA assays for growth and bone markers, gonadotrophins, Luminex cytokine assays and sample storage.   Martin is a member of the DSD diagnostic service for disorders of sex development, a multidisciplinary team concerned with the molecular genetic and biochemical care of patients referred for sex development anomalies.   Other studies Martin supports are the Combat study which looks at the effect of metformin on bone health in adults with longstanding T1DM.   Martin oversees the Scottish Audit of atypical genitalia, which is a screen of newborn infants referred for sex karyotyping due to atypical genitalia.    

Martin is also part of the IDSD project management group, focussing on improvements, updates and implementation of their International DSD website.



Updated 17/5/23

Dr Martina Rodie

Dr Martina Rodie is a Consultant Neonatologist at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.  Her research interests include neonatal endocrinology with a particular focus on differences of sex development (DSD).

Martina also has an interest in congenital anomalies, rare conditions and registries and is currently the Clinical Lead for The Office for Rare Conditions in Glasgow.  She has experience in the use of international rare disease registries to facilitate collaborative research through the MRC funded International DSD Registry.

Martina was awarded her PhD from The University of Glasgow.   Her research was supported by the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity.






Updated 24/5/2023

Dr M Guftar Shaikh

Dr M Guftar Shaikh has been working as a Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, since 2008.  Guftar is the clinical lead for the endocrine service and is primarily involved in clinical services.  His research / clinical interests include late effects of childhood cancer, congenital hyperinsulinism and Prader Willi syndrome, as well as transition of endocrine care from paediatrics to adult services.   He is actively involved in teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as being involved in training UK paediatric endocrinology and diabetes trainees.



Updated 17/5/23

Dr Sheila Shepherd

Dr Sheila Shepherd (PhD) has been employed within Greater Glasgow & Clyde National Health Service as the paediatric bone densitometrist for the past ten years.  During this time, she has gained extensive knowledge of primary and secondary osteoporosis in childhood and adolescence.   She has a special interest in how the impact of illness, especially during critical periods, can affect bone health.    Recent research interests include vertebral fracture assessment during childhood, bone health in adolescent eating disorders and the clinical application of peripheral quantitative tomography for assessing bone health during childhood.




Updated 17/5/2023

Dr Xanthippi Tseretopoulou

Dr Xanthippi Tseretopoulou graduated from The University of Ioannina, Greece in 2012 and commenced her paediatric training in the Yorkshire and the Humber Deanery in 2014.   In 2019, Xanthippi moved to Cambridge to undertake a grid training post in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes which she completed in 2022.   She was awarded the Diploma of Child Health from the University of Leeds in 2020.

Xanthippi is currently working as a Clinical Research Fellow within the Developmental Endocrinology Research Group in Glasgow and currently undertaking an MD at the University of Glasgow, under the supervision of Professor S. Faisal Ahmed.   Her research interests include the use of real-world data and patient-reported outcome measures for studying clinical outcomes in patients with rare endocrine conditions, such as DSD and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.   She also enjoys medical teaching and is an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, following successful completion of the Integrated Foundations of Medical Education programme at the University of Cambridge.


Updated 18/5/23