Our Team

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is working in partnership and collaboration with the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council, Novo Nordisk and the South Asian Health Foundation. 


Dr Deirdre Harrington

Academic Lead

Deirdre is a Lecturer in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the University of Leicester. Deirdre studied at the University of Limerick and was awarded her PhD in 2010 in the area of Physical Activity and Health. She then joined the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, USA expanding her research interest to body composition assessment in children and sedentary behaviour epidemiology. She was a member of the Pennington

In 2013, Deirdre joined the Diabetes Research Centre at the University of Leicester and developed a research agenda around diabetes in young people and ways in which increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary behaviour may be used in prevention of this condition.

Deirdre joined the Leicester Changing Diabetes team in November 2017 and offers academic leadership and guidance for the research projects conducted as part of CCD whilst continuing her own research agenda.


Dr Sophie O’Connell

Project Manager

Sophie is a Project Manager with a strong research background in the area of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health. Sophie studied Sport and Exercise Sciences in York before moving to Loughborough to complete her MSc in Physical Activity and Health and was awarded her PhD in 2012. Using her research knowledge and expertise, Sophie has been involved in the development and implementation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions to improve the health of primary care patients, office workers and healthcare professionals.

Sophie joined the Leicester Changing Diabetes team in June 2018 as the programme’s Project Manager. Sophie leads the Operations Group for Leicester Changing Diabetes, supporting and facilitating the Leicester Changing Diabetes work.


Sue Enright

Operations Lead

Sue has worked in clinical research since 1996 and joined Leicester Diabetes Centre in 2006. She is currently the Operations Director for the Centre and plays a key role in the unit’s strategic and operational planning and management. She also leads a team of research and clinical delivery staff and has a passion for developing quality processes, leadership and promoting innovation. Sue has particular expertise in research governance, site-up and trial management.


Dr Emer Brady

Senior Research Associate 

Emer studied biochemistry at Sussex University before moving to Leicester to study for her PhD investigating the interrelationship between obstructive sleep apnoea, insulin resistance and inflammation. Emer secured a research post within the Leicester Diabetes Centre and is heavily involved in protocol development, study coordination and management. Emer also specialises in grant writing, lecturing on sleep research and energy regulation on the Diabetes MSc. Her main research interests lie in preventative medicine, sleep and metabolism.

Emer joined the Leicester Changing Diabetes team in November 2017, playing a key role in the Operations Group, offering guidance and support for the work as part of Leicester Changing Diabetes.


Emma Hull


Emma has worked within the National Health Service for over 5 years, gaining experience in NHS procedures and protocols. Emma joined the Leicester Changing Diabetes team in June 2018 and provides vital administrative support to the project.


The Centre for Black and Minority Ethinic Health are a key part of the Leicester Changing Diabetes team, offering help and support to engage with communities in Leicester City.