Dr Katherine Hinchliffe MA, MPhil, PhD, PGCertHE, FHEA


Full contact details
View graph of relations


To increase their chances of survival, living things must be able to sense changes in their environment, and respond appropriately. Similarly, for the human body to remain healthy, the cells within it must detect and respond to various external changes. The systems in living cells that link such changes with responses are known as signalling pathways. My laboratory studies the function of a family of molecules called phosphoinositides (PIs) in signalling pathways. Seven different PIs have been found in the human body, and they all carry out different jobs. My research focuses on the function of PIs in responses to the hormone insulin. In healthy people, insulin causes muscle and fat to absorb glucose. At least four different PIs are involved in this response, but we are still trying to understand exactly how. Also, in people with type 2 diabetes, glucose absorption in response to insulin is impaired. This is known as insulin resistance, and it has been linked to altered levels of certain PIs. By investigating the function of PIs in healthy and insulin-resistant cells we hope to learn more about the causes of type 2 diabetes, which currently affects over 2 million people in the UK alone.


  • Born in Nottingham, UK.
  • Higher Education at University of Cambridge, UK (Clare College).
  • Carried out Postdoctoral research at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, The Babraham Institute, and Cambridge University Department of Pharmacology.
  • Awarded MRC Fellowship in 2000.
  • Moved to Manchester in 2003 to take up a lectureship.
  • Transferred to a Teaching and Scholarship contract in 2014
  • Wilcox, A. & Hinchliffe, K.A. (2008) Regulation of extranuclear PtdIns5P production by phosphatidylinositol phosphate 4-kinase 2-alpha. FEBS Lett. 582, 1391-4
  • Hinchliffe, K. A. & Irvine, R. F. (2006) Regulation of type II PIP kinase by protein kinase D phosphorylation. Cell Signalling 18, 1906-1913
  • Roberts, H. F., Clarke, J. H., Letcher, A. J., Irvine, R. F. & Hinchliffe, K. A. (2005) Effects of lipid kinase expression and cellular stimuli on phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate levels in mammalian cell lines. FEBS Lett. 279, 2868-2872
  • Hinchliffe, K.A., Giudici, M.L., Letcher, A.J. & Irvine, R.F. (2002) Type II± phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase associates with the plasma membrane via interaction with type I isoforms. Biochem. J. 363, 563-570.
  • Morris, J.B., Hinchliffe, K.A., Ciruela, A., Letcher, A.J. & Irvine, R.F. (2000) Thrombin stimulation of platelets causes an increase in phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate revealed by mass assay. FEBS Lett.475, 57 - 60.
  • Hinchliffe, K.A., Ciruela, A., Letcher, A., Divecha, N. & Irvine, R.F. (1999) Regulation of type II± phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase localisation by the protein kinase CK2. Current Biology 9, 983 - 986.
  • Hinchliffe, K.A., Ciruela, A. & Irvine, R.F. (1998) PIPkins, their substrates and their products; new functions for old enzymes. Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1436, 87 - 104.

Sustainable Development Goals

Related information