The researchers helping to shape the future at the BRC

  • November 28th 2023

We meet newly-appointed Translational Fellow Dr Jean-Claude Njabou Katte

Our training offer, helping people to realise their potential and achieve their goals, is an important part of what we do. By offering support, mentoring and resources to our research community, we are helping to develop translational research careers across our five core themes, ensuring that our research benefits the people and communities we serve.

Our Translational Fellowships are designed to support our strongest early to mid-career scientists to become independent researchers, working with local NHS Trusts and commercial partners to maximise the benefits of scientific discoveries to patients and people.

Translational Fellow Dr Jean-Claude Njabou Katte

Translational Fellow Dr Jean-Claude Njabou Katte

Dr Jean-Claude Njabou Katte is one of our first Translational Fellows. His work focuses on investigating the possible causes of non-autoimmune diabetes in individuals with young-onset diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. We caught up with him to hear about his hopes for his fellowship.

Hello Jean-Claude, and welcome to the BRC! What does this training opportunity mean to you?

It’s important because it provides protected time to focus on my research projects and develop as an early-career researcher in an area with a critical need for rigorous research and capacity. It will also open up the possibility of working with collaborators in and outside of Exeter BRC and to be part of the NIHR Academy which is an excellent platform for training and networking with other early-career researchers.

My goal is to become an independent scientist leading type 1 diabetes research in Africa, finding innovative ways to improve the quality of care for people with diabetes. The fellowship will help me to lay the foundations for a strong application for Welcome Early-Career and/or UKRI/MRC African Research Leader fellowships in 2024 to focus on understanding the aetiologies of young-onset diabetes in Africa. This is an area which is widely recognised as under-researched and there’s strong potential for discovery with huge scientific and societal impact in terms of knowledge creation, prevention, and treatment.

What are your hopes, and do you see any challenges?

I hope to accomplish several things during this fellowship. To complete my research projects, write, and publish four manuscripts in mid-to-high impact diabetes journals and apply for a Wellcome Trust Early Career Award and/or MRC African Research Leader Award. I think that the biggest challenge will be completing all of my research!

What is translational research?

Translational research is an approach that aims to produce more meaningful and applicable results, relevant to clinical practice, policy, or societal benefits.

Do you enjoy working in a research environment?

I absolutely enjoy working in a research environment. Research is challenging and dynamic. I love working in a team and I firmly believe that research is a team sport.

What role has training played in your career?

Training and mentorship have played a key part in my journey. The real determining training step for me was completing my PhD in the University of Exeter’s rich research environment. I continue to learn and hope to fine-tune my skills in computational analysis and complex research designs.

Thanks Jean-Claude and good luck with your research! Before you go, can you tell us something not everyone will know about you?

Sure – I’m trained in theological studies and pastoral care.

Research careers

Research and innovation play a vital role in shaping the future of health and care. By embarking on a research career, you can contribute to improving patient care, health outcomes, and the overall advancement of the NHS.

Find out how the NIHR can support your path to research

Explore our training opportunities.