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Faheem Seedat

MBBCh (Wits), FCP (SA), MMed (Int Med)(Wits), MRCP (UK), MRCP (London), Dip HIV Man (SA), Cert Endocrinology and Metabolism (SA)

DPhil Student

  • Pi Group: Dr Manu Vatish

Characterisation of Circulating Extracellular Placental Vesicles in Type 1 and Gestational Diabetes


I am a DPhil student at the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health. I am based at the John Radcliffe Hospital as well as Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and supervised by Professor Manu Vatish, Professor John Todd and Dr Alisha Wade. 

During my clinical practice as an endocrinologist in South Africa I developed an interest in pregnancy associated diabetes. From prior work it is evident that the placenta is central to the normal physiology of insulin secretion in pregnancy and the underlying pathophysiology of gestational diabetes (GDM). My research focuses on utilising syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles (STB-EVs), which originate from the placenta, to investigate the physiology of insulin secretion in normal pregnancy as well characterising the STB-EVs from women with GDM to understand their role in the pathophysiology of this disease. Our goal is to utilise the unique characteristics of GDM specific STB-EVs to develop novel biomarkers as tests to aid in the earlier and more reliable diagnosis of GDM.  

I completed my undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. From 2014 to 2021 I was based at the 3 major academic hospitals in Johannesburg (Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Helen Joseph Hospital). During this time I completed specialist clinical training in Internal Medicine (2014 - 2018) followed by sub-specialist training in Intensive Care Medicine as well as Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (2018 - 2021). My masters work examined the role of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir on the severity and outcomes of HIV positive patients admitted to hospital with acute kidney injury. I am now taking a break from clinical practice to pursue my DPhil.