Miss Emma Ashley

Research project: Mechanisms of Hepatic Iron Overload in Dysmetabolic Iron Overload Syndrome


Evidence indicates that 46% of patients with non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) will also have a condition known as DIOS (dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome). Importantly, this clinical observation distinguishes a population of individuals at an increased risk of developing diabetes. It is not known why iron overload occurs in NAFLD, but identification of the mechanisms of iron overload in DIOS could lead to the development of biomarker assays that will identify at risk individuals, potentially allowing early therapeutic intervention.  We hypothesise that patients at risk of developing DIOS will have abnormal levels of NTBI and/or iron transport/receptor proteins, and that measurement of these biomarkers in a targeted patient population will allow early identification of those who would benefit from early intervention and treatment.


I am a senior Clinical Biochemist based at Kingston Hospital and I am also completing a part-time PhD with Kingston University.  Over four years, I completed my clinical scientist training at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and moved to my senior position I now hold at Kingston Hospital in 2013. 

I am currently recruiting patients into the DIOS study from outpatient clinics at Kingston Hospital and validating a new iron method on the hospital laboratory analysers as part of my research.  

Areas of research interest

  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Endocrinology


  • MBiochem in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Oxford
  • MSc in Clinical Biochemistry, University of Surrey

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston Hospital Charities funding for PhD studentship


Matsa R, Ashley E, Sharma V, Walden AP, Keating L. Plasma and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in the diagnosis of new onset acute kidney injury in critically ill patients. Critical Care. 2014;18(4):R137.

Bee T, Ashley E, Bickley S et al. The mouse Runx1 +23 hematopoietic stem cell enhancer confers hematopoietic specificity to both Runx1 promoters. Blood 113: 2009; 5121-5124.