Senior Clinical Lecturer In Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease


Research and Interests

Dr Alam has a specialist clinical and research interest in painful diabetic neuropathy, small fibre neuropathy and neuropathic pain. His previous work has evaluated the role of vitamin D in relation to pain and the utility of novel surrogate markers in small fibre neuropathy. His research is primarily focused on surrogate end points for human diabetic neuropathy and other peripheral neuropathies. He has extensively evaluated the utility of skin biopsy and corneal confocal microscopy for the early diagnosis of small fibre neuropathy.


I obtained a BSc in Medical Science from the University of St. Andrews, and subsequently went onto the University of Manchester to study Medicine (MBChB) from which graduated in 2005. Part way through the MBChB, I completed an MSc in population Health (MPHe). During this period, I undertook evidence based reviews on treatments for painful diabetic neuropathy, which also formed my thesis. My Interest in neuropathic pain stemmed from this work. The genesis of my research education began whilst working on peripheral nerve histology in experimental rat and baboon models of diabetic neuropathy as a fourth year medical student. Prior to entering higher specialist training in Endocrinology and Diabetes, I pursued a PhD in Diabetic Neuropathy and Vitamin D at University of Manchester from which I graduated in 2014. During this time, I worked on large NIH and JDRF funded projects defining novel surrogate markers for small fibre neuropathy which have been published in leading journals such as Diabetes and Diabetes Care. My clinical and research expertise lie in pathogenesis, assessment and treatment of diabetic neuropathy and I have published over 30 journal papers in the last six years. I have presented on this both nationally and internationally.

I was appointed as a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Diabetes in April 2017 at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool. I am a member of the Royal College of Physicians, Diabetes UK and am a council member for Lipids, Metabolism and Vascular Risk section of the Royal Society of Medicine and a regular peer reviewer to several leading journals in the field of diabetes including, Obesity & Metabolism, Diabetic Medicine and Journal of Diabetes to name a few.

My work at University of Liverpool will continue to focus on non-invasive surrogate endpoint of peripheral neuropathies and skin biopsy.

Future/Ongoing studies

  • Investigating Diabetic Neuropathy During Initiation of Intensive Glycaemic Control
  • The Utility of Non-Invasive Ocular Imaging in Diabetic Foot Disease
  • The Impact of Gait in Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Publications 2015-2017

1: Alam U, Riley DR, Jugdey RS, Azmi S, Rajbhandari S, D'Aout K, Malik RA. Diabetic Neuropathy and Gait: A Review. Diabetes Ther. 2017 Dec;8(6):1253-1264. doi:10.1007/s13300-017-0295-y.

2: Alam U, Jeziorska M, Petropoulos IN, Asghar O, Fadavi H, Ponirakis G, Marshall A, Tavakoli M, Boulton AJM, Efron N, Malik RA. Diagnostic utility of corneal confocal microscopy and intra-epidermal nerve fibre density in diabetic neuropathy. PLoS One. 2017 July 18;12(7):e0180175. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180175.

3: Khavandi K, Aghamohammadzadeh R, Luckie M, Brownrigg J, Alam U, Khattar R, Malik RA, Heagerty AM, Greenstein AS. Abnormal Remodeling of Subcutaneous Small Arteries Is Associated With Early Diastolic Impairment in Metabolic Syndrome. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Apr 11;6(4). pii: e004603. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.116.004603.

4: Azmi S, Ferdousi M, Alam U, Petropoulos IN, Ponirakis G, Marshall A, Asghar O, Fadavi H, Jones W, Tavakoli M, Boulton AJM, Jeziorska M, Soran H, Efron N, Malik RD. Small-Fibre neuropathy in men with type 1 diabetes and erectile dysfunction: a cross-sectional study. Diabetolgia. 2017 June;60(6):1094-1101. doi:10.1007/s00125-017-4245-z.

5: Ponirakis G, Odriozola MN, Odriozola S, Petropoulos IN, Azmi S, Ferdousi M, Fadavi H, Alam U, Marshall A, Jeziorska M, Miro A, Kheyami A, Tavakoli M, Al-Ahmar A, Odriozola MB, Odriozola A, Malik RA. NerveCheck for the Detection of Sensory Loss and Neuropathic Pain in Diabetes. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2016 Dec;18(12):800-805.

6: Basit A, Basit KA, Fawwad A, Shaheen F, Fatima N, Petropoulos IN, Alam U, Malik RA. Vitamin D for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2016 Feb 10;4(1):e000148. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000148.

7: Alam U, Arul-Devah V, Javed S, Malik RA. Vitamin D and Diabetic Complications: True or False Prophet? Diabetes Ther. 2016 Mar;7(1):11-26. doi 10.1007/s13300-016-0159-x.

8: Alam U, Amjad Y, Chan AW, Asghar O, Petropulous IN, Malik RA. Vitamin D Deficiency Is Not Associated with Diabetic Retinopathy or Maculopathy. J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:6156217. doi: 10.1155/2016/6156217.

9: Ponirakis G, Odriozola MN, Odriozola S, Petropoulos IN, Azmi S, Fadavi H, Alam U, Asghar O, Marshall A, Miro A, Kheyami A, Al-Ahmar A, Odriozola MB, Odriozola A, Malik RA. NerveCheck: An inexpensive quantitative sensory testing device for patients with diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Mar;113:101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.12.023.

10: Javed S, Alam U, Malik RA. Treating Diabetic Neuropathy: Present Strategies and Emerging Solutions. Rev Diabet Stud. 2015 Spring-Summer;12(1-2):63-83. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2015.12.63.

11: Javed S, Alam U, Malik RA. Burning through the pain: treatments for diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2015 Dec;17(12):1115-25. doi:10.1111/dom.12535.

12:Alam U, Asghar O, Petropoulos IN, Jeziorska M, Fadavi H, Ponirakis G, Marshall A, Tavakoli M, Boulton AJ, Efron N, Malik RA. Small Fibre Neuropathy in patients with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jul;38(7):e102-3. doi: 10.2337/dc14-2354.

13:Ponirakis G, Fadavi H, Petropoulos IN, Azmi S, Ferdousi M, Dabbah MA, Keyami A, Alam U, Asghar O, Marshall A, Tavakoli M, Al-Ahmar A, JAved S, Jeziorska M, Malik RA. Automated Quantification of Neuropad Improves Its Diagnostic Ability in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy. J diabetes Res. 2015;2015:847854. doi: 10.1155/2015/847854

14: Petropoulos IN, Green P, Chan AW, Alam U, Fadavi H, Marshall A, Asghar O, Efron N, Tavakoli M, Malik RA. Corneal confocal microscopy detects neuropathy in patients with type 1 diabetes without retinopathy or microalbuminuria. PLoS One, 2015 Apr 8;10(4):e0123517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123517.

15: Chen X, Graham J, Dabbah MA, Petropoulos IN, Ponirakis G, Asghar O, Alam U, Marshall A, Fadavi H, Ferdousi M, Azmi S, Tavakoli M, Efron N, Jeziorska M, Malik RA. Small nerve fiber quantification in the diagnosis of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy: comparing corneal confocal microscopy with intraepidermal nerve fiber density. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jun;38(6):113844. doi: 10.2337/dc14-2422

16: Petropoulos IN, Ferdousi M, Marshall A, Alam U, Ponirakis G, Azmi S, Fadavi H, Efron N, Tavakoli M, Malik RA. The Inferior Whorl For Detecting Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Using Corneal Confocal Microscopy. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Apr;56(4):2498-504. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15919

17: Javed S, Petropoulos IN, Alam U, malik RA. Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2015 Jan;6(1):15-28. doi 10.1177/2040622314552071.

18:Azmi S, Ferdousi M, Petropoulos IN, Ponirakis G, Fadavi H, Tavakoli M, Alam U, Jones W, Marshall A, Jeziorska M, Boulton A, Efron N, Malik RA. Corneal confocal microscopy shows an improvement in small-fiber neuropathy in subjects with type 1 diabetes on continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion compared with multiple daily injection. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan;38(1):e3-4. doi: 10.2337/dc14-1698