Heidi de Wet

BSc North-West, PhD Cape Town


I teach Physiology and Pharmacology to first-year pre-clinical medical students, as well as critical analysis to first-year, second-year and FHS students.

About me

I was awarded my DPhil from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.  Following a brief post-doctoral period in South Africa, I moved to the UK to pursue post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford.  I am currently starting up my own laboratory in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.


My doctoral work in the Department of Chemical Pathology at the UCT Medical School introduced me to the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) family of membrane transporters, which has been the focus of my research ever since.  This structurally-conserved protein family is remarkably diverse in function and I have been privileged to be involved in this field from its infancy.

My post-doctoral research in Oxford focussed on neonatal diabetes, a rare form of type 2 diabetes, and the dysfunctional ABC transporters involved in this disease.  More recently, my focus shifted to studying the role ABC transporters in gut endocrine K-and L-cells.  These cells are involved in nutrient sensing in the small intestine and the subsequent secretion of appropriate peptide hormones which regulate several essential physiological responses to food intake.

Graduate teaching

I have supervised graduate students at Masters and PhD level and would welcome prospective students interested in the fields of diabetes and obesity, and the membrane transporters and signal transduction pathways involved in these pathologies.


Director of Studies for Pre-clinical Medicine
Fellow and Tutor in Pre-clinical Medicine
Associate Professor in Physiology

Directions for Drivers

From London and the East

Leave the M40 motorway at Junction 8 signposted Oxford A40. Continue for approximately 5 miles; the A40 meets the Green Road roundabout, go straight across, following signs for Headington and the City Centre; continue straight on for 2 miles through Headington until you reach another roundabout - The Plain - and take the last exit. Cross Magdalen Bridge, and at the traffic lights turn right into Longwall Street and take the first right into Manor Road after St Cross Church. Cross the river and you have arrived.

From the South

Leave the A34 at the first Oxford exit. At the roundabouts follow signs for the city centre. Pass the Park & Ride on your left, take a right at the second set of traffic lights into Donnington Bridge Road. At the lights turn left, continue straight on until you reach a roundabout - The Plain. Go straight over and cross Magdalen Bridge; at the traffic lights turn right into Longwall Street and take the first right into Manor Rd after St Cross Church. Cross the river and you have arrived.

From the North

Leave the M40 at Junction 9, following signs for Oxford A34. Continue for approximately 8 miles, then take the Oxford/ Cheltenham exit. At the Pear Tree roundabout take the second exit. At the next roundabout (Wolvercote) take the second exit along the A40, following signs to M40 London. At the next roundabout take the right exit, following signs for Summertown and the City Centre. Continue for approximately 2 miles, then turn left into Parks Rd (opposite church). Pass the Park and Museum on the left, and take the next left into South Parks Road. The road bends sharply right, past more playing fields; take the next left into Manor Road just before the road bends sharply right again. St. Catherine's is ahead of you.

From the West

We recommend that visitors bypass the City and approach from the North. Leave the M4 at Junction 15 and follow signs for Oxford A420. Continue along the A420 for approximately 30 miles. Rather than continue through the western side of the City, at the A34 interchange, head north following signs for M40 but leave at the next exit. At the Pear Tree roundabout follow signs to City Centre, passing the services and Park & Ride; at the next roundabout (Wolvercote) take the second exit. From here follow directions as from the North. For those approaching on the A40,cross straight over the Wolvercote roundabout and follow the directions as from the North.

Postcode for Sat Nav: OX1 3UJ

Benazir Bhutto

1976, Foreign Service Programme

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first female leader of an Islamic state and to, date, Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister. Aged just 35, she became one of the youngest leaders in the world, with economic and industrial development at the heart of her programme.

After a brief period of self-imposed exile in London, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 to contest elections which she was widely expected to win. She was sadly assassinated at a campaign rally in December 2007. The following year she was posthumously awarded the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights.

Sir John Walker

1960, Chemistry

Scientist and Nobel Laureate

Former JCR President Sir John Walker is an internationally-renowned chemist and Nobel Laureate, having collected the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on ATP, a high-energy molecule and the 'enzymatic mechanism' on which it relies. He was knighted in 1999 for services to microbiology, and in 2012, collected the Copley Medal - believed to be the world's oldest scientific prize. Predating the Nobel Prize by 170 years, the Copley Medal counts scientific luminaries Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking among its list of winners.

His work has attracted international acclaim, and he holds membership of the Royal Society, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, L'Accademia Nazionale and the American National Academy of Sciences.

Emilia Fox

1993, English

Stage and Screen Actress

Award-winning actress, Emilia Fox, is notable for her portrayal of Dr Nikki Alexander on the BBC’s crime drama, Silent Witness, and on the BBC’s Merlin. Her first major role came in her second year at College, when she appeared as Georgina, the sister of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, in the BBC’s landmark adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Later roles included Jane Seymour in a two-part biographical film about King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II in a Channel 4 miniseries charting her fifty-year reign.

Peter Mandelson

1973, PPE


A former JCR President, Peter Mandelson is widely regarded as one of the most astute political operators of his generation. Appointed as Director of Campaigns and Communications to the Labour Party in 1985, he pioneered a radical overhaul of the party’s image, widely credited with returning the party to power in a 1997 landslide victory.

He later served in government, firstly as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and later as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In 2004, he became the EU’s Commissioner for Trade, and returned to British politics in 2008 as one of the most influential members of the Brown government, serving as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; Lord President of the Council and First Secretary of State.

Alex Polizzi

1990, English

Broadcaster and Hotelier

Presenter of the highly-acclaimed The Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi is a renowned hotelier. After graduating from Catz, she trained at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. She has worked for Marco Pierre White’s Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, and at various Rocco Forte hotels around the world.

She took over and ran Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, before launching the highly-praised Hotel Tresanton at St Mawes on the Cornish coast. In 2008, she used her expertise to advise struggling hotels on how to turn around their fortunes, as host of The Hotel Inspector; praised by the Radio Times as ‘the best of the genre in which an expert descends of people who don’t know what they’re doing’.

Andy Triggs Hodge

2004, Geography

Rower and Olympic Gold Medallist

Andy Triggs Hodge MBE collected his second consecutive Olympic Gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, as a member of the men’s coxless fours. In addition to his Olympic medals, he holds three Silver World Championship medals and two Golds.

He took up rowing as an undergraduate at Staffordshire University where he claims the sport gave him the skills and enthusiasm for academic success. He continued rowing at Catz, where he rowed for the successful Oxford team in the 2005 Boat Race.

GB Men’s Eight Win Gold

Great Britain’s men’s eight have won a historic Gold medal at the World Rowing Championships in South Korea.

It is the first time in the competition’s history that Great Britain has won the event, crossing the finish line with a time of five minutes 30.35 seconds to secure the Gold medal. Germany took Silver, and the USA took Bronze.


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