Our research projects

We fund world class research

At any one time, we have around 120 research projects making discoveries across the UK. Each of these projects is only possible thanks to the generous support of our members, donors and local groups

Every project is reviewed by experts and approved by our research committee and our panel of people living with diabetes. So you're supporting research of the highest scientific quality, led by researchers with the skills and experience to succeed.

Your support of our research projects means we can keep tackling the complications of diabetes and bring us one step closer to a cure.

Find a research project

Use the search tool to discover research taking place in your local area, or choose a subject or type of diabetes you’re interested in.

Each project page showcases the details of the research, and if you find a research project you could really get behind, you can support it in lots of different ways.

111 results found

Treating eye complications early

Project:
Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

Retinopathy is an eye complication of diabetes and can lead to blindness. Current treatments for retinopathy only address the end-stages of the disease, when the eye is already significantly damaged. Professor Curtis and his research team want to test a new drug that could slow or stop retinopathy earlier on in its development.

Untangling the link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

Project:
South East - Southampton
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

People with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but we don’t know why. Dr Mudher believes that Type 2 diabetes could have a negative effect on a protein in the brain, called ‘Tau’. She wants to find out more about this interaction to see if it can be stopped, to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Exploring blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project is fully funded
Tags:
Healthcare
Project Summary

Professor Colhoun hopes to understand how blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes changes over time in different groups of people. These insights could help us find ways to improve blood glucose levels in people with Type 1 diabetes.

The impact of islet transplantation

Project:
England - Newcastle
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
Project Summary

Professor James Shaw and his team will examine the effectiveness of islet transplants at different UK transplant centres, and the impact they can have on the wellbeing people living with Type 1 diabetes who have hypo unawareness. The team hope to gain a better understanding of which methods lead to the most successful transplants, and who could benefit the greatest in the long-term.

The cost-effectiveness of DiRECT’s Type 2 remission

Project:
Scotland - Glasgow
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Remission
Project Summary

The DiRECT trial is finding out whether a weight management programme, including a low-calorie diet, can put Type 2 diabetes into remission for the long-term. This project will look at the cost effectiveness of this programme when delivered through GP care.

This will give the NHS important information to help work out if this kind of treatment could be offered to people with Type 2 diabetes in the future. 

Protecting the blood vessels in diabetes

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

Blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells, which have a protective coating. This coating can become damaged in diabetes, leading to the development of complications like stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Dr Satchell will study the coating in more detail to see if it can be used as a treatment to protect blood vessels in people with diabetes.

Stopping thymic B cells in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

The thymus helps to destroy ‘bad’ immune cells that attack the body, but this doesn’t happen in people with Type 1 diabetes. Dr Allison Green will find out why and how the thymus stops working properly in people with Type 1 diabetes, which could lead to treatments to prevent the condition.

Developing a Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Michael Weedon and his colleagues are aiming to develop a simple genetic test that could predict the type of diabetes and the treatment required in young adults. They will combine this test with current methods for diagnosing diabetes, in order to produce a way to better classify diabetes. This could ensure that the correct treatment can be given very soon after people are recognised as having diabetes.

Using genetics to predict Type 1 diabetes

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

There is a time window of several years between the start of the Type 1 diabetes immune attack and the appearance of symptoms.

Dr Richard Oram has developed a ‘risk calculator’ that uses information from genes linked to Type 1 diabetes to potentially find those at risk of the condition. Now, they want to test the calculator using data from several large studies.

This could help to find people at high risk of Type 1 diabetes in the future, and provide vital knowledge to help create treatments to stop it.

Blocking immune cells that attack the pancreas in Type 1

Project:
Wales - Cardiff
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Towards a cure
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, immune cells called ‘B cells’ move into the pancreas and are involved in the destruction of insulin-producing cells. Professor Susan Wong wants to work out why they do this. Her team will study a protein found on B cells and look for differences between people with and without Type 1 diabetes. This could help us develop treatments that stop the immune attack and prevent this condition.

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