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Diabetes UK commits £4.2 million to new diabetes research across UK

Funding research. Changing lives.

We have committed to invest £4.2 million into 13 new research projects across the UK. These include finding ways to stop the Type 1 immune attack, making the complications of diabetes less harmful, and finding the best ways to treat Type 2 diabetes.

£2.3 million will go towards five new fellowships: special awards to support talented scientists and healthcare professionals to become independent diabetes research leaders.

Dr Charlotte Moffett at the University of Ulster is one of our new RD Lawrence fellows, who wants to understand how infertility develops in women with Type 2 diabetes. She is investigating whether using drugs to balance the levels of different gut hormones could help women with Type 2 diabetes to have children in the future.

Our research funding is also supporting Professor Federica Marelli-Berg at Queen Mary, University of London, to understand more about the immune attack in Type 1 diabetes. Professor Marelli-Berg is testing a drug that could help particular immune cells, called Tregs, to ‘police’ the immune system and stop it from attacking healthy cells. She hopes this could lead to the development of a new immunotherapy to slow or stop the immune system attacking insulin-producing beta cells in people with Type 1 diabetes.

Other funding is dedicated to understanding new technologies, with Dr Lalantha Leelarathna from the University of Manchester investigating the impact and costs of Flash Glucose Monitoring – a simple and painless way for people with Type 1 diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels. Dr Leelarathna’s research will build important evidence around the effectiveness of Flash.

Scientists will be working to find ways to prevent the complications of diabetes, and Dr Amritpal Mudher at the University of Southampton wants to understand more about the link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Mudher hopes to shed light on how Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, to help scientists develop therapies to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s in people with Type 2.

Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research, said 

"Our research funding has been behind some of the greatest transformations in diabetes care over the past 80 years. But pioneering diabetes research cannot take place without dedicated expert scientists leading the way."

"That’s why we’re especially pleased to be able to fund five new fellowships to support the research leaders of the future, including so many female rising stars. We hope that this continued investment in both people and projects will help bring about real improvements for people with diabetes, all thanks to the generosity of our supporters."

We are the UK’s largest charitable funder of diabetes research alone. Our 80-year legacy in research has led to some of the biggest breakthroughs in diabetes care and treatment. And year-on-year we continue to invest in diabetes research led by exceptional researchers so we can find more ways to tackle complications, prevent Type 2 and, ultimately, find a cure.

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