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International Day of Women and Girls in Science highlights work of inspiring female researchers


Diabetes UK is putting the spotlight on the organisation’s inspirational female researchers ahead ofInternational Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February.

This United Nations General Assembly initiative is aimed at both promoting and encouraging the participation of women and girls in education, training, employment and decision-making processes in the sciences.

Currently 54 women scientists funded by the charity are working to change the lives of people with diabetes.

Diabetes is a huge and growing problem in the UK which costs the NHS £10 billion every year. If not managed properly, it can lead to serious consequences for people living with the condition which can include sight loss, limb amputation and kidney failure. 

Professor Helen Murphy, Researcher at the University of East Anglia, demonstrates how Diabetes UK’s research strategy is changing people’s lives.  In 2016, Professor Murphy led a Diabetes UK-funded clinical trial, which showed that pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes could successful use an artificial pancreas to manage their condition throughout their pregnancy and childbirth.

Also funded by Diabetes UK, Professor Melissa Westwood, Researcher at the University of Manchester, is finding out why women with diabetes can experience problems with fertility, in order to find ways to prevent such problems in the future.

Professor Westwood said::“Diabetes UK have been a tremendous support to my research, and I’m hopeful that our work will help to improve the lives of women with diabetes in the future. 

“Difficulty in getting pregnant, and miscarriage during early pregnancy, are problems commonly faced by women with diabetes. We’re trying to understand how sugar affects the womb – once we have this picture, new treatments to improve the chance of these women having a successful pregnancy could be developed.” 

Dr Victoria Salem, Clinical Researcher at Imperial College London, is currently funded by Diabetes UK to find out whether hormones found in our gut could be used as a therapy to put Type 2 diabetes into remission in the future.

Diabetes UK’s Research Communications Manager Dr Emily Burns said:Diabetes UK’s Research Communications Manager Dr Emily Burns said:

“All of our fantastic researchers play a vital role in helping us to know diabetes, and fight diabetes. This International Day of Women and Girls in Science we recognise the achievements of our amazing female researchers, who have had a huge impact on the treatment of diabetes. They will continue to be leaders in the world of diabetes research and care. There are of course many more people doing incredible work and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they do.”

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