Dr Helen Murphy, of Cambridge University, is to be presented with the prestigious 2011 Joseph Hoet Research Award for her Diabetes UK-funded research into the artificial pancreas. The award, from the Diabetes Pregnancy Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), will be presented at Queens College on 24 September 2011.
Research into artifical pancreas
Dr Murphy evaluated the performance of an artificial pancreas (closed-loop insulin delivery system) in ten pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes last year. A prototype device (which will eventually work as pictured below) was able to automatically provide the right amount of insulin at the right time, maintain near-normal blood glucose levels and, in turn, prevent nocturnal hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) in both early and late pregnancy. It is hoped the device could soon become widely available and, by improving glucose control, lower the risk of serious complications among pregnant women with diabetes.
"I am thrilled to have been presented with this award, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of the Cambridge Artificial Pancreas team," said Dr Murphy.
"I am also extremely indebted to Diabetes UK and its donors, without whom this research would not have been possible," she added.
Dr Victoria King, Head of Research at Diabetes UK, said, "This exciting area of research, championed by Dr Murphy and others, has huge potential to make it easier for people to manage what is a complex and difficult condition, and, in turn, minimise the risk of devastating complications of diabetes such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure and heart disease.
"The device is a fantastic example of how research into technology can be adapted and developed to benefit people with diabetes. We now look forward to the results of the extension to this and other similar Diabetes UK-funded studies."