As the largest charitable funder dedicated to diabetes research in the UK, Diabetes UK is putting the spotlight on the organisation’s inspirational female researchers thisInternational Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February.
Cardiff University’s Professor Susan Wong is currently funded by Diabetes UK to develop a therapy that can encourage the immune system to destroy rogue immune cells that attack the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes, in order to protect against the condition.
Professor Wong said: “Diabetes UK has been behind my research for many years, and I’m very grateful to the charity and their supporters for helping us work towards better ways to treat Type 1 diabetes. The immune system does the very important job of protecting us from infection, but attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes. I hope that by studying the immune system, we’ll find ways to prevent or stop this attack that leads to Type 1 diabetes in the future.”
Diabetes UK is dedicated to supporting the leaders of diabetes research. Currently 54 women scientists funded by the charity are working to change the lives of people with diabetes. Ground-breaking research funded by the charity for longer than 80 years has been instrumental in improving diabetes care and moving us closer to a cure.
Diabetes is a huge and growing problem, which costs the NHS Wales around £500 million 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.
In Wales there are more than 188,000 people who have diabetes, while a further 70,000 people are estimated to have Type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.
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.”