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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.

114 results found

Filters
Research Area
Region
Subject

Reducing calories in gestational diabetes

Project:
Eastern - Cambridge
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Pregnancy
Other
England - Eastern
Eastern
Project Summary

Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women and can cause complications throughout pregnancy and birth. It’s linked to mothers being overweight or obese, and can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life for both the mother and child.

Dr Claire Meek believes that reducing calories during pregnancy could improve the management of gestational diabetes, delivery of the baby and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the future. 

Gut hormones to improve fertility in Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern Ireland - Ulster
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Pregnancy
Northern Ireland
Type 2
Project Summary

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes can reduce fertility in women. Some women can regain their ability to have children after having gastric bypass surgery, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Dr Moffett wants to understand how infertility develops in people with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and how it could be reversed.

Why do blood vessels in the kidneys narrow?

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Scotland
Complications
Project Summary

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, but we don’t fully understand how it develops. Professor Matthew Bailey wants to study a specific molecule, called P2X7R, to see if it’s responsible for the narrowing of the small blood vessels at the early stages of kidney disease. This research would help us to better understand how kidney disease develops, so we can find new ways to treat it.

Understanding how glucose enters a cell

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Type 2
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Northern & Yorkshire
Project Summary

In people with Type 2 diabetes, fat and muscle cells can’t absorb glucose from the blood as well as they usually can. This is called insulin resistance and can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood. A molecule called GLUT4 helps glucose to leave the blood and enter fat and muscle cells, but we don’t know exactly how it works. Understanding this could help to develop new drugs to prevent insulin resistance in people with or at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Banking on retinopathy research

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
England - London
Complications
Type 1 and Type 2
London
Project Summary

Professor Marcus Fruttiger and his team will collect and study eyes donated by people with diabetic retinopathy after their death. This will help to improve our understanding of what leads to retinopathy and lay the foundation for a retinopathy tissue bank that will, in the long run, become a valuable resource for research in this area.

Making immunotherapy research bigger, smarter and faster

Project:
Cardiff - Wales
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
Partnership
Type 1
Wales
Project Summary

Immunotherapies work by retraining the immune system, and scientists hope they could stop or prevent the immune attack behind Type 1 diabetes. They’re testing different immunotherapies right now, but we need to speed up progress. Professor Colin Dayan will expand a network of immunotherapy research teams and improve the clinical trials process to help make these treatments available for people with Type 1 as soon as possible.

Fatty livers and gestational diabetes

Project:
Midlands
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - Midlands
Midlands
Pregnancy
Project Summary

Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in later life, as can high levels of fat in the liver. Dr Hanna is testing a screening programme, to see if women with gestational diabetes and high levels of fat in the liver are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes overall. If so, this group of women could be supported to reduce their risk. 

Investigating the ins and outs of insulin

Project:
Scotland
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Scotland
Type 2
Project Summary

Insulin helps fat and muscle cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream, so they can use it for fuel. Professor Gwyn Gould wants to understand, on a molecular level, exactly how this process works and how it goes wrong in people with Type 2 diabetes. This knowledge will help lead the way to new future treatments that prevent this from happening.

Encapsulating Type 2 diabetes drugs

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Northern Ireland
Healthcare
Project Summary

Some people who take a common type of type 2 diabetes medication, called exendin-4, can experience unpleasant side effects. Dr Bianca Plouffe wants to find a way of avoiding this by placing the drug in a protective barrier, which means it will only start working once inside insulin-producing beta cells. This could mean that a much lower dose of the drug would be needed to get the same benefit, reducing the risk of side effects.

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