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Our research projects

With more lives to change than ever, we can't stop now.

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.

Your support means we can keep tackling the complications of diabetes and bring us one step closer to a cure.

We fund world class research

Our research studies are reviewed by experts and approved by the Diabetes UK 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 necessary to succeed.

Find a research project

You can use the box below to search for projects by the type of research involved or the region or research centre where they are taking place.

We invite you to read about the studies that interest you and to consider supporting them through our Adopt a Project scheme. Each project page includes details on whether a project is available to adopt and how long it has left to run. A showcase of all our research projects is also available to download.

114 results found

Ancient medicine to treat infected foot ulcers

Project:
Midlands - Warwick
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

Infections in foot ulcers can be hard to treat and don’t always respond to antibiotics. If this happens, they can result in amputations or sepsis.

Dr Freya Harrison wants to find new types of antibiotics that could be used to effectively treat infections in foot ulcers. In the future, this could improve the quality of people with diabetes’ lives and reduce the number of amputations.

The cost-effectiveness of DiRECT’s Type 2 remission

Project:
Scotland - Glasgow
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Remission
Project Summary

The DiRECT trial is finding out whether a weight management programme, including a low-calorie diet, can put Type 2 diabetes into remission for the long-term. This project will look at the cost effectiveness of this programme when delivered through GP care.

This will give the NHS important information to help work out if this kind of treatment could be offered to people with Type 2 diabetes in the future. 

Why does insulin resistance occur in Type 2 diabetes?

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

Insulin resistance is a key feature of Type 2 diabetes. It affects the ability of the body’s cells to take in glucose and causes high blood glucose levels.

Professor Bryant will explore whether proteins involved in this process don’t work properly in people with Type 2 diabetes. This research could improve our understanding of what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to treat it.

Exploring blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project is fully funded
Tags:
Project Summary

Professor Colhoun hopes to understand how blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes changes over time in different groups of people. These insights could help us find ways to improve blood glucose levels in people with Type 1 diabetes.

Sleep disturbances and Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Manchester
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

Dr Martin Rutter plans to work out if sleep problems can help to predict who’s at risk of Type 2 diabetes. He’ll also look at whether sleep patterns in people with Type 2 diabetes can affect their blood glucose control and risk of complications. This research could help to prevent some people developing Type 2 diabetes and improve the health of people living with the condition.

Why do blood vessels in the kidneys narrow?

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, but we don’t fully understand how it develops. Dr Robert Menzies 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.

Are SGLT2 inhibitors safe and effective for people with Type 2?

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Project Summary

People with Type 2 diabetes can use drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors to help them manage their blood glucose levels. But unanswered questions remain around how effective and safe they are in real life. Dr Thomas Caparrotta will study large amounts of data from people using these drugs in the real world, to provide important evidence on their effects. This will help doctors and people with Type 2 diabetes to make decisions about the best treatment for them.

Helpful gut bacteria to treat Type 2 diabetes

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Project Summary

The community of bacteria that lives in our gut is different in people with and without Type 2 diabetes. Dr Astrid Hauge-Evans will find out if a diet high in wholegrains could alter this bacteria in people with Type 2 diabetes, and in turn protect insulin-producing cells. This could help us find a new diet-based treatment to improve the health of people living with Type 2 diabetes.

Follow-up of teens with Type 1 from the AdDIT trial

Project:
Eastern - Cambridge
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

Professor David Dunger and his team will continue to follow-up adolescents with Type 1 diabetes who were involved in the AdDIT trial to assess the long-term effects of drugs which lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels on the development of diabetes complications.

The follow-up will also allow them to identify new risk markers for complications and potentially alternative interventions.

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