Our research projects

We fund world-class diabetes research

At any one time, we have around 120 diabetes research projects making discoveries across the UK. Each of these research projects is only possible thanks to the generous support of our members, donors and local groups

Every research project is reviewed by experts and approved by our research committee and our panel of people living with diabetes. So you're supporting diabetes 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.

135 results found

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Subject

Exploring blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes

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

Professor Colhoun hopes to understand how blood glucose (sugar) levels in type 1 diabetes changes over time in different groups of people. These insights could help us find ways to help people with type 1 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. 

Untangling the link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

Project:
South East - Southampton
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - South East
South East
Complications
Type 2
Project Summary

People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but we don’t know why. Dr Mudher believes that type 2 diabetes could have a negative effect on a protein in the brain, called ‘Tau’. She wants to find out more about this interaction to see if it can be stopped, to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

Helping people with eye problems through the coronavirus pandemic

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Healthcare
Partnership
England - London
Project Summary

Some people with diabetes can develop problems with their eyes, called diabetic macular oedema (DMO). If not treated it can lead to sight loss. Due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, people with diabetes have been forced to miss their usual DMO treatments. Mr Rajendram will study people with diabetes who had their treatments delayed and will track the impact on their eye health and vision. This could help to shape the care given to people with diabetes and DMO during the pandemic, and potentially prevent devastating sight loss.

Do our genes influence when we develop type 1 diabetes?

Project:
South West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
South West
Prevention
Project Summary

Some people develop type 1 diabetes very quickly, but in others, the immune attack that causes type 1 diabetes progresses slowly. Professor Kathleen Gillespie and her PhD student will look for genetic differences between these groups of people to find out why this is. In the future, this could lead to life-changing treatments to delay or prevent type 1 diabetes.

Baby on board: how do high blood sugar levels affect the placenta?

Project:
North West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Northern & Yorkshire
Pregnancy
Project Summary

Women with diabetes are more likely to have larger babies, which increases the risk of complications for both mother and baby during birth, as well as health problems for the child later in life. Professor Melissa Westwood wants to examine how high blood sugar levels at the very beginning of pregnancy have an impact on the growth of the baby, and any long-term health effects. In the future, this could lead to new treatments to protect mothers with diabetes and their babies.

If the boot fits: Testing the guidelines for good fitting footwear

Project:
Midlands
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Midlands
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Project Summary

Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of all types of diabetes. Ill-fitting footwear rubbing against the foot can increase the risk of a foot ulcer developing. Dr Petra Jones wants to test the existing guidelines for good fitting footwear for people living with diabetes, to ensure that the best advice is being given to protect their foot health.

A NewDAWN for type 2 diabetes remission services

Project:
South East
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
England - South East
South East
Remission
Partnership
Project Summary

Weight loss can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes but losing weight can be difficult. Professor Jebb aims to create a new NHS support service for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and living with overweight or obesity, so they can try out different weight loss programmes and find the one that’s right for them. This could make all the difference in giving more people the chance to go into remission.

One key, many locks – understanding why insulin doesn’t always bring down blood sugar

Project:
York
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Type 1 and Type 2
Innovation
Healthcare
Project Summary

Sometimes insulin can cause cells to multiply rather than bringing down blood sugar levels. This can increase the risk of some cancers in people with diabetes. Prof Nia Bryant wants to better understand how and why insulin can have this effect. With her PhD student, she will pinpoint the specific areas on cells that causes insulin to lower blood sugars and not to tell cells to multiply. In the future, this could help scientists develop new treatments for people with diabetes that aren’t linked with an increased risk of cancer.

Respiratory viruses and diabetes: helping the immune system put up a fight

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
England - London
Healthcare
Project Summary

People with diabetes have a higher risk of getting more severe symptoms from common respiratory viruses, such as the common cold and flu, than people without diabetes. But we don’t yet understand why the immune systems of people with diabetes are less efficient at dealing with respiratory viruses, and why high blood sugars are linked to increased chance of severe symptoms. Dr Dominguez-Villar’s PhD student will work out how type 1 diabetes changes the way in which immune cells detect and fight respiratory infections.  

Seeing type 2 diabetes in 3D

Project:
Manchester
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
England - North West
Prevention
Innovation
Project Summary

We know that a person’s genetic makeup is important in type 2 diabetes but we don’t know exactly how they’re linked. Dr Jennings is going to study genes related to beta cell and pancreas development and the 3D switches that control them. This will give us a better understanding of why type 2 diabetes develops, which could lead to new therapies to prevent and treat it. 

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