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.

18 results found

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Region
Subject

GLUT Instinct: How do fat cells control blood sugar levels?

Project:
South West
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
Tags:
Type 2
Causes
South West
England
Project Summary

Muscle and fat cells absorb sugar from the blood, using an important protein called GLUT4. But we don’t completely understand how GLUT4 is controlled. Dr Koumanov believes it could be a newly discovered protein called retriever, so she wants to study fat cells to find out for certain. If successful, these findings could help scientists to develop new ways to prevent or treat Type 2 diabetes

Investigating a potential cause of Type 1 diabetes

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Type 1
England
South West
Project Summary

It’s believed that one of the factors involved in the development of Type 1 diabetes could be a specific type of virus that infects pancreatic beta cells, causing the immune system to attack them. The aim of this project is to investigate key proteins that may be involved in the potential viral infection of beta cells.

The results will improve our understanding of the causes of Type 1 diabetes, ultimately informing future research into the prevention and treatment of the condition. 

Down to details of Type 1 immune attack

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England
South West
Type 1
Causes
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks several different proteins in the pancreas. One of them is called ZnT8. It seems that people develop Type 1 diabetes at a slower rate if their immune system attacks ZnT8. Dr Gillespie would like to understand the biology behind this attack.

This project will help us understand Type 1 diabetes in more detail and may help researchers develop new therapies to stop the immune attack.

Using genetics to predict Type 1 diabetes

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
South West
Type 1
Causes
England
Project Summary

There is a time window of several years between the start of the Type 1 diabetes immune attack and the appearance of symptoms.

Dr Richard Oram has developed a ‘risk calculator’ that uses information from genes linked to Type 1 diabetes to potentially find those at risk of the condition. Now, they want to test the calculator using data from several large studies.

This could help to find people at high risk of Type 1 diabetes in the future, and provide vital knowledge to help create treatments to stop it.

Protecting the blood vessels in diabetes

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
England - South West
South West
Complications
Project Summary

Blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells, which have a protective coating. This coating can become damaged in diabetes, leading to the development of complications like stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Dr Satchell will study the coating in more detail to see if it can be used as a treatment to protect blood vessels in people with diabetes.

Developing a Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
South West
England
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Michael Weedon and his colleagues are aiming to develop a simple genetic test that could predict the type of diabetes and the treatment required in young adults. They will combine this test with current methods for diagnosing diabetes, in order to produce a way to better classify diabetes. This could ensure that the correct treatment can be given very soon after people are recognised as having diabetes.

Improving diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in later life

Project:
South West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
South West
Healthcare
England
Type 1
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

In people over the age of 50, diagnosing the type of diabetes can be more difficult. Dr Jones aims to find features and tests that are best able to help diagnose Type 1 diabetes in later life. This could reduce the number of people who are misdiagnosed and ensure people with diabetes avoid receiving inappropriate advice and treatment.

Can statins help prevent hypos?

Project:
South West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
Hypos
Type 2
England - South West
South West
Project Summary

A drug used to treat high cholesterol levels can also trigger changes in the body that cause blood sugar levels to rise. Dr Craig Beall wants to find out if the drug could therefore be used to prevent hypos. He will test the drug in rats to see if it can boost their defences against hypos. This could give us a new way to help people with diabetes avoid this debilitating complication and improve their quality of life.

Testing drugs to defend against hypos

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
Hypos
South West
England
Project Summary

Some people with Type 1 diabetes can lose the ability to spot the warning signs of low blood sugar levels, called hypos. Dr Craig Beall wants to find new ways to help people with diabetes avoid hypos and bring back their hypo awareness. To do this, his PhD student will study a drug that works on a molecule involved in sensing energy levels, called AMPK, which might be able to boost the body’s defences against hypos.

Fighting toxic fatty acids in Type 2

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
South West
England
Type 2
Project Summary

Increased levels of fatty acid molecules in people with Type 2 diabetes are thought to contribute to the death and malfunction of insulin-producing beta cells. This research will clarify the role of different fatty acids when broken down in human beta cells and could identify potential new therapies to reduce fatty acid toxicity.

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