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.

19 results found

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Research Area
Region
Subject

Exploring blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project is fully funded
Tags:
Healthcare
Type 1
Scotland
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.

Why do blood vessels in the kidneys narrow?

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project 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.

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

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Type 2
Scotland
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.

Combining drugs to treat difficult to manage Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Scotland - Aberdeen
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Scotland
Innovation
Healthcare
Rare types of diabetes
Project Summary

Lipodystrophy is a condition that causes fat to be stored differently in the liver, muscle and pancreas. This can lead to a form of Type 2 diabetes that is difficult to manage with diet. Dr Justin Rochford and his team want to investigate if medications that are used to treat the two conditions separately could be combined to manage this difficult form of Type 2 diabetes more easily.

How is the immune system linked to insulin resistance?

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

A part of the immune system – called the complement system – is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Professor Hari Hundal wants to understand this link in more detail, by studying the role of a protein that controls this system. He wants to know if stopping the protein from working could help the body to use insulin and burn fat. This could lead to new treatments to prevent type 2 diabetes and treat insulin resistance in people with the condition.

Keeping type 2 diabetes in remission: DiRECT extension

Project:
Scotland
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Scotland
Towards a cure
Healthcare
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. This project will extend DiRECT for a further five years, to see if this approach can keep type 2 in remission for the long-term. This work could potentially transform the way type 2 diabetes is managed in the future, and could have enormous benefits for people living with the condition.

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.

Keeping mitochondria healthy to prevent Type 2

Project:
Scotland - Dundee
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Type 2
Scotland
Prevention
Project Summary

High levels of fat can cause mitochondria (important structures inside our cells that burn fuel) to become stressed and break down. This is linked to inflammation and insulin resistance: two important features of Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Hundal wants to know if, and how, unsaturated fats or metformin might protect the mitochondria and keep insulin resistance at bay. In the future, this could help to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing.

The DiRECT route to Type 2 remission?

Project:
Scotland (Glasgow), and Northern and Yorkshire (Newcastle)
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Scotland
Type 2
Northern & Yorkshire
England
Remission
Project Summary

With support from our largest ever research grant, Professors Mike Lean and Roy Taylor will investigate if a low-calorie diet, alongside weight management support, can put Type 2 diabetes into remission for the long-term. 

Their vital work will find out if a low-calorie, diet-based treatment should be offered as a routine treatment for Type 2 diabetes. In the future, this could help to reduce the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes.

Get all the latest news on how the low-calorie diet research is going so far.

Speeding up wound healing in diabetic foot ulcers

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

Scientists know that levels of a particular protein (called PTP1B) found in immune cells are higher in diabetic foot ulcers. Professor Delibegovic will find out if reducing the activity of PTP1B can speed up the healing process in foot ulcers.

This research could lead to the development of new treatments and reduce the risk of lower-limb amputations.

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