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

19 results found

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.

The cost-effectiveness of DiRECT’s Type 2 remission

Project:
Scotland - Glasgow
Status:
Project not 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. 

Exploring blood glucose control in Type 1 diabetes

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

Combining drugs to treat difficult to manage Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Scotland - Aberdeen
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
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.

Keeping mitochondria healthy to prevent Type 2

Project:
Scotland - Dundee
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
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 role of dietary fat in insulin resistance

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

Increased levels of a molecule called DAG (found in dietary fat) has been shown to cause insulin resistance in muscle cells, by disrupting important signals. Increased dietary fat also appears to reduce the number of cave-like structures (formed by proteins called caveolins) on the surface of cells.

The aim of this project is to investigate the connection between the cave-like structures, DAG and insulin resistance. This will improve our understanding of how insulin resistance happens in people with Type 2 diabetes, and could inform future strategies for managing and treating the condition.

The DiRECT route to Type 2 remission?

Project:
Scotland (Glasgow), and Northern and Yorkshire (Newcastle)
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
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.

Harnessing genetic information to understand Type 1 diabetes and its complications

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

Professor Helen Colhoun and her team will look for specific genes involved in Type 1 diabetes and its complications, to provide insight into the complex pathways involved. This will help to develop new therapies for Type 1 diabetes that aim to target those pathways. 

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