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.

7 results found

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Region
Subject

Treating eye complications early

Project:
Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Northern Ireland
Project Summary

Retinopathy is an eye complication of diabetes and can lead to blindness. Current treatments for retinopathy only address the end-stages of the disease, when the eye is already significantly damaged. Professor Curtis and his research team want to test a new drug that could slow or stop retinopathy earlier on in its development.

Preventing damage to the retina in diabetes

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
Type 2
Complications
Healthcare
Northern Ireland
Project Summary

Having diabetes can lead to damaged blood vessels in the retina, caused by high blood sugar levels. This can lead to visual impairment and blindness. Dr Judith Lechner wants to find out if a protective protein can be used to repair and reduce this damage, and potentially be used as a new treatment option in the future.

Encapsulating Type 2 diabetes drugs

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
Tags:
Type 2
Northern Ireland
Healthcare
Project Summary

Some people who take a common type of type 2 diabetes medication, called exendin-4, can experience unpleasant side effects. Dr Bianca Plouffe wants to find a way of avoiding this by placing the drug in a protective barrier, which means it will only start working once inside insulin-producing beta cells. This could mean that a much lower dose of the drug would be needed to get the same benefit, reducing the risk of side effects.

Earlier detection of diabetic retinopathy using non-invasive imaging

Project:
Northern Ireland - Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Type 1 and Type 2
Northern Ireland
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Ruth Hogg and her team will develop new software to assess high resolution images of the blood vessels in the retina, produced using a new non-invasive imaging method called OCT-A.

The study will increase our understanding of the earlier stages of diabetic retinopathy and how blood vessels in the retina change, allowing for earlier diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. 

Gut hormones to improve fertility in Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern Ireland - Ulster
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Pregnancy
Northern Ireland
Type 2
Project Summary

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes can reduce fertility in women. Some women can regain their ability to have children after having gastric bypass surgery, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Dr Moffett wants to understand how infertility develops in people with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and how it could be reversed.

Could spider venom unlock new treatments for type 2?

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Northern Ireland
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Nigel Irwin has discovered that molecules found in spider venom have the potential to help us produce more insulin and lower blood sugar levels. His PhD student will now unpick exactly how these molecules could help the pancreas to work better, and test if they’re safe in mice. This could pave the way for new and improved treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes, which could help to lower their risk of complications.

New therapy to prevent vision loss

Project:
Northern Ireland - Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Northern Ireland
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

A condition called diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is a major cause of vision loss in people with diabetes.

A PhD student in Professor Heping Xu’s lab will work to develop a new, effective and safe therapy to treat it. Their approach is to see whether existing drugs used for treating cancer and inflammation could be used for DMO.

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