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.

9 results found

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Research Area
Region
Subject

Ancient medicine to treat infected foot ulcers

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

Infections in foot ulcers can be hard to treat and don’t always respond to antibiotics. If this happens, they can result in amputations or sepsis.

Dr Freya Harrison wants to find new types of antibiotics that could be used to effectively treat infections in foot ulcers. In the future, this could improve the quality of people with diabetes’ lives and reduce the number of amputations.

Communicating with kidney cells

Project:
East Midlands - Lincoln
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Type 1
Type 2
Type 1 and Type 2
Midlands
Project Summary

Cells in our kidneys usually work together, but having high blood sugar levels for a long time can cause them to misbehave, leading to nephropathy. Professor Paul Squires wants to work out how the conversations between kidney cells change, and whether an existing drug already used to treat retinopathy (eye disease) could be repurposed to help slow or prevent kidney damage in people with diabetes too.

Helping people with foot ulcers to exercise

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

Treating foot ulcers involves resting, but this can mean long periods of inactivity. Dr McCarthy has developed an exercise programme designed for people with foot ulcers who need to sit down. He hopes this will help to improve their blood sugar levels, quality of life and overall fitness. Too little exercise can make diabetes more difficult to manage, so an exercise programme at this time could be crucial. This project will also provide evidence for doctors, to help them support patients to stay active whilst keeping off their feet.

Small molecules to stop the immune attack

Project:
Midlands - Birmingham
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
England - Midlands
Midlands
Type 1
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, immune cells called T cells attack and destroy insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. T cells recognise five specific molecules on beta cells, and Dr Parth Narendran wants to identify the exact regions of the molecules involved. This could help scientists to develop more accurate diagnosis tools, and find ways to prevent Type 1 or stop it progressing. 

Finding new ways to stop diabetes-related kidney damage

Project:
Midlands - Lincoln
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Midlands
England
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

Many people with diabetes experience nephropathy – a condition that is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease. We know that high levels of glucose can damage kidney cells, and Professor Squires hopes to find ways to stop or prevent this damage from happening. These could be developed into treatments for diabetes-related nephropathy in the future.

Can stress hormones protect beta cells?

Project:
Midlands - Birmingham
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Midlands
Type 2
England
Innovation
Project Summary

Professor David Hodson would like to understand how stress hormones, called glucocorticoids, affect insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Understanding how these stress hormones might be linked to Type 2 diabetes might uncover new ways to treat the condition in the future.

Fatty livers and gestational diabetes

Project:
Midlands
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - Midlands
Midlands
Pregnancy
Project Summary

Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in later life, as can high levels of fat in the liver. Dr Hanna is testing a screening programme, to see if women with gestational diabetes and high levels of fat in the liver are at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes overall. If so, this group of women could be supported to reduce their risk. 

Finding new treatments for diabetic foot ulcers

Project:
Birmingham
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
England
Midlands
Type 1 and Type 2
England - Midlands
Project Summary

Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes. Dr Wang will study a new type of dressing that could be used to speed up wound healing and stop infections in foot ulcers. This could lead to better foot ulcer treatments and improve the quality of life for people with diabetes.

How does the kidney cell environment change in diabetes?

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

Recent studies suggest that glucose levels and stress molecules can change cell surroundings, disrupting the kidney cells’ ability to talk to each other. Professor Squires would like to understand how high glucose levels and stress molecules do this in the kidney and why it leads to kidney disease.

This study will help us understand how kidney disease develops and inform the future development of new treatments.

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