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Our research projects

With more lives to change than ever, we can't stop now.

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.

Your support means we can keep tackling the complications of diabetes and bring us one step closer to a cure.

We fund world class research

Our research studies are reviewed by experts and approved by the Diabetes UK 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 necessary to succeed.

Find a research project

You can use the box below to search for projects by the type of research involved or the region or research centre where they are taking place.

We invite you to read about the studies that interest you and to consider supporting them through our Adopt a Project scheme. Each project page includes details on whether a project is available to adopt and how long it has left to run. A showcase of all our research projects is also available to download.

11 results found

Why does insulin resistance occur in Type 2 diabetes?

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

Insulin resistance is a key feature of Type 2 diabetes. It affects the ability of the body’s cells to take in glucose and causes high blood glucose levels.

Professor Bryant will explore whether proteins involved in this process don’t work properly in people with Type 2 diabetes. This research could improve our understanding of what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to treat it.

Sleep disturbances and Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Manchester
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

Dr Martin Rutter plans to work out if sleep problems can help to predict who’s at risk of Type 2 diabetes. He’ll also look at whether sleep patterns in people with Type 2 diabetes can affect their blood glucose control and risk of complications. This research could help to prevent some people developing Type 2 diabetes and improve the health of people living with the condition.

Not all fat’s the same: protecting against Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

Dr Roberts is focusing on fat cells, with different types responsible for storing and burning fat. He hopes to find specific signals from ‘good’ beige fat cells, to see if they can improve fat metabolism and protect the body from Type 2 diabetes.

If successful, this research could inform the development of new protective Type 2 diabetes treatments.

Stopping thymic B cells in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

The thymus helps to destroy ‘bad’ immune cells that attack the body, but this doesn’t happen in people with Type 1 diabetes. Dr Allison Green will find out why and how the thymus stops working properly in people with Type 1 diabetes, which could lead to treatments to prevent the condition.

The DiRECT route to Type 2 remission?

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

ReTUNEing Type 2 diabetes remission

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Newcastle
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

Obesity is a key risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with this condition is overweight.

Professor Taylor will study whether weight loss in people with Type 2 diabetes who aren’t obese can put their condition into remission. If the researchers confirm this, it could change the advice given to people with Type 2 of a normal weight and help them live well for longer.  

Understanding how glucose enters a cell

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Project Summary

In people with Type 2 diabetes, fat and muscle cells can’t absorb glucose from the blood as well as they usually can. This is called insulin resistance and can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood. A molecule called GLUT4 helps glucose to leave the blood and enter fat and muscle cells, but we don’t know exactly how it works. Understanding this could help to develop new drugs to prevent insulin resistance in people with or at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Improving support for people with mental illness & diabetes

Project:
Northern and Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Project Summary

Living with diabetes can have a real psychological impact on people, but very little is known about how much it affects people that are already living with a mental illness.

This study will help us to understand the true impact of diabetes on people that have a mental illness, and identify better ways to support these individuals in the future.

Combining exercise with medication to prevent Type 2

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Liverpool
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Project Summary

Being overweight or obese can lead to a high risk of Type 2 diabetes. Professor Wagenmakers wants to develop a lifestyle intervention for people at high risk of Type 2, combining regular exercise with a blood fat-lowering prescription drug. He hopes this will be a successful strategy for preventing or delaying Type 2 diabetes in people at high risk.

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