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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.

43 results found

The cost-effectiveness of DiRECT’s Type 2 remission

Project:
Scotland - Glasgow
Status:
Project 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. 

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.

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.

Helpful gut bacteria to treat Type 2 diabetes

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Project Summary

The community of bacteria that lives in our gut is different in people with and without Type 2 diabetes. Dr Astrid Hauge-Evans will find out if a diet high in wholegrains could alter this bacteria in people with Type 2 diabetes, and in turn protect insulin-producing cells. This could help us find a new diet-based treatment to improve the health of people living with Type 2 diabetes.

Imaging insulin release in the pancreas

Project:
Midlands
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

RD Lawrence Fellow Professor David Hodson will use advanced imaging techniques to study the way that beta cells of the pancreas work together to produce insulin.

The new insight this provides could potentially lead to new ways of increasing beta cell function in Type 2 diabetes.

Targeted treatment for Type 2 risk

Project:
London
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
Tags:
Prevention
Project Summary

Dr Nicola Guess will investigate the benefits of targeted treatment for different groups of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.

She will use the dietary carbohydrate ‘inulin’ to try and improve glucose and insulin levels in people unlikely to benefit from changes to diet and physical activity levels.

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.

Benefits of exercise for Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Midlands - Nottingham
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Project Summary

Exercise is known to provide health benefits for people living with Type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of developing Type 2. But we don’t yet understand why.

Dr Daniel Wilkinson hopes to understand what’s going on inside the body during exercise and why it has positive effects on our health. In the long term, this could help to develop new drugs which also provide these benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes. 

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