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.

133 results found

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Research Area
Region
Subject

What’s the link between ageing and Type 2 diabetes?

Project:
South East
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
England - South East
South East
Causes
Partnership
Project Summary

Changes to our insulin-producing beta cells that happen as we get older are linked to Type 2 diabetes, but we don’t yet know how or why. Professor Masashi Narita will study cells in the lab to shed light on this link. In the future, this could lead to the development of new treatments to combat the effects of ageing on beta cells, and help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Lymphatics: a new treatment target for kidney disease in people with diabetes?

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
London
England
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

Dr David Long and his colleagues are investigating the function of kidney lymphatic vessels in diabetic kidney disease. This will help us to understand whether targeting lymphatic vessels could be a novel treatment strategy for diabetic kidney disease. 

Superior screening for gestational diabetes

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

Dr Sara White will develop a new test for effective early identification of women who are at risk of gestational diabetes. The test could be available within three years, help to reduce the number of women who develop gestational diabetes and improve health outcomes for mothers and their children.

Can self-management therapies help with chronic pain?

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
England
London
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

Current treatment options for chronic pain in diabetes (also called painful diabetic neuropathy) are not very effective. A PhD student in Professor McCracken’s lab will investigate whether self-management strategies that focus around psychology could be used to manage pain better.

If successful, it will form a base for developing psychological therapies for people with painful diabetic neuropathy.

Targeting our body’s recycling system to treat Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern and Yorkshire
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Type 2
Northern & Yorkshire
Project Summary

Type 2 diabetes can get progressively worse over time, as insulin-producing cells in the pancreas stop working properly. Dr Catherine Arden believes something goes wrong with a ‘recycling’ process in our insulin-producing cells, known as autophagy. Her PhD students will carry out experiments to unravel how and why this happens. This could hold the key to finding new treatments to stop Type 2 diabetes from progressing in the future.

Keeping type 2 diabetes in remission: DiRECT extension

Project:
Scotland
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Scotland
Towards a cure
Healthcare
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. This project will extend DiRECT for a further five years, to see if this approach can keep type 2 in remission for the long-term. This work could potentially transform the way type 2 diabetes is managed in the future, and could have enormous benefits for people living with the condition.

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.

How is the immune system linked to insulin resistance?

Project:
Scotland - Dundee
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Scotland
Type 2
Causes
Project Summary

A part of the immune system – called the complement system – is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Professor Hari Hundal wants to understand this link in more detail, by studying the role of a protein that controls this system. He wants to know if stopping the protein from working could help the body to use insulin and burn fat. This could lead to new treatments to prevent type 2 diabetes and treat insulin resistance in people with the condition.

GLUT Instinct: How do fat cells control blood sugar levels?

Project:
South West
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
Tags:
Type 2
Causes
South West
England
Project Summary

Muscle and fat cells absorb sugar from the blood, using an important protein called GLUT4. But we don’t completely understand how GLUT4 is controlled. Dr Koumanov believes it could be a newly discovered protein called retriever, so she wants to study fat cells to find out for certain. If successful, these findings could help scientists to develop new ways to prevent or treat Type 2 diabetes

Understanding how beta cells release insulin

Project:
South East
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
South East
England
Healthcare
Project Summary

Beta cells release insulin into the blood stream, but this complex process isn’t well understood. Dr Benoit Hastoy wants to investigate the process in more detail, to try and improve the effectiveness of existing treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes.

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