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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.

118 results found

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Research Area
Region
Subject

Using artificial intelligence to predict foot pain

Project:
South East - Oxford
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
South East
Type 1
Type 2
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Project Summary

People with diabetes can develop problems with their feet, called neuropathy. Some people experience chronic pain alongside this, but we don’t yet know why. Professor David Bennet will use machine learning to identify risk factors for painful neuropathy and develop a ‘calculator’ that could help to spot people at risk. This research could help to develop new treatments and allow doctors to better support those at greatest risk.

Encapsulating Type 2 diabetes drugs

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project not available for adoption
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.

Saying NO to blood vessel complications

Project:
Northern and Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
Northern & Yorkshire
Complications
Project Summary

Nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally occurring chemical inside the body that protects our blood vessels. In type 2 diabetes, levels of NO are lower than normal. Dr Katie Simmons wants to work out why and how we can restore it, to keep blood vessels in people with type 2 diabetes healthy. With more research, this could lead to the development of a new treatment to prevent blood vessel complications like heart attacks and strokes.

The DiRECT route to Type 2 remission?

Project:
Scotland (Glasgow), and Northern and Yorkshire (Newcastle)
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Scotland
Type 2
Northern & Yorkshire
England
Remission
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.

Developing a Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
South West
England
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Michael Weedon and his colleagues are aiming to develop a simple genetic test that could predict the type of diabetes and the treatment required in young adults. They will combine this test with current methods for diagnosing diabetes, in order to produce a way to better classify diabetes. This could ensure that the correct treatment can be given very soon after people are recognised as having diabetes.

Improving diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in later life

Project:
South West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
South West
Healthcare
England
Type 1
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

In people over the age of 50, diagnosing the type of diabetes can be more difficult. Dr Jones aims to find features and tests that are best able to help diagnose Type 1 diabetes in later life. This could reduce the number of people who are misdiagnosed and ensure people with diabetes avoid receiving inappropriate advice and treatment.

Can chilli treat chronic foot pain?

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

Chronic pain in the feet, caused by nerve damage, is a debilitating complication of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Professor Anand will test if a new treatment (called the capsaicin 8 percent patch) can reduce pain and potentially reverse nerve damage. If successful, this treatment could help to reduce the effects of chronic pain and improve quality of life in people with diabetes.

Speeding up wound healing in diabetic foot ulcers

Project:
Scotland - Aberdeen
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Type 1 and Type 2
Scotland
Project Summary

Scientists know that levels of a particular protein (called PTP1B) found in immune cells are higher in diabetic foot ulcers. Professor Delibegovic will find out if reducing the activity of PTP1B can speed up the healing process in foot ulcers.

This research could lead to the development of new treatments and reduce the risk of lower-limb amputations.

Maintaining islet cell function

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
England - London
England
Type 1 and Type 2
Innovation
Project Summary

In diabetes, insulin-producing beta cells are either destroyed or stop working properly. Professor Persaud will investigate the role of a protein found on beta cells in improving the effectiveness of islet transplants and increasing beta cell numbers. This could lead to new and improved treatments for both Type 1 and 2 diabetes. 
 

Reducing calories in gestational diabetes

Project:
Eastern - Cambridge
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Pregnancy
Other
England - Eastern
Eastern
Project Summary

Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women and can cause complications throughout pregnancy and birth. It’s linked to mothers being overweight or obese, and can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life for both the mother and child.

Dr Claire Meek believes that reducing calories during pregnancy could improve the management of gestational diabetes, delivery of the baby and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes in the future. 

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