Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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

Filters
Research Area
Region
Subject

Breaking down blood clots to tackle complications

Project:
Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Northern & Yorkshire
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Project Summary

Blood clots are a key cause of heart attacks and strokes and are often more difficult to break down in people with diabetes. Dr Ramzi Ajjan will use state-of-the-art techniques to identify small proteins that could help to break clots down, and then test out their effects. This research could lead to new treatments that protect people with diabetes from life-threatening complications.

Unravelling DNA structures and diabetes risk

Project:
South East
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - Eastern
Eastern
Type 1 and Type 2
Causes
Project Summary

Our genes can put us at greater risk of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Dr Zoe Waller has found molecules in a specific region of our DNA that control whether genes involved in producing insulin are switched on or off. She now wants to understand how and why they do this. This could improve our understanding of the genetics behind diabetes and lead to new treatments to treat the conditions.

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.

How does the heart’s energy change in Type 2 diabetes?

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

Having Type 2 diabetes changes the way the heart generates the energy it needs to pump blood. Professor Sven Plein wants to know more about these changes, specifically in people who have narrow arteries – a common complication of Type 2 diabetes. Understanding the interaction between Type 2 diabetes and narrow arteries will help with the discovery of new, tailored treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes in the future.

Investigating the ins and outs of insulin

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

Insulin helps fat and muscle cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream, so they can use it for fuel. Professor Gwyn Gould wants to understand, on a molecular level, exactly how this process works and how it goes wrong in people with Type 2 diabetes. This knowledge will help lead the way to new future treatments that prevent this from happening.

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.

Earlier detection of diabetic retinopathy using non-invasive imaging

Project:
Northern Ireland - Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Type 1 and Type 2
Northern Ireland
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Ruth Hogg and her team will develop new software to assess high resolution images of the blood vessels in the retina, produced using a new non-invasive imaging method called OCT-A.

The study will increase our understanding of the earlier stages of diabetic retinopathy and how blood vessels in the retina change, allowing for earlier diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. 

Keeping mitochondria healthy to prevent Type 2

Project:
Scotland - Dundee
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Type 2
Scotland
Prevention
Project Summary

High levels of fat can cause mitochondria (important structures inside our cells that burn fuel) to become stressed and break down. This is linked to inflammation and insulin resistance: two important features of Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Hundal wants to know if, and how, unsaturated fats or metformin might protect the mitochondria and keep insulin resistance at bay. In the future, this could help to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing.

Brand Icons/Telephone check - FontAwesome icons/tick icons/uk