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.

115 results found

115 results found

Why is exercise good for people with Type 2 diabetes?

Project:
Birmingham, Midlands
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Healthcare
Innovation
Project Summary

We know that exercise is good for people with Type 2 diabetes, but Dr Barlow would like to understand the relationship between the two better. He’ll look at the direct effects of muscle contraction on insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, to find out exactly why exercise is beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes and how this could be maximised in the future.

The role of dietary fat in insulin resistance

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

Increased levels of a molecule called DAG (found in dietary fat) has been shown to cause insulin resistance in muscle cells, by disrupting important signals. Increased dietary fat also appears to reduce the number of cave-like structures (formed by proteins called caveolins) on the surface of cells.

The aim of this project is to investigate the connection between the cave-like structures, DAG and insulin resistance. This will improve our understanding of how insulin resistance happens in people with Type 2 diabetes, and could inform future strategies for managing and treating the condition.

The DiRECT route to Type 2 remission?

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

Banking on retinopathy research

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Project Summary

Professor Marcus Fruttiger and his team will collect and study eyes donated by people with diabetic retinopathy after their death. This will help to improve our understanding of what leads to retinopathy and lay the foundation for a retinopathy tissue bank that will, in the long run, become a valuable resource for research in this area.

The inner workings of blood vessels

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Innovation
Project Summary

Cells that line the inside of blood vessels can become damaged in people with diabetes. Dr Aranzazu Chamorro Jorganes is zooming in on the careful balance of molecules inside those cells, to find out how diabetes throws the balance off. Understanding more about blood vessel damage on a molecular level could uncover new ways to restore blood vessels back to full health in people with diabetes.

Improving testing for gestational diabetes

Project:
Wales - Swansea
Status:
Project is fully funded
Tags:
Project Summary

Gestational diabetes is linked to a higher risk of complications during birth, as well as a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes for both the mother and baby later on in life. Professor Thornton hopes to develop a quicker, cheaper and more informative test for diagnosing gestational diabetes. In the future, this could reduce the time and cost of diagnosis, as well as help to personalise future treatments for women with gestational diabetes.

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.

Discovering new drugs for diabetic kidney disease

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Complications
Project Summary

Kidney disease is a complication of diabetes, which begins with damage to the filtration barrier of the kidney. At the moment, there are very few drugs which directly prevent this initial damage. Dr Long plans to screen over 1,200 potential new drugs for diabetic kidney disease, testing them in zebrafish. This could inform the development of new kidney disease treatments in the future.

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