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.

130 results found

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Region
Subject

Protecting the blood vessels in diabetes

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
England - South West
South West
Complications
Project Summary

Blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells, which have a protective coating. This coating can become damaged in diabetes, leading to the development of complications like stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Dr Satchell will study the coating in more detail to see if it can be used as a treatment to protect blood vessels in people with diabetes.

Stopping thymic B cells in Type 1 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - York
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
Causes
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Northern & Yorkshire
Project Summary

The thymus helps to destroy ‘bad’ immune cells that attack the body, but this doesn’t happen in people with Type 1 diabetes. Dr Allison Green will find out why and how the thymus stops working properly in people with Type 1 diabetes, which could lead to treatments to prevent the condition.

Helping the immune system tackle Type 1 diabetes

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
England - London
London
Towards a cure
Prevention
Project Summary

Immune cells called Tregs police the immune system and stop it from attacking healthy cells. But in Type 1 diabetes, this goes wrong. Professor Federica Marelli-Berg has found a drug that helps Tregs work better. She’ll test this drug to see if it can prevent or slow the progression of Type 1 diabetes. In the future, this could lead to life-changing new treatments for people with or at risk of the condition.

The inner workings of blood vessels

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

Unlocking new treatments for diabetic eye disease

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
Type 1 and Type 2
England - London
London
Project Summary

Professor Stephen Moss has found a protein involved in retinopathy. He now wants to understand precisely how it causes damage to blood vessels in the eye and test whether blocking its activity could help to prevent retinopathy in mice. This research could help us to understand how people with diabetes develop eye damage and find new, better treatments to stop it.

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.

Encapsulating Type 2 diabetes drugs

Project:
Northern Ireland
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
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.

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.

Saying NO to blood vessel complications

Project:
Northern and Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
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.

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.

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