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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.

14 results found

Developing a Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score

Project:
South West - Exeter
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
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.

Earlier detection of diabetic retinopathy using non-invasive imaging

Project:
Northern Ireland - Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
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. 

Taking account of ACC1 in beta cells

Project:
South East - Oxford
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Cantley will use state-of-the-art techniques in molecular and cell biology to study the mechanisms by which ACC1, a critically important enzyme, influences the size and number of beta cells. His work will improve knowledge of beta cells and how they might be targeted with new therapies.

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.

Benefits of exercise for Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Midlands - Nottingham
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Healthcare
Project Summary

Exercise is known to provide health benefits for people living with Type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of developing Type 2. But we don’t yet understand why.

Dr Daniel Wilkinson hopes to understand what’s going on inside the body during exercise and why it has positive effects on our health. In the long term, this could help to develop new drugs which also provide these benefits for people with 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.

Maintaining islet cell function

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
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. 
 

Fighting toxic fatty acids in Type 2

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

Increased levels of fatty acid molecules in people with Type 2 diabetes are thought to contribute to the death and malfunction of insulin-producing beta cells. This research will clarify the role of different fatty acids when broken down in human beta cells and could identify potential new therapies to reduce fatty acid toxicity.

Turning stem cells into beta cells

Project:
London
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Towards a cure
Project Summary

In diabetes, insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed or stop working properly. New beta cells can be made in a lab, and Dr Hill wants to find ways to improve this process. This could help scientists to improve the effectiveness of islet cell transplants to treat Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Does resistant starch improve blood glucose control?

Project:
South East - Surrey
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Innovation
Project Summary

Dr Denise Robertson wants to look at the effect of foods that have high levels of resistant starch on blood glucose control in people with Type 2 diabetes. This could help people with Type 2 diabetes to manage their condition, using diet, and could provide important evidence for future nutritional guidelines. 

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