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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.

9 results found

Follicular helper T cells: are they an indication of Type 1 diabetes?

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Towards a cure
Partnership
Project Summary

Professor Lucy Walker and her colleagues have found that a specific type of immune cell – called the follicular helper T cell – can trigger Type 1 diabetes in mice, and is more common in people with Type 1 diabetes.

The team now aims to understand exactly how follicular helper T cells cause Type 1 diabetes, and they will test new strategies to stop this from happening. They will test whether follicular helper T cells can be used as an early indication of the autoimmune response in Type 1 diabetes.

The impact of islet transplantation

Project:
England - Newcastle
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
Project Summary

Professor James Shaw and his team will examine the effectiveness of islet transplants at different UK transplant centres, and the impact they can have on the wellbeing people living with Type 1 diabetes who have hypo unawareness. The team hope to gain a better understanding of which methods lead to the most successful transplants, and who could benefit the greatest in the long-term.

Blocking immune cells that attack the pancreas in Type 1

Project:
Wales - Cardiff
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
Towards a cure
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, immune cells called ‘B cells’ move into the pancreas and are involved in the destruction of insulin-producing cells. Professor Susan Wong wants to work out why they do this. Her team will study a protein found on B cells and look for differences between people with and without Type 1 diabetes. This could help us develop treatments that stop the immune attack and prevent this condition.

Helping the immune system tackle Type 1 diabetes

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

Expert insight into Type 1 vaccine trials

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Partnership
Towards a cure
Project Summary

Dr Tim Tree and researchers across the UK will set up a network of specialist labs to examine samples from all UK-based trials of immune therapies for Type 1 diabetes.

They will carry out state-of-the-art studies of their safety and effectiveness to accelerate research into new treatments.

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.

Small molecules to stop the immune attack

Project:
Midlands - Birmingham
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, immune cells called T cells attack and destroy insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. T cells recognise five specific molecules on beta cells, and Dr Parth Narendran wants to identify the exact regions of the molecules involved. This could help scientists to develop more accurate diagnosis tools, and find ways to prevent Type 1 or stop it progressing. 

New NHS teams for Type 1 vaccine trials

Project:
Wales - Cardiff
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Towards a cure
Partnership
Project Summary

Professor Colin Dayan and his team will work to set up, train and maintain a network of 15 Type 1 vaccine research teams across the UK, who will help recruit for and run clinical trials of the new therapies. They will also help train the doctors and researchers who will lead trials of new immune therapies in the future.

A new approach to islet transplants

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Towards a cure
Project Summary

Professor James Shaw will work with researchers from Israel to pioneer a new approach that involves transplanting insulin-producing islets with cells that improve blood vessel growth and oxygen supply. Ultimately, this technique could improve the effectiveness of islet transplants and help to free people with Type 1 diabetes from insulin with a single transplant.

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