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

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Subject

Targeted treatment for Type 2 risk

Project:
London
Status:
Project has less than a year to run
Tags:
Type 2
London
England
Prevention
Project Summary

Dr Nicola Guess will investigate the benefits of targeted treatment for different groups of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.

She will use the dietary carbohydrate ‘inulin’ to try and improve glucose and insulin levels in people unlikely to benefit from changes to diet and physical activity levels.

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

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1
London
England
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.

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.

Keeping mitochondria healthy to prevent Type 2

Project:
Scotland - Dundee
Status:
Project 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.

New NHS teams for Type 1 vaccine trials

Project:
Wales - Cardiff
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Type 1
Wales
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.

Expert insight into Type 1 vaccine trials

Project:
England – London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
London
Type 1
England
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.

Healthy fat genes

Project:
Exeter, South West
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
South West
England
Type 2
Prevention
Project Summary

Dr Yaghootkar will study genes to understand what protects some obese people from developing Type 2 diabetes. She would like to understand how certain genes influence the way we store fat and if they can protect people from developing Type 2. Dr Yaghootkar hopes that understanding why certain people are naturally protected from Type 2 may help to develop better treatments and prevention strategies in the future.

Combining exercise with medication to prevent Type 2

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Liverpool
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Prevention
Type 2
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Northern & Yorkshire
Project Summary

Being overweight or obese can lead to a high risk of Type 2 diabetes. Professor Wagenmakers wants to develop a lifestyle intervention for people at high risk of Type 2, combining regular exercise with a blood fat-lowering prescription drug. He hopes this will be a successful strategy for preventing or delaying Type 2 diabetes in people at high risk.

Thinking outside the BOX

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Causes
South West
England
Type 1
Prevention
Project Summary

Dr Kathleen Gillespie will extend the existing Bart’s–Oxford study, the world’s longest running family study of Type 1 diabetes. Her work will provide a unique resource of biological samples, to enable scientists to study the genetic risk factors, environmental influences and their impact on the immune system in Type 1 diabetes.

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