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.

56 results found

Filters
Research Area
Region
Subject

Ancient medicine to treat infected foot ulcers

Project:
Midlands - Warwick
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Midlands
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Project Summary

Infections in foot ulcers can be hard to treat and don’t always respond to antibiotics. If this happens, they can result in amputations or sepsis.

Dr Freya Harrison wants to find new types of antibiotics that could be used to effectively treat infections in foot ulcers. In the future, this could improve the quality of people with diabetes’ lives and reduce the number of amputations.

Why does insulin resistance occur in Type 2 diabetes?

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England
Northern & Yorkshire
Type 2
Causes
Project Summary

Insulin resistance is a key feature of Type 2 diabetes. It affects the ability of the body’s cells to take in glucose and causes high blood glucose levels.

Professor Bryant will explore whether proteins involved in this process don’t work properly in people with Type 2 diabetes. This research could improve our understanding of what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to treat it.

Sleep disturbances and Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Manchester
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Type 2
England - Northern & Yorkshire
Northern & Yorkshire
Causes
Project Summary

Dr Martin Rutter plans to work out if sleep problems can help to predict who’s at risk of Type 2 diabetes. He’ll also look at whether sleep patterns in people with Type 2 diabetes can affect their blood glucose control and risk of complications. This research could help to prevent some people developing Type 2 diabetes and improve the health of people living with the condition.

Why do blood vessels in the kidneys narrow?

Project:
Scotland - Edinburgh
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Scotland
Complications
Project Summary

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, but we don’t fully understand how it develops. Professor Matthew Bailey wants to study a specific molecule, called P2X7R, to see if it’s responsible for the narrowing of the small blood vessels at the early stages of kidney disease. This research would help us to better understand how kidney disease develops, so we can find new ways to treat it.

Treating eye complications early

Project:
Belfast
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Type 1 and Type 2
Complications
Northern Ireland
Project Summary

Retinopathy is an eye complication of diabetes and can lead to blindness. Current treatments for retinopathy only address the end-stages of the disease, when the eye is already significantly damaged. Professor Curtis and his research team want to test a new drug that could slow or stop retinopathy earlier on in its development.

Untangling the link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

Project:
South East - Southampton
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England - South East
South East
Complications
Type 2
Project Summary

People with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but we don’t know why. Dr Mudher believes that Type 2 diabetes could have a negative effect on a protein in the brain, called ‘Tau’. She wants to find out more about this interaction to see if it can be stopped, to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Not all fat’s the same: protecting against Type 2 diabetes

Project:
Northern & Yorkshire - Leeds
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
Northern & Yorkshire
England
Type 2
Causes
Project Summary

Dr Roberts is focusing on fat cells, with different types responsible for storing and burning fat. He hopes to find specific signals from ‘good’ beige fat cells, to see if they can improve fat metabolism and protect the body from Type 2 diabetes.

If successful, this research could inform the development of new protective Type 2 diabetes treatments.

Investigating a potential cause of Type 1 diabetes

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

It’s believed that one of the factors involved in the development of Type 1 diabetes could be a specific type of virus that infects pancreatic beta cells, causing the immune system to attack them. The aim of this project is to investigate key proteins that may be involved in the potential viral infection of beta cells.

The results will improve our understanding of the causes of Type 1 diabetes, ultimately informing future research into the prevention and treatment of the condition. 

Down to details of Type 1 immune attack

Project:
South West - Bristol
Status:
Project available for adoption
Tags:
England
South West
Type 1
Causes
Project Summary

In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks several different proteins in the pancreas. One of them is called ZnT8. It seems that people develop Type 1 diabetes at a slower rate if their immune system attacks ZnT8. Dr Gillespie would like to understand the biology behind this attack.

This project will help us understand Type 1 diabetes in more detail and may help researchers develop new therapies to stop the immune attack.

Lymphatics: a new treatment target for kidney disease in people with diabetes?

Project:
London
Status:
Project not available for adoption
Tags:
Complications
London
England
Type 1 and Type 2
Project Summary

Dr David Long and his colleagues are investigating the function of kidney lymphatic vessels in diabetic kidney disease. This will help us to understand whether targeting lymphatic vessels could be a novel treatment strategy for diabetic kidney disease. 

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