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.

41 results found

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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 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.

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

Project:
London
Status:
Project 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. 

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.

Can self-management therapies help with chronic pain?

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

Current treatment options for chronic pain in diabetes (also called painful diabetic neuropathy) are not very effective. A PhD student in Professor McCracken’s lab will investigate whether self-management strategies that focus around psychology could be used to manage pain better.

If successful, it will form a base for developing psychological therapies for people with painful diabetic neuropathy.

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.

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.

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