Our Research Funding 

Our annual funding round is designed to support bright young researchers, as well as established institutions, as they strive to make the kind of life-changing breakthrough our diabetes community is hoping for. 

Our first research award was made in 1999 for a small equipment grant and since that time, we have committed more than £12 million to diabetes research in the UK and as part of the International Diabetes Wellness Network, around the world.

To read more about our research strategy, click here

Our Funded Research 

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The Professor David Matthews Non-Clinical Fellowship Icon Image
The Professor David Matthews Non-Clinical Fellowship 

Understanding how diabetes and hyperglycaemia causes cognitive decline, dementia and abnormal brain structure. An integrated genetic epidemiological and deep phenotyping approach to disentangle pathways and interplay of risk factors.

Recipient: Dr Victoria Garfield 
Institution: University College London
City: London
Amount: £128,663.95 (over two years)
Description - click here to read

Dementia is one of the most feared diabetes complications.  Risks are elevated in people with diabetes, but glucose lowering trials have been disappointing. However, Mendelian randomisation is a genetic tool which can help uncover true causal relationships, as genes are randomly distributed at birth and not influenced by external risk factors. Using this, I have shown that diabetes itself does not appear to cause dementia. I now want to use this tool to identify which diabetes related factor is the true culprit, in large datasets which include measures of cognition, brain structural damage and dementia. There are four potential explanations: i) processes underlying diabetes e.g., insulin resistance, ii) associated metabolic disturbances, e.g., amino acids, iii) associated risk factors e.g., blood pressure (BP), iv) risk factors upstream of diabetes e.g., obesity.  By identifying true causal determinants, we will be in a better place to pinpoint interventions to be tested in clinical trials to reduce dementia risk in diabetes.

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