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Funded Research

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    • 2011
      Pump Priming

      Extending whole organ pancreas transplant function in people with type 1 diabetes

      Recipient:
      Dr Matthew Simmonds
      Institution:
      OCDEM, Churchill Hospital, Oxford
      City:
      Oxford
      Amount:
      £19,969.00
      Description: In type 1 diabetes the cells within the pancreas, which produce the hormone insulin, are destroyed by the immune system. As insulin is essential for many functions within the body, including controlli...
      Description: In type 1 diabetes the cells within the pancreas, which produce the hormone insulin, are destroyed by the immune system. As insulin is essential for many functions within the body, including controlling glucose levels, injecting insulin is the main form of treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. In some patients giving insulin does not control their diabetes, they have troublesome low blood sugars and can go on to develop severe problems of the eyes, kidneys, nerves, brain and heart. In these patients, a transplant of the pancreas or the cells from a pancreas is currently the only treatment that can restore the patient’s own ability to produce insulin, as well as improving diabetes related complications. At present 85% of pancreas transplant patients regain normal pancreas function one year after transplantation, enabling them to discontinue insulin use. Transplanted pancreas function can, however, decrease over time and in some patients stops completely, with only 68% of transplant patients having a functional pancreas after five years. Decreased or lack of transplanted pancreas function means a return to insulin and potentially further worsening of other diabetic complications. Currently we cannot predict when the transplanted pancreas will start to fail. We want to test the genetic material (DNA) obtained from both pancreas transplant donors and recipients, from all pancreas transplant centres across Europe, to investigate naturally occurring variations within genes influencing transplant rejection and pancreas development/function to help us try to predict when the transplanted pancreas is likely to fail so that we can administer medicines that might extend the pancreas’ lifespan. This unique work has the potential to generate findings in a relatively short time span that could then be tested in further clinical trials to determine, in a real world setting, if we can truly predict pancreas transplant survival and in the future inform hospital practice across the whole of Europe and beyond.
    • 2011
      Pump Priming

      Glucose control in offspring of women with type 1 diabetes (ODM)

      Recipient:
      Dr Esther O’Sullivan
      Institution:
      University of Cambridge
      City:
      Cambridge
      Amount:
      £19,729.00
      Description: High fat, high calorie diets are associated with the increasing incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms responsible for impaired insulin action with high fat, high calorie diets are s...
      Description: High fat, high calorie diets are associated with the increasing incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms responsible for impaired insulin action with high fat, high calorie diets are still poorly understood. However, there is a growing body of evidence, mainly from animal studies, that dietary fish oils can help to prevent or reverse a decline in tissue responsiveness to insulin. To date, human studies are less convincing due to low doses of fish oils administered and poor control of dietary intake. These study design problems mean that the particular mechanism for any effect of fish oil has not yet been established. Therefore, we plan to undertake a well controlled study using higher dose fish oil supplementation. We aim to determine whether substituting some of the fat in the diet with fish oils can help to maintain insulin action, and to determine the mechanisms for any effect. Our aims can be accomplished using an experimental model with high fat overfeeding in healthy humans to induce metabolic stress.
    • 2011
      Pump Priming

      Manipulating the phenotype of endothelial progenitor cells from insulin resistant South Asian men: A pilot study towards cell based therapies

      Recipient:
      Dr Richard Cubbon
      Institution:
      University of Leeds
      City:
      Leeds
      Amount:
      £18,000.00
      Description: The endothelium lines all blood vessels and damage to it is associated with diseases including heart attack and stroke. ‘Healthy’ South Asian men show evidence of endothelial damage which is widely th...
      Description: The endothelium lines all blood vessels and damage to it is associated with diseases including heart attack and stroke. ‘Healthy’ South Asian men show evidence of endothelial damage which is widely thought to be linked with their tendency to develop diabetes and pre-diabetes (insulin resistance); patients with diabetes also experience a high risk of heart attack and vascular diseases. A recently discovered group of cells called endothelial progenitors can repair the endothelium, though we have shown cells from South Asian men are ineffective at repairing blood vessels. Our work suggests insulin resistance may be the reason why these cells are ineffective so we aim to test a novel strategy to enhance their reparative function by targeting changes in these cells linked with insulin resistance
    • 2011
      Pump Priming

      Metabolic and molecular mechanisms for alleviation of diet-induced insulin resistance by dietary fish oils

      Recipient:
      Professor Kevin Tipton
      Institution:
      University of Stirling
      City:
      Stirling
      Amount:
      £20,000
      Description: Hypoglycaemia, which is a dangerously low blood sugar levels is a risk in the newborn babies of mothers with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycaemia is particularly problematic among babies who are born premat...
      Description: Hypoglycaemia, which is a dangerously low blood sugar levels is a risk in the newborn babies of mothers with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycaemia is particularly problematic among babies who are born prematurely (approximately 1 in 3 newborns) and among overweight or obese babies (approximately 1 in 2 newborns). As well as requiring additional neonatal care (thereby separating mothers and their newborns), it has negative effects on breast feeding success and potentially adverse effects on infant brain development. Glucose control in newborn babies is closely related to their mother’s glucose levels before and during labour. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a new tool for accurately measuring glucose levels, both during pregnancy and in newborns. We propose to use CGM to better understand “normal” glucose levels in newborn infants of women with type 1 diabetes. We will be able to compare the mother’s glucose control in pregnancy with that of her newborn baby, to establish what level of glucose control in the mother is required to prevent low glucose levels in newborn infants.
    • 2011
      Pump Priming

      Metformin improves Endothelial function, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and cardiovascular Risk factors in Type 1 diabetes; MERIT study

      Recipient:
      Dr Jolanta Weaver
      Institution:
      Newcastle University
      City:
      London
      Amount:
      £19,995.00
      Description: Heart and circulation problems remain the main cause of ill health and death in T1DM despite new treatments. Patients own adult vascular stem cells can repair the circulatory problems. This study is t...
      Description: Heart and circulation problems remain the main cause of ill health and death in T1DM despite new treatments. Patients own adult vascular stem cells can repair the circulatory problems. This study is to see if we can stimulate patients own circulatory stem cells (EPCs) to repair circulation (endothelial function) in T1DM. We plan to use Metformin, drug shown to reduce number of heart attacks in T2DM. If we can show benefit in this small pilot study we will be able to set up a large project to study the benefits of Metformin in T1DM nationwide.

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