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Funded Research

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    • 2008
      Pump Priming

      Is Charcot osteoarthropathy a Cytokine-Driven Disease?

      Recipient:
      Professor Michael Edmonds
      Institution:
      Diabetes Foot Clinic, King’s College Hospital, London
      City:
      London
      Amount:
      £11,038 (part-funded)
      Description: Some people with diabetes and nerve damage can develop a devastating form of bone and joint disease known as the “Charcot foot” in which there is considerable bone destruction, caused by cells called ...
      Description: Some people with diabetes and nerve damage can develop a devastating form of bone and joint disease known as the “Charcot foot” in which there is considerable bone destruction, caused by cells called osteoclasts. The cause of this bone destruction is not fully understood. We have recently shown that the activity of these osteoclasts is increased in patients with acute Charcot foot. One possible reason may be an increase in the cells in the blood, called special monocytes, from which these osteoclasts are derived. Special monocytes are increased in patients with Charcot foot. There are also substances in the blood which can affect the development of osteoclasts. The aim of this study is to measure the level of these substances in patients with acute Charcot foot and also to assess whether any of them show a relationship with the increased number of the special monocytes. If we do find a relationship we need to be sure that it is related to the Charcot foot and therefore we will also carry out these measurements in a group of diabetic patients without Charcot foot, and in a group of healthy subjects. It is hoped that if we discover the factors that lead to increased number of special monocytes and thus increased osteoclastic activity, this will help the understanding of bone destruction and lead to new treatments for this devastating condition.£11,038 (part-funded)
    • 2008
      The Professor David Matthews Non-Clinical Fellowship

      Measuring the effects of kisspeptin on insulin secretion, and on the growth and survival of β-cells

      Recipient:
      Dr James Bowe
      Institution:
      King's College London
      City:
      London
      Amount:
      £163,533 (three years)
      Description: Kisspeptin is a recently-discovered molecule that is only found in a few areas of the human body – the hypothalamic area of the brain, the placenta and the pancreas. One important function of kisspept...
      Description: Kisspeptin is a recently-discovered molecule that is only found in a few areas of the human body – the hypothalamic area of the brain, the placenta and the pancreas. One important function of kisspeptin in the brain is to control when the process of puberty starts, but the function(s) of kisspeptin in the placenta and the pancreas are unknown. We have shown that pancreatic kisspeptin is localised to the insulin-secreting β-cells in islets of Langerhans, and that β-cells also make receptors for kisspeptin, suggesting that kisspeptin is made and released within the islet to have a local regulatory effect. The hypothalamus, placenta and endocrine pancreas are all involved in the long-term regulation of energy balance so we propose that the β-cell kisspeptin is involved in regulating islet function at times of changes in metabolic demand, such as starvation, obesity, pregnancy and type 2 diabetes. The project will measure the effects of kisspeptin on insulin secretion, and on the growth and survival of β-cells. Information gained from these studies may identify new ways of modifying islet function (insulin secretion, β-cell mass) with potential therapeutic applications
    • 2008
      Pump Priming

      The expression and functionality of antimicrobial peptides in the gingival crevice in type 1 diabetes

      Recipient:
      Dr Fionnuala Lundy
      Institution:
      Oral Science Research Centre, Queen's University, Belfast
      City:
      Belfast
      Amount:
      £18,957
      Description: People with diabetes suffer an increased risk of many diseases, including periodontal (gum) disease in which the bone which supports the teeth is gradually destroyed leading to the teeth becoming loos...
      Description: People with diabetes suffer an increased risk of many diseases, including periodontal (gum) disease in which the bone which supports the teeth is gradually destroyed leading to the teeth becoming loose and eventually being lost. Even in the early stages of periodontal disease, the gums become inflamed and bleed, making it difficult for diabetic patients to eat healthily (and maintain blood sugar control). People with diabetes are three times more likely to be affected by periodontal disease than non-diabetics. We know that effective treatment of gum disease also improves the control of diabetes. If we are to tackle the problem of periodontal disease in people with diabetes, then we need to understand how the bacteria that cause periodontal disease are normally kept under control. The cells in our gum tissues make molecules called antimicrobial peptides that defend against the invasion of bacteria that cause periodontal disease. In this project we will build upon our previous research on naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides in the mouth to determine if these peptides are present and if they work effectively in diabetics. Our study should enable better treatments to be specifically designed to treat periodontal disease in people with diabetes .
    • 2007
      Sutherland-Earl Clinical Fellowship

      Bariatric surgery for diabetes: Does the GLP1 or GIP response predict who will respond?

      Recipient:
      Dr Mimi Chen
      Institution:
      Bristol Royal Infirmary
      City:
      Bristol
      Amount:
      £165,000 (three years)
      Description: Weight loss (bariatric) surgery is successful at inducing and maintaining a significant reduction in weight, for this reason it has become a popular way of treating severely obese individuals. These o...
      Description: Weight loss (bariatric) surgery is successful at inducing and maintaining a significant reduction in weight, for this reason it has become a popular way of treating severely obese individuals. These operations have also been found to improve and, in some cases, cure type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and thus many doctors now suggest that this should become a standard treatment for T2DM associated with severe obesity. However, we cannot predict who will do well due to a huge variation in response of diabetes to surgery, even if similar amounts of weight are lost. This project aims to identify whether gut hormones, known to improve the body’s response to insulin, could influence the surgical outcome in overweight patients with T2DM. Before surgery, we will look at changes in gut hormones in response to a meal to see if this predicts who will respond best to surgery and whether this is a result of a greater improvement in the way insulin works or the amount of insulin released by the body. If gut hormone responsiveness was found to predict who was likely to do well with surgery, this would enable doctors to ensure that people who would benefit the most were offered surgery.
    • 2007
      Pump Priming

      Development of High Field Magnetic Resonance Techniques for the non-invasive investigation of diabetic kidney disease

      Recipient:
      Professor S M Marshall
      Institution:
      University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Diabetes Research Group
      City:
      Newcastle
      Amount:
      £29,559 (one year)
      Description: Investigation of kidney disease is limited by available techniques, which include biopsy and use of radioactive tracers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is non-invasive, does not use ionising radiati...
      Description: Investigation of kidney disease is limited by available techniques, which include biopsy and use of radioactive tracers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is non-invasive, does not use ionising radiation and is repeatable. We will develop MRI techniques to study blood flow into the kidney through the renal artery; to measure changes in the oxygen content of the kidney in response to drinking; and to examine the anatomy of the renal artery. We will then use the techniques to study kidney disease in Type 1 diabetes. They will also be useful for kidney research in Type 2 diabetes, and will be adaptable for routine clinical MRI tests.

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