Diabetes and Related Metabolic Conditions

Diabetes and related metabolic conditions are a leading cause of ill-health and premature mortality exerting huge financial pressures on the health services. The Diabetes Research Group is active in areas of basic, clinical, epidemiological, social care and health services research. The Groups overarching aim is to address these important health-care needs by undertaking and supporting translational research to advance development and implementation of therapeutic strategies for prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Research team outside Fulton House

Diabetes Research at the Medical School

In Wales 7.3% of the population aged >17 years live with diabetes, the highest prevalence in the UK. Diabetes affects all socio-demographic sections of society accounting for more than 10% of NHS spend. Only 9% of patients achieve nationally agreed targets for blood glucose control and over 66% have values which expose them to risk of developing life changing diabetic complications

Research Outcomes

Our group focusses on ways of both preventing and managing the epidemic of diabetes and has contributed to national and international healthcare impact including:

  • Contribution to the development of diabetes therapies which have become part of standard diabetes treatment guidelines in the UK and worldwide;
  • Working with industry to assess devices for the monitoring of blood glucose and identifying their place in diabetes management;
  • Research into diabetic retinopathy
Blood Glucose Monitor and droplet of blood on finger

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in non-insulin treated T2D: The SMBG Study

The value of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) in people with non-insulin treated T2D has been debated for many years with current UK guidelines limiting its use. We led a study across Wales and England to evaluate ‘Structured SMBG’ and demonstrated that it can provide clinically significant improvements in blood glucose control. We also found that it improved an individual’s quality of life. This evidence demonstrates that SMBG is a useful aide in diabetes self-management.

Screening Intervals for Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness and national guidelines recommend that screening for DR should be conducted on an annual basis. Our group showed in a large number of patients followed over a period of 4 years that in persons with type 2 diabetes with no retinopathy the screening intervals could be extended to 2 to 3 years and it may be possible to stratify screening intervals based on level of risk.

Performance of novel home oral glucose tolerance test kit

The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), is a diagnostic test for diabetes, usually carried out in a clinical setting. Laboratory and clinical researchers from the group have been involved with the development and validation of a novel device that enables an ‘at home’ OGTT. A comparison trial in 100 volunteers showed good agreement between the device and laboratory analysers, demonstrating its potential as an alternative to clinic based OGTTs, especially beneficial in higher risk groups.

Our Diabetes Research Experts

Professor Steve Bain

Professor in Medicine(Diabetes), Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 602205
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Ivy Cheung

Diabetes Trials Statistician, Biomedical Sciences
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Gareth Dunseath

Senior Research Officer, Biomedical Sciences
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Steve Luzio

Personal Chair, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 295078
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Thinzar Min

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 205678 ext 9701
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Sharon Parsons

Senior Research Officer, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 606721

Dr Sarah Prior

Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Jeffrey Stephens

Personal Chair, Biomedical Sciences
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Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Becky Thomas

Senior Lecturer in Population Health and Medical Sciences, Health Data Science
+44 (0) 1792 205678 ext 8157
Available For Postgraduate Supervision