On the eve of World Diabetes Day Diabetes Research WA awarded 2 new research grants of $75,000 each to local researchers.
1. Associate Professor Gerard Hoyne, from The University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle, will conduct research into other causes of type 1 diabetes that doesn't involve the immune system which usually mistakenly destroys insulin-producing cells (islet beta cells).
This study will investigate whether a gene mutation (Cdk4) is the culprit. Preliminary studies show that the recessive gene mutation caused a protein error that leads to a loss of insulin production due to death of the islet beta cells.
By unraveling this part of the mystery we can improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes in the future, in particular with regards to creating islet cell tranplant therapies
Professor Hoyne will conduct his research in collaboration with Princess Margaret Hospital and the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research.
2. Dr Aron Chakera, from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, will conduct a trial and investigate if early intervention in kidney transplant patients will prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
1 in 2 people develop type 2 diabetes following a kidney transplant and this research will attempt to change that by introducing medication earlier to stabilise blood sugar levels.
This research has the potential to pave the way for a much higher quality of life for kidney transplant recipients and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes.