It has been announced that the Peninsular College of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are to be involved in a GBP37 million pan-European project to research the causes of type 2 diabetes, and assess the development of new drugs that will help improve treatment.
The research project, called Direct (Diabetes Research for patient stratification), which also involves a number of academic institutions around Europen, will examine samples and look to develop and improve the personalised treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. The scientists will explore new ways of categorising different types of the metabolic condition and their causes, and the best way to respond to a variety of treatments.
They will also develop tests that can more effectively predict who will get diabetes, and how and why it deteriorates. The extra research work at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, the main base for the project in the UK, will be carried out outside office hours to ensure the laboratory is able to continue operating properly.
Dr Tim McDonald, a clinical scientist with the NHS Trust and who will lead the laboratory work, commented “Our role with the Direct project will be to co-ordinate in the region of 250,000 blood and urine samples from across Europe over the next three years. Our chemistry laboratories already carry out about 16,000 tests a day for the healthcare community.”

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