Department of Life Sciences Grant for new equipment to aid diabetes research

Dr Astrid Hauge Evans from the Department of Life Sciences has been awarded £10,000 from the Society of Endocrinology for new equipment in her research to improve the health of people living with type 2 diabetes.

Posted: 21 October 2016

image for news story Department of Life Sciences Grant for new equipment to aid diabetes research

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it is predicted that 642 million people across the globe will have diabetes by 2040, which has more than doubled since 2000. The majority of individuals living with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar. This is mostly caused by insulin resistance, in which cells in the body are unable to use insulin effectively, and by the failure of insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells and it regulates the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood.

The aim of Dr Hauge Evans’ initiative is to investigate a mechanism through which two types of hormones, somatostatin and ghrelin, may work together to affect the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. By identifying the effects that these hormones have on how well the beta cells produce insulin and survive under stress, it could ultimately help cells in the body to take up glucose more efficiently. This would potentially create new therapeutic interventions helping people living with Type 2 diabetes in maintaining a stable and healthy blood sugar level.

Dr Hauge Evans said: "We are delighted for this new funding which can potentially help us better understand how these hormones may work together to affect survival of beta cells in stressful conditions and in this way influence how well they produce insulin."

The new equipment includes a new incubator and biochemistry refrigerator for dedicated work with pancreatic cells. It will support the work of Roehampton-funded PhD-student, Nirun Hewawasam, as well as other initiatives on beta cell biology and type 2 diabetes.

Find out more about the Society of Endocrinology.

The Department of Life Sciences offers outstanding undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Science, Nutrition and Health and postgraduate degree in Health Sciences.

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