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National network for diabetes research launched by two leading British universities

See also...
External Sites:
-UK Diabetes Research Network
-University of Oxford
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate release
Wednesday 20 July 2005

Research into future treatments for people with diabetes has been given a major boost with the launch of a new national network for diabetes research, launched today.

Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford will lead on a 20 million initiative from the Department of Health to set up a UK Diabetes Research Network to co-ordinate diabetes research in the UK.

The network allows greater collaboration between diabetes researchers in order to develop long term strategies and treatments for managing diabetes.

Professor Desmond Johnson

As a result of the network, researchers will be able to conduct larger and more efficient clinical trials that will examine factors that have an influence on the development of diabetes, its management and the complications that arise from it.

The network will facilitate trials into diet, exercise and drug therapies and epidemiological studies, creating a national database of people with diabetes who might be interested in joining these studies. This is a significant development, as most diabetes care is carried out in the primary care sector by general practitioners and as a result databases of people with diabetes tend to be fragmented around the country.

The network will coordinate initiatives from health service groups, practitioners and academic groups as well as from industry.

Professor Desmond Johnston, from Imperial College London, and St Mary's Hospital, and Director of the Diabetes Research Network said:

"Diabetes, and particularly non-insulin dependent diabetes, is a fast growing problem in the UK which calls for new strategies for treating and managing this chronic condition and even preventing its onset."

Professor David Matthews, from the University of Oxford, and Associate Director of the network, adds:

"We are delighted to be involved with the UK Diabetes Research Network, and the opportunities it will provide for research collaborations. Through the network, we look forward to working with our UK collaborators to make a real difference in developing new strategies and treatments for diabetes."

Professor Sally Davies, Director of Research and Development at the Department of Health adds:

"The UK Diabetes Research Network will provide a world-class health service infrastructure to support clinical research and accelerate patient access to the most appropriate treatment and care in all parts of the country."

In order to develop the network, the co-ordinating centre is putting out a call for local research networks in the British Medical Journal on 23 July.

The co-ordinating centre for the network will be based in the International Centre for Circulatory Health, a collaborative research centre set up by Imperial and St Mary's NHS Trust in London.


For further information:

Laura Gallagher
Press Officer
Imperial College London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6702
Mobile: +44 (0)7803 886 248

Grace Haydon
Press Officer
Public Relations Office
Oxford University

Notes to editors:

1. Photographs of a patient with diabetes in clinic are available

2. The UK Diabetes Research Network is part of the UK Clinical Research Network, an initiative funded by the Department of Health which is supporting the development of research networks in six disease priority areas: cancer, dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, medicines for children, mental health and stroke. This will hopefully expand over time to enable research to be conducted across the full spectrum of disease and clinical need.

3. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

4. As the oldest English-speaking University in the world, the University of Oxford can lay claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. The University of Oxford is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its research, with over 3000 academic staff and 3000 postgraduate students working on research. The University's position as a centre of excellence is enhanced by the ongoing development of interdisciplinary research centres, and collaboration with international academic and industrial partners.