Funding supports vital diabetes research

Students walk around the North Terrace campus.

Five innovative research projects led by the University of Adelaide’s Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health will investigate the causes and potential treatments for various types of diabetes.

The projects were successful in securing grant funding totalling $349,169 from the Diabetes Australia Research Program.

The five projects are:

  • Glycaemic variability around pay cycles in Indigenous Australians with type 2 diabetes – This project, led by Dr Chinmay Marathe, a National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School, will determine whether pay cycles, which are likely to influence both food availability and choice, affect blood glucose control in indigenous Australians who have type 2 diabetes adversely.
    Funding: $69,929.

  • Does the rate of reduction in blood glucose impact the gastric counter-regulatory response to acute hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes? – This project, led by Dr Mahesh Umapathysivam from the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the University of Adelaide, aims to compare the effects of fast and slow onset hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar concentration) on the rate at which the stomach empties food into the intestine. Hypoglycaemia is known to accelerate the rate of stomach emptying and is likely to be an important mechanism to normalise the blood glucose level.
    Funding: $69,280

  • Host or the hosted? Mechanisms underlying intestinal control of glycaemia in type 2 diabetes – This study, led by Associate Professor Richard Young, a Senior Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), will reveal whether altering sweet sensing in the intestine, or gut bacteria, is the best way to optimise blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes.
    Funding: $70,000
  • Combining tryptophan and calcium to lower postprandial blood glucose and reduce food intake in people with type 2 diabetes; developing novel, nutrient-based management strategies – This project, led by Professor Christine Feinle-Bisset, Professorial Senior Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School, will evaluate the effects of combining tryptophan and calcium on glycaemia and energy intake, and associated gut functions, in people with type 2 diabetes. The aim is to develop a safe and effective nutrient-based approach for the management of type 2 diabetes.
    Funding: $69,960

  • Effect of subcutaneous (sc) semaglutide on gastric emptying measured using the 'gold standard' technique, scintigraphy, in type 2 diabetes (T2D) This project, led by Professor Karen Jones, the William T Southcott Senior Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School, will use nuclear medicine techniques to determine the effects of the drug, semaglutide (Ozempic), commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, on the rate of stomach emptying. Considered the most precise technique, a gamma camera is used to measure the amount of radio-labelled food in the stomach over time. The study has important implications for the more personalised use of semaglutide, including potential effects on gastrointestinal symptoms, appetite suppression, oral drug absorption and the duration of fasting prior to surgery.
    Funding: $70,000


Professor Michael Horowitz, Director, CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health, said the strategic funding provided by Diabetes Australia was of fundamental importance.

“The funding allows five innovative projects, each of major relevance to the management of diabetes, to be pursued,” Professor Horowitz said.

“We’re extremely proud that our CRE received five of the 52 grants awarded nationally, given the Diabetes Australia Research Program is highly competitive.

“This outstanding result speaks to the credentials of our group and the breadth of our research activities relating to diabetes, which span basic science to large-scale clinical trials.”

The Diabetes Australia Research Program supports and develops outstanding diabetes research in Australia through a merit based, competitive, peer reviewed process. 

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