Diabetes research studies

Diabetes research team

About our work

There is currently no cure for diabetes, which can affect major organs in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. The UK has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world with 400,000 people currently living with the condition.

Our diabetes research team is involved in a range of studies into both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Trials looking for volunteers

We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the following studies.

Click on the headings below to find out more about each study and see if you might be eligible to take part and help us with our research.

  • Dapagliflozin in type 2 diabetic nephropathy
    (DEER)

    This study is investigating the use of Dapaglifozin (an SGLT-2 antagonist) as treatment that may have renoprotective effects.

     To take part in this study you must:

    • have type 2 Diabetes
    • be between 35 and 75 years old
    • have HbA1c ≥ 7.0
    • have residual albuminuria (albumine creatinine ration [ACR] > 3mg/mmol)
    • have e-GFR > 60ml/min
    • be on RAS inhibitors (-pril/-sartan).

    If you are interested in finding out more about this research study and whether you might be eligible to participate, please contact the research team by telephone on 020 7188 1929 or by email at diabetesresearch@gstt.nhs.uk.

  • GLIDE 

    We are running a trial to see if combining gastric band surgery with a diabetes medication can improve how effective the surgery is for the treatment of diabetes and weight loss. The trial is being coordinated by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    To take part in this study you must:

    • Have had type 2 diabetes for less than 10 years
    • Be overweight
    • Be planning for or considering gastric band surgery

    If you would like more information please contact the diabetes research team on 020 7188 1929 or DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk.

    We would also like to hear from you if you have recentl - within the last four weeks - had gastric band surgery. Please contact us using the details above.

  • LAST: Lixisenatide Arterial Stiffness Trial

    This study is investigating the use of Lixisenatide as treatment that may reduce arterial stiffness.

    To take part in this study you must:
    • Have type 2 Diabetes
    • Be Aged ≥40 years old
    • Have HbA1c ≥6.5
    • Have e-GFR ≥30ml/min
    • Be on RAS inhibitors (-pril/-sartan)

    If you are interested in finding out more about this research study and whether you might be eligible to participate, please contact the research team by telephone on 020 7188 1929 or by email at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk

  • My Diabetes

    The purpose of this study is to explore and describe the different types of diabetes that exist in people diagnosed at a young age (under 30 years of age) in the UK. We are interested in finding out if any of these individuals have a genetic cause to their diabetes known as maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY). MODY is rare but may be treated differently to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the most common types and is currently commonly misdiagnosed as either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. MODY is handed down from generation to generation, so affected individuals usually have a family history of diabetes, but not always.

    We’re particularly interested in studying people in the UK who are diagnosed at a young age, because very little is known about the characteristics of the different types of diabetes that exist in this group of people. We know from our clinical experience that it is increasingly difficult to diagnose the type of diabetes someone has. In addition nobody has yet studied if South Asian or African and Caribbean people with diabetes in the UK could have MODY. We know people of European ancestry can get MODY, but we’re missing many cases.

    By undertaking this study we hope to identify factors that might help us to tell the different type of diabetes in people from different ethnicities, and if any of them have MODY.

    Are you suitable? To take part in this study you must:

    • have been diagnosed with any type of diabetes before the age of 30 years
    • have South Asian, White European, African or Caribbean ancestry.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the Guy's and St Thomas' diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'MyDiabetes'.

  • Vitamin D study - VDDT and VIVID

    Vitamin D is being trialled to see if it can limit the impact of chronic kidney and heart disease on people with Type 2 diabetes.

    Researchers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London are running two trials to investigate whether vitamin D can improve the often fatal effects of the chronic conditions that occur in 30-40% of people with Type 2 diabetes.

    Professor Luigi Gnudi, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology who is running the trials with his colleague Dr Janaka Karalliedde, said: “Few patients with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney and heart disease will make it to dialysis or transplant; the majority unfortunately will succumb to the diseases before that point.

    “Type 2 diabetes commonly causes chronic kidney and heart disease because of the toxic effect of high sugar on the organs. Once kidney disease sets in, it is often paralleled by cardiovascular disease with enlargement of the heart and hardening of the arteries.

    “Vitamin D is activated by the kidneys, therefore when these are diseased, the body cannot process and use vitamin D in the way it needs, becoming deficient.”
    The trials stem from preliminary data found in the USA, following observational clinical studies, showing that vitamin D can be protective of the heart and prevent damage of the arteries and blood vessels.

    Participants in the studies will have the size of their heart assessed by an MRI scan and have the stiffness of their arteries measured by a non-invasive procedure, which measures the speed of pressure waves travelling through the arteries. These tests will be carried out both before and after participants are given vitamin D supplements to take once a day.

    “We will be looking for any improvements the vitamin D makes to the size and function of the heart and the stiffness of the arteries,” added Professor Gnudi, who with his team will be running the trial over the next two years.

    “In the long term, we hope that if these trials are successful we can run a follow-up trial to assess the benefit of vitamin D on the final stages of kidney disease, stroke, heart attacks and cardiovascular death, with the overall aim being to reverse the effects of the diseases so that people can live healthier for longer.”

    Are you suitable? To take part in this study you must:

    • be aged over 45 years old
    • have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
    • have been diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'Vitamin D'.

  • STRIVE weight loss study

    We are running this trial to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Liraglutide 3.0mg (Saxenda) in the obesity clinic settings with a protocol for targeted use of the medication in patients who are "early" and "good" responders to the treatment. The trial is being coordinated by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    To take part in this study you must:       

    • be willing to take part in the Tier 3 Weight Management Service in one of the participating sites
    • have a BMI ≥35 kg/m2
    • have a stable body weight (less than 5kg self-reported change during the previous 12 weeks)
    • haveat least one of the following:  prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension or obstructive sleep apnoea
    • not currently be taking GLP-1 

    If you would like more information please contact the Diabetes Research Team on 020 7188 1929 or DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk.

    We would also like to hear from you if you have recently - within the last four weeks - had gastric band surgery. Please contact us using the details above.

  • T cells studies in Type 1 diabetes 

    Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes) is caused by the body’s white blood cells (part of the immune system) damaging the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. At King’s College London along with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, we are interested in which blood cells do this and how it happens, as this may later lead to the development of new treatments to slow or prevent damage to the insulin making cells. 

    In this study, we will be comparing white blood cells from people who have just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes with blood from people who don’t have diabetes at all.

    Are you suitable? To take part in this study you must:

    • be aged 18 to 40 years old
    • have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the last year.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the Guy's and St Thomas' diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'T Cell Study'.

  • UREDIA: Renoprotective effects of Ursodeoxycholic acid

    We are running a trial to see if treatment with Ursodeoxycholic acid has beneficial effects on the kidneys in patients with type 1 diabetes and albuminuria despite standard treatment. The trial is being coordinated by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    To take part in this study you must:

    • Have type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
    • Be aged 20 to 75 years
    • Have Albuminuria (ACR >3 mg/mmol)
    • Be on RAS inhibitors (-pril/-sartan)
    • Have e-GFR ≥ 30 ml/min

    If you would like more information please contact the diabetes research team on 020 7188 1929 or DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk.

Previous studies

Read about past studies. Please note we are no longer recruiting volunteers for these trials.

  • ADDRESS 2 study

    The purpose of the study is to identify people newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and the brothers and sisters (siblings) of people with Type 1 diabetes, who might be interested in taking part in future diabetes research studies.

    We want to collect information and blood samples from these people to understand more about the development and progression of Type 1 diabetes, and to help find suitable trials of new treatments or other studies into diabetes that they might want to take part in. When we find suitable trials or diabetes studies we will write to the eligible people to ask if they would be interested in taking part.

    In Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The beta cells are gradually damaged and eventually the body cannot make insulin. This lack of insulin can be treated effectively with insulin injections.

    New treatments are being developed for Type 1 diabetes which aims to improve upon insulin given via injection. For example, new treatments have been designed to slow down or stop the body’s immune system from destroying its beta cells. We need people with diabetes to help test these treatments to find out whether they work or not.

    For more information about the study, visit the website at www.address2.org or contact our diabetes research team at diabetesresearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'Address 2'.

  • Album study

    Before a new medication can be approved for use, it is necessary to determine whether it is safe and effective. This is done by carrying out research studies (or clinical studies).

    Your kidneys have many small blood vessels. The prolonged high sugar levels in your blood, caused by Type 2 diabetes, can damage these vessels. If this happens, your kidneys cannot perform their function in cleaning your blood from waste products. The symptoms of diabetic kidney disease become apparent later when a protein called albumin is detected in the urine (this is called albuminuria).

    The purpose of the study is to see if a new medicine called ASP8232 is both effective and safe as a treatment for reducing albuminuria in patients with chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. ASP8232 is a novel compound and it has not been approved yet by the Medicines And Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.

    The information collected in this study is necessary to find out whether the treatment tested is effective and safe. The information about you will be kept anonymous. Information may be used for seeking approval from the regulatory authorities to market the medicine for the treatment of chronic kidney disease as a result of Type 2 diabetes. It may also be used in reports of the study or for scientific presentations. Astellas may also use the information from this study for future medical research.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the Guy's and St Thomas' diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'Album'.

  • Credence study

    The credence study is looking at an investigational medication versus placebo to see if it can slow down the progression of kidney disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Not everyone in the study will receive active study drug. Half of the patients will receive active study drug and the other half will receive a placebo.

    An investigational agent is being evaluated in this study; the safety and efficacy of this agent has not been established.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the Guy's and St Thomas' diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'Credence'.

  • MultiPepT1De

    MultiPepT1De is a research study being conducted at Guy’s Hospital. They are looking into the possibility of slowing the progression of diabetes. The approach involves giving injections under the skin of small fragments of the protein molecules found in the beta cells of the pancreas, called peptides.

    It is hoped that this treatment will re-train the immune system so that it stops recognising beta cells as a target for destruction. The current study is testing the safety of a vaccine they have designed along these lines, as well as its effects on the immune system. It is a mixture of several peptides from beta cells and is called “MultiPepT1De”. The study is the first time these particular peptides have been used in humans, and this is a necessary step in the development of this type of vaccine therapy. Other peptide mixtures have been used safely in other diseases. One of the single peptides in the MultiPepT1De mixture has been used safely in another study on volunteers with type 1 diabetes.

    For more information about the study, you can visit the website at www.multipeptide.co.uk or contact the research team at multipeptide@gstt.nhs.uk.

  • DEER study

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential beneficial effects on the kidney of a new medication for diabetes called Dapagliflozin. Dapagliflozin prevents glucose absorption in the kidney by blocking a glucose transporter called sodium-glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2). Dapagliflozin causes increased amounts of glucose being lost in the urine (glucosuria) and thereby helps lowers glucose levels in the blood. We will study the effects of Dapagliflozin in patients with Type 2 diabetes who have evidence of diabetic renal disease (diabetic nephropathy) to see if this treatment can help reduce kidney damage.

    If you would like to know more about this study, please contact the Guy's and St Thomas' diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'DEER'.

  • SONAR

    This study is being conducted to evaluate the effects of atrasentan on renal outcomes in subjects with Type 2 diabetes and nephropathy.

    If you would like to know more about this study; please contact the diabetes research team at DiabetesResearch@gstt.nhs.uk, quoting 'SONAR'.

Patient services

Take part in a clinical trial

Find out how you can take part in a clinical trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and what is involved.