Your donation will make a difference:
Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Strategic Research Centre: Diabetes

Investigating the occurrence of diabetes in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Background

Cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD) is a type of diabetes unique to people living with cystic fibrosis, but its cause remains unclear. This study aims to find out how the defective CFTR gene present in people with cystic fibrosis contributes to abnormalities in regulating insulin levels – the issue that can cause the development of CFRD.

In the human body, the pancreas controls the breakdown and digestion of food and secretes several hormones (including insulin), which regulate blood sugar levels. Notably, people living with cystic fibrosis have poor pancreatic function and many develop diabetes (approximately 50% of adults with cystic fibrosis have diabetes).

How it will work

Led by Professor James Shaw at Newcastle University (a specialist in regenerative medicine for diabetes), this Strategic Research Centre (SRC) aims to uncover the causes of cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD) by bringing together CF and diabetes researchers based throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. 

This study aims to establish how the genetic defects responsible for cystic fibrosis increase blood sugar levels, a first step in understanding the development of CFRD. Using this knowledge, the study hopes to be able to discover ways to prevent the development of diabetes in people with cystic fibrosis, increasing life expectancy and helping them to live lives unlimited by their condition.

What are the aims?

The study has the following aims in order to better understand diabetes in people with cystic fibrosis:

  • to determine the role of CFTR, and the effect of the CFTR mutation, in the pancreas' islet development and signalling;
  • to investigate the role of exocrine-driven β-cell de-differentiation in CFRD; and
  • to establish the role of exocrine inflammation in endocrine dysfunction in vivo.

Who is involved?

Lead Principal Investigator (PI): James Shaw (Newcastle University)

Co-PIs: 

  • Dr Mike Gray (Newcastle University)
  • Dr Catriona Kelly (Ulster University)
  • Professor Neville McClenaghan (Ulster University) 
  • Dr Lena Eliasson (Lund University, Sweden) 
  • Dr Malin Flodström-Tullberg (Karolinksa, Sweden) 
  • Professor Peter Hegyi (Szeged University, Hungary)
  • Dr Viktoria Venglovecz (Szeged University, Hungary) 
  • Professor John Engelhardt (Iowa University, USA)

Regular gifts help us to fund ground-breaking research for long into the future - please consider donating today.

Donate today

Make a donation

Every penny donated helps create a brighter future for people with cystic fibrosis, by funding support, research or other vital work.

Make a difference

Get involved

There are so many ways you can join the fight for a life unlimited. Choose from joining or organising an event, supporting one of our campaigns, fundraising, volunteering and much more!

Get started

Research stategy

Find out about our research priorities and how and when we are allocating funding to meet these requirements and have the greatest impact on cystic fibrosis research.

Read on