Approximately 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK and the number of new diagnoses is increasing by approximately four per cent each year. 

The diabetes specialist clinical team at the Royal Free Hospital (RFH) are working hand-in-hand with researchers at the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT), based in the Pears Building, to help develop a better understanding of the disease pathophysiology -the changes within the body that accompany the disease - in the hope this knowledge will help develop new treatments for type 1 diabetes.

At a recent meeting of the Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium, hosted at the Pears Building, clinicians and scientists came together from across the UK to discuss the latest research developments. The consortium, funded by Diabetes UK and JDRF, comprises a network of UK-based research sites - including the Royal Free Hospital.  Its aim is to promote, develop and support immunotherapy research in type 1 diabetes.  

Dr Miranda Rosenthal, diabetes consultant at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “This is the perfect example of collaborative working and increasing links between adult and paediatric diabetes specialists from across the trust and further afield, with researchers at the Institute.”  

Professor Lucy Walker (pictured), chair in immune regulation at the IIT, said: “We know that regular meetings like this will lead to increasing access to clinical trials for patients and an increase in clinical trials run through the new Clinical Research Facility based at the Royal Free Hospital.”
Dr Ahmed Yousseif, clinical service lead for diabetes and endocrinology at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “This collaborative working between expert clinicians together with pioneer immunology scientists is key for the future of type 1 diabetes research. Immunotherapy clinical research can help increase our understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying the development of type 1 diabetes and on how novel treatments can control the immune attack that causes the disease. This is very important work in the field of diabetes and a very exciting time for our patients and our speciality.” 

(Picture taken pre-pandemic)