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Blazing a trail in diabetes research

Researchers and clinicians from King’s Health Partners showcased their cutting-edge research at the 2013 Diabetes UK Professional Conference last month, presenting 10% of the total papers.

The annual conference provided a showcase for the breadth and quality of basic and clinical research in diabetes being undertaken at King’s Health Partners. For the second year, our researchers won the prize for the Best Research in Type 2 Diabetes. The prize was won by a team of researchers from King's College Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry's Centre for Neuroimaging Studies led by Dr Yee Cheah and Dr Sarah Lee. The team presented their data showing the impact of insulin resistance (a risk factor for obesity and type 2 diabetes) on the brain’s responses to food ingestion.

Professor Stephanie Amiel, RD Lawrence Professor of Diabetic Medicine and Clinical Academic Group Leader, received the 2013 Banting Memorial Lecture Award - the diabetes community's highest award for research. Professor Amiel was recognised for a lifetime contribution to diabetes care through research ranging from neuroimaging studies to patient education.

Professor John Pickup, another King’s Health Partners clinical researcher, has been invited to deliver the next Banting Memorial Lecture in 2014. Professor Amiel and Professor Pickup are the ninth and tenth researchers from King’s College Hospital to have received this accolade in its 66 year history.

To underline the long history of excellence in diabetes research and clinical practice, the conference also included the launch of a new book describing the life and work of RD Lawrence. Lawrence was one of the first people in the UK to receive insulin treatment for his type 1 diabetes. He founded the King’s College Hospital diabetes service and, along with author HG Wells, he went on to create the patient-professional organisation that became Diabetes UK.

Professor Amiel said: “The research that has been and is being undertaken by King’s Health Partners has changed the lives of people with diabetes. Increasing numbers of people in the UK are being diagnosed with diabetes so the need for this research is ever growing. Our teams continue to strive to find new treatments for diabetes to help patients now and in the future.”