On 13th November 2018, The Diabetes Research Group, led by Dr Gill Hood, held the DARE and ADDRESS 2 celebration day. This event was to recognise the success of these database studies over the last 10 years and to thank people who had volunteered to be involved, their families, researchers, staff and funders for their contribution towards diabetes research.
The event was held in the Clark Kennedy Lecture theatre, Queen Mary Innovation Centre, which was packed to capacity. Over 100 people came along, including former participants, to receive updates on some of the studies which included: NAFLD, oral health, ageing T-cells and the REVITA-2 study (involving a small endoscopic procedure). There were also keynote speeches by Professor Graham Hitman and Professor Tahseen Chowdhury on what the future holds for diabetes research. The event was interactive and enlightening and highlighted that not only does awareness and participation in diabetes research need to be increased but, much more investment is needed too. The audience were also treated to hearing patient and public testimonials of their positive experiences in research.
The day was a huge success, guests were able to network with each other and researchers and view an incredible exhibition from artist Tony Pickering who portrays his experiences of living with Type 1 diabetes. His art represents research around the ideas of medical identity and patient experience. Diabetes UK, a leading diabetes, charity also had a stand with the latest information and advice and the Diabetes Wellness Foundation contributed to materials supporting research too.
Everybody was given a chance to think about what they would like for future research and wrote them on paper leaves, placed on our lighted wish tree. These included “better diabetes education in schools”, “for it to be easier to be involved in research”, “for funding to be secured for longer for diabetes research” and “to find a cure sooner than later to avoid complications associated with diabetes.”
The diabetes research group at Barts Health and QMUL are working towards better care treatment and support for people with diabetes and are running a number of qualitative, clinical and observational studies.