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An innovative research project with the potential for transforming our understanding and treatment of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of diabetes will soon get underway at Oxford University thanks to support from the Kusuma Trust.

Healthcare professional taking a blood glucose reading from a patient © © Shutterstock/Dragana Gordic

Diabetes is a huge and growing global problem. Around 476 million people are thought to live with the disease worldwide, with those who do twice as likely to die from a heart attack as a non-diabetic person. Understanding how diabetes distorts and disrupts the immune system and how that, in turn, drives coronary artery and vascular disease, leading to heart attack and stroke, is of great importance.

A gift of £149,990 from the Kusuma Trust will enable researchers in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine to build on earlier work exploring this link. In 2021 the Choudhury Lab discovered that diabetes fundamentally reprogrammes the immune system, thereby exacerbating cardiovascular disease and its complications. Their findings addressed the paradox of why treating high glucose in patients with diabetes does not reduce the risk of heart attack.

With the support of the Trust, the Choudhury Lab will now explore how to use these findings for patient benefit. The work, led by Professor Robin Choudhury and undertaken by Dr Kate Robinson, will delve deeper into how parts of the immune system get jammed ‘on’ in diabetes.

Read the full story on the Oxford Giving website