Research and innovation

The Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology has distinctive international academic strengths in diabetes and obesity research.

Our research interests include developing a better understanding of type 1 diabetes, immunity, islet storage preservation and biology. One example is our work testing new therapies that have the potential to revolutionise regenerative therapies for diabetes.

We are also combining diabetes and mental health research to explore and understand the shared biology of diabetes and depression, and to develop appropriate treatment approaches for the future.

26% of our research papers submitted to the Research Excellence Framework were rated ‘world leading’ and 74% ‘internationally excellent’. Since 2014, the Diabetes, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Obesity, Vision and Related Services Clinical Academic Group has published more than 600 research articles and amassed more than 6,000 citations. 

Through our Institute we are building on these successes with an aspiration to be a major UK centre for diabetes and obesity research.

We are:

  • developing a research strategy spanning beta cell health and disease, including immunology, transplantation and beta cell biology
  • focusing on type 1 diabetes research for cures and transplantations
  • driving growth and collaborative development of a world-class obesity research programme with links to metabolic liver disease and behavioural change
  • developing new collaborations, especially within the TransCampus Initiative, to explore greater understanding between diabetes, pre-diabetes and other systemic disease
  • ensuring research programmes are positioned to collaborate with cross-cutting themes in the School of Life Course Science at King’s College London
  • exploring opportunities for co-location of islet and gut physiology, cell replacement, islet transplant and metabolic surgery, along with the creation of joint wet labs and a clinical trials office.

Our Institute has an excellent track record in type 1 diabetes clinical and physiological research, led by Prof Stephanie Amiel, which continues to develop with new funding and international collaborations. Dr Patrik Choudhary has secured new European Union Programme grant funding as part of a  programme of research into the management of hypoglycaemia (HypoResolve). Prof Stephanie Amiel leads an innovative collaboration on behaviour change to prevent recurrent hypoglycaemia (HarpDoc) which includes a collaboration with the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston (USA) funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Federation. 

Dr Louise Goff has achieved some excellent results through her National Institute Health Research study of Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Diabetes, an innovative co-design programme with Lambeth and Southwark residents with African and Caribbean backgrounds. This work makes a significant contribution to our Institute’s broader ambition to make a real positive impact on the local population’s health by ensuring that people receive culturally appropriate support to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  

A cure for diabetes through surgery?

The Economist featured Prof Francesco Rubino, Chair of Bariatric Surgery at King's College London, discussing his innovative work on finding a cure for type 2 diabetes through surgery.

Can a cure for diabetes be found through surgery?

New care for people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders

A multidisciplinary team at King’s College London has been awarded £1.25 million by the National Institute for Health Research to investigate and design interventions for an eating disorder where people with type 1 diabetes deliberately take too little insulin to try and control their weight.

Safe management of people with Type 1 diabetes and Eating Disorder Study (STEADY) is a collaboration that includes:

  • The Diabetes, Psychiatry & Psychology Unit at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and the Diabetes Department at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Eating Disorders Unit at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Over the next five years the team, including Prof Khalida IsmailProf Glenn RobertProf Janet Treasure and Dr David Hopkins, will bring patients with type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder together with doctors, nurses, psychologists and dietitians to design a programme based on patients’ lived experiences. Researchers expect this to include a mix of diabetic and psychiatric care, with elements of education and psychotherapy. Read more on the King’s College London website.

This study focuses on patients with moderate symptoms and is running alongside a 15-month pilot service funded by NHS England which provides a specialist service to a cohort of 40 patients with more severe symptoms.  

Read more on the research undertaken by Diabetes, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Obesity, Vision and Related Services on the King’s College London website.