Before the world had heard of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was another pandemic spreading globally with insidious stealth, at an ever-increasing rate – diabetes. Globally, there are 415 million people living with diabetes and this disease is the fastest growing chronic health condition in the world today. Without significant change, by 2040 it is estimated that 642 million people will have diabetes.
Diabetes SA is leading the way in driving ground-breaking research into diabetes detection, prevention, and management through their very own Research Grants Program. In 2018, the inaugural program awarded $270,750 but in 2020, this program will deliver a staggering $300,000, and it has been awarded right here in South Australia.
Diabetes SA CEO, Angelique Pasalidis said “This year, Diabetes SA are proud to announce that we received 1.8 million dollars in research grant applications from 18 talented and worthy researchers from SA and interstate.
The three South Australian researchers, all from The University of Adelaide, have been selected by an esteemed panel of diabetes experts to receive $100,000 each for their diabetes research projects”.
- Dr Megan Penno – for deep profiling for early biomarkers of progression to islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in mother-infant dyads participating in the ENDIA study.
- Dr David Jesudason – for addressing life threatening ketoacidosis associated with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and key antidiabetic medicines.
- Dr Cher-Rin Chong – for a novel strategy for cardiovascular protection in type 2 diabetes.
“These research projects are vital to changing the future for people living with diabetes, and we are very much looking forward to providing regular progress reports and updates as their projects get underway”. concluded Angelique.
Dr’s Penno, Jesudason and Chong have all echoed a sentiment of gratitude at the level of funding for all types of diabetes right here in Adelaide, and offer their sincere thanks to the many donors who have contributed to Diabetes SA’s research appeals. Without these donations, Diabetes SA may not be able to support research that gives everyone hope for more effective and widespread strategies to detect, prevent, and manage diabetes.
Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide congratulated the three researchers for their vision to improve the lives of people living with diabetes.
“Many of the State’s best researchers are part of our University, and this latest support for three of our best teams will support excellent research directed at real and positive impact,” Professor Middelberg said.
“It is testament to their abilities that the University of Adelaide is able to work with important organisations such as Diabetes SA on some of the most pressing medical issues around this silent killer.”
The announcement of the recipients of the Diabetes SA Research Grants Program comes as the Association appoints Dr Natalie Luscombe-Marsh to the role of Research and Program Development Manager. She will lead the Diabetes SA research team forward to undertake a variety of research activities for the purposes of building evidence-based programs for the prevention, early detection, and management of diabetes.
Dr Luscombe-Marsh has a passion for research into diabetes having several family members, including her husband, living with the condition. She completed her PhD, coincidentally at The University of Adelaide and has worked for several world-class research organisations including the Universities of Adelaide and Maastricht (Netherlands), and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
“I really wanted to step out of an academic role into a more people facing role to develop programs that will directly impact people living with, or at risk of, diabetes. It’s just so rewarding to be at the forefront of these important changes”. said Dr Luscombe-Marsh.
For further information about the research projects or our work in the areas of prevention, early detection, and management of diabetes, please contact Sabine Kloss (details below) or visit diabetessa.com.au