In March 2012, the South East Midlands Diabetes Research Network along with colleagues at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, finally took possession of the new Leicester Diabetes Centre. The Centre is now the largest facility in Europe for carrying out first class clinical research in diabetes.
Leicester has a strong tradition in excellence in diabetes care dating back 60 years to the pioneering work of Doctor Joan Walker, who established the first community diabetes clinics and the first diabetes research nurses in the UK. But it was only 12 years ago that Professor Melanie Davies began the diabetes research service with one nurse. Since then, Professor Davies and colleague Professor Kamlesh Khunti have developed a talented and diverse team of over 108 researchers, clinicians and educationalists working together on an innovative research portfolio.
The SEM DRN is now not only able to work more closely with project managers and key study teams, but are also raising their profile with research colleagues.
Sue Enright, Senior Diabetes Network Manager, told us, “The best thing about the new space is how it’s made communicating with colleagues so much easier and effective. On a personal level, I really enjoy the creative atmosphere – we have such an enthusiastic and talented research team. And of course, it emphasises the importance of the work we’re doing here.”
Besides the SEM DRN, the Leicester Diabetes Centre also hosts the new NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity, a collaboration between Leicester and Loughborough University. Also at the new Centre can be found the popular MSc in Diabetes Programme, run in collaboration with the University of Leicester, and the National DESMOND programme team – currently responsible for supporting primary health care organisations in the UK and in Western Australia delivering structured education for people with Type 2 diabetes.
The presence of such a richly diverse academic, clinical and professional community is no doubt going to spark some exciting synergy in future research output from the Centre.
For all the latest in what is going on in our Diabetes Research Department click here