Two University of Manchester scientists have been awarded international prizes for their research into the peripheral nerve damage suffered by people with diabetes.
Dr Caroline Abbott, in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, has won the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) young investigator clinical award for research that revealed that British Asians were three times less likely than white Europeans to suffer nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Meanwhile, Dr Sally Price, in the Faculty of Life Sciences, made it a Manchester double after being awarded the equivalent EASD young investigator prize for scientific research into the debilitating condition.
Nerve damage is one of the major complications of diabetes and is the largest cause of non-traumatic foot amputations in the UK, said Dr Price, who carried out her postdoctoral work in Professor David Tomlinsons lab.
My research examined gene changes between nerves from healthy rats, diabetic rats and those from diabetic rats treated with compounds known to prevent nerve damage in rodents.
These studies suggested many genes could play a role in converting the effects of high glucose into nerve damage in diabetes. Further investigation confirmed the precise role these genes played.
Dr Abbotts clinical research into the condition involved identifying the most effective testing methods for predicting foot ulceration caused by neuropathy and discovering that diabetes patients from South Asian descent were three times less prone to nerve damage than whites.
More recently I have been investigating the reasons why Asian people with diabetes living in the UK have less peripheral nerve damage and how this relates to altered blood flow in the smallest vessels, said Dr Abbott, who works in Professor Andrew Boultons lab.
The ulcer-prediction methods we employed in our research are now widely used in the diabetes clinical setting
Contact: Aeron Haworth
University of Manchester