Mitochondrial research to reduce diabetes-related heart failure 2 February 2024 Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences researcher Dr Miles De Blasio is undertaking research into heart failure experienced by people living with diabetes. “Diabetes-related heart failure is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in people living with diabetes,” Dr De Blasio said. “With more than 1.5 million Australians living with diabetes, and high rates of cardiac complications, improved prevention or treatment of those diabetes-related complications is urgently needed.” Dr De Blasio has received a 2024 Diabetes Australia Research Program (DARP) grant to explore cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction in the setting of diabetes. Mitochondria are membrane-bound cell organelles that power the cell’s biochemical reactions. These mitochondria become dysfunctional in the hearts of some people living with diabetes. Dr De Blasio will utilise mitochondria-targeted drugs (SS31, SkQ1, AP39) that bring about pre-clinical improvements in diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, and other pathologies. These medications will now be investigated to explore if they can limit cardiac complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said the successful DARP recipients were undertaking work that would change the lives of people with diabetes. “Research is critical in our fight to drive change to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure diabetes,” Ms Cain said. “Diabetes research creates hope for the future.” Diabetes Australia has been funding diabetes research for more than 30 years through DARP grants. “Over the past 10 years alone, Diabetes Australia has invested more than $30 million in supporting nearly 500 critical research initiatives across all types of diabetes,” Ms Cain said. Diabetes Australia has launched a new campaign calling for more research funding called ‘Diabetes Research Changes Lives’. Members of the community can also support diabetes research by making a donation. Find out more about how to support us. About the Diabetes Australia Research Program: Established 37 years ago, the Diabetes Australia Research Program supports and develops outstanding diabetes research in Australia. The program funds research projects focused on the prevention, management, and cure of all types of diabetes, as well as fostering upcoming researchers. The program relies on the generosity and support of member organisations, corporates, and individual donors.