New research may help prevent diabetes-related kidney damage 10 September 2020 There may be good news for people living with diabetes with researchers hopeful they have uncovered a way to prevent kidney damage, one of the most common complications of diabetes. There are currently an estimated 360,000 Australians living with diabetes who have some form of kidney disease. Associate Professor Usha Panchapakesan, from the University of Sydney and the Kolling Institute’s Renal Research Lab, has received the prestigious Type 1 Diabetes Millennium Award from Diabetes Australia to support her promising research. Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the Millennium Award was one of 13 research grants announced at a special event on Thursday evening. “I’m pleased to announce that Associate Professor Panchapakesan has received the Type 1 Diabetes Millennium Award to support her research into potential new treatments to prevent kidney damage and disease, one of the most common complications of diabetes,” Professor Johnson said. “Associate Professor Panchapakesan has identified a cilia protein in the kidney cell that may be involved in the signalling process that leads to kidney scarring in people with diabetes. “The hope is that blocking this protein could prevent the initial kidney damage, thereby helping to prevent kidney disease.” Diabetes Australia is supporting 13 diabetes research projects at leading New South Wales’ research institutes including the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and the University of Newcastle. Diabetes NSW and ACT CEO Sturt Eastwood welcomed the funding. “We are proud to support a range of exciting research projects that will help pave the way for new treatments and knowledge that improves lives of people with diabetes,” Mr Eastwood said. “Amongst the studies we are funding are a number that focus on type 1 diabetes including Dr Sarah Glastra’s research into improving pregnancy outcomes for women with type 1 diabetes. “Dr Carmel Smart from the University of Newcastle will be looking at ways of continuing to improve the use of technology in type 1 diabetes in children while Dr Melissa Farnham from the University of Sydney will be studying the impact of low carbohydrate diets on people with type 1 diabetes. “There are also some very important projects focusing on type 2 diabetes including University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Samantha Hocking’s research into the impacts of low kilojoule diets on type 2 diabetes management and Professor Stephen Twigg, also from the University of Sydney, will be looking at using physical activity to help treat diabetes-related liver disease. “Research supported by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust continues to help develop new treatments to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes. “We will continue to fundraise and invest in diabetes research until we’ve found a cure.” The Awards were presented tonight at a special online presentation. The Diabetes Australia Research Trust was established in 1987 to support and develop diabetes-related research across Australia. Donations provide funding towards the prevention, management and cure of all types of diabetes, as well as enabling and fostering young and up-and-coming diabetes researchers. Each year outstanding research projects are selected through a merit based, competitive, peer review process. Full List of NSW Grants ResearcherInstituteProject TitleType 1 Diabetes Millennium AwardAssociate Professor Usha PanchapakesanKolling Institute of Medical ResearchThe primary cilia in diabetic kidney disease: targeting the cellular antennasAustralian Diabetes Society – Diabetes Australia Research ProgramProfessor Trevor BidenGarvan Institute of Medical Research A novel mechanism for co-ordinating insulin secretion and biosynthesis in pancreatic beta cellsGeneral GrantsDr Yanchuan ShiGarvan Institute of Medical ResearchTurning Up the Heat on Obesity and Diabetes, The Role of Y1 Receptors in Brown Fat ActivityDr Sarah GlastrasKolling Institute of Medical ResearchIdentifying biomarkers in early pregnancy that predict preeclampsia in women with type 1 diabetes.Professor Kerry-Anne RyeUniversity of New South WalesPreventing and Reversing Cardiovascular Complications in Patients with DiabetesProfessor Nigel TurnerUniversity of New South WalesImproving the anti-diabetic efficacy of NAD-boosting compoundsDr Carmel SmartUniversity of NewcastleOptimising postprandial glycaemia in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes using Hybrid Closed Loop Insulin Delivery: Current challenges and practical clinical solutions.Dr Melissa FarnhamHeart Research Institute / University of SydneyLow carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet in type 1 diabetes: do ketones protect the brain from adverse effects of hypoglycaemia?Professor David JamesUniversity of SydneyIntertwining genetics and metabolism: The fruit fly as a model of metabolic disease.Associate Professor Samantha HockingUniversity of SydneyCaloric restriction by very low calorie diet or alternate day fasting for remission of type 2 diabetes; a pilot studyDr Melkam KebedeUniversity of SydneyThe role of Cab45 in proinsulin sorting at the Trans-Golgi NetworkDr Yuen Ting LamUniversity of SydneyTherapeutic implication of novel carbon based nanoparticles for type 2 diabetesProfessor Stephen TwiggUniversity of SydneyCan exercise training treat established NASH fibrosis in diabetes?