Shaping the future of diabetes research

College of Health Sciences interdisciplinary work aims to transform the field of diabetes treatment and care.

30 November 2023

Every November, we mark Diabetes Awareness Month as a reminder of the increasing health challenges diabetes poses. This November was particularly notable here at the University of Alberta thanks to significant donor support. The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Canada, the Alberta Diabetes Foundation and the U of A launched the Defeating Diabetes campaign in 2020. The campaign's goal is to raise $10 million for diabetes research at the University, and as of World Diabetes Day 2023, they have achieved 80 per cent of this target.

The U of A boasts a rich history in diabetes research, including the contributions of James Collip, an alumnus who co-discovered insulin, and the development of the Edmonton Protocol, which has significantly helped Type 1 diabetes patients reduce their dependence on insulin injections.

Researchers at the College of Health Sciences are making significant strides in the fight against diabetes, supported by the Alberta Diabetes Institute. Their ultimate aim is to find a cure for this complex disease.

Below are some recent research breakthroughs from the college:

Participatory research gives people living with Type 1 diabetes a voice to reshape their care

An interdisciplinary team led by School of Public Health doctoral candidate Jamie Boisvenue draws on insights from patients and clinicians with the aim of improving diabetes care in Alberta.

Diet and exercise could pave the way for diabetes remission

Some people may be able to manage the disease without medications, says the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation’s Norm Boulé, who is building on promising results from a major U.K. study.

Old antipsychotic drugs may offer a new option to treat Type 2 diabetes

Research by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ John Ussher reveals how the drugs target an enzyme involved in lowering blood sugar.

Leading researcher on Type 1 diabetes discusses new advances in addressing the disease

Peter Senior, professor of medicine and director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute, shares groundbreaking research that holds significant promise for individuals at risk for or recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

New process produces purer, safer pancreas stem cells for potential transplant

A team led by the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s James Shapiro has developed a new step to improve the process for creating insulin-producing pancreatic cells from a patient’s own stem cells, bringing the prospect of injection-free treatment closer for people with diabetes.