GCU celebrates 10 years tackling diabetes

20 November 2013

GCU celebrates 10 years tackling diabetes

Organisers Dr Dr Jane Nally and Dr Bill Young

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has marked 10 years of teaching and research in Diabetes with a symposium held on campus.

The Diabetes Education and Research Day on Monday, 18 December saw President of the International Diabetes Federation Sir Michael Hirst and Dr Sheila Reith, one of the inventors of the groundbreaking insulin pen, join University staff in looking back on a decade of achievement.

To celebrate the anniversary, the group compiled 10 facts about the University’s work in combating the disease, which are listed below.

Attendee Christine Skinner said: “Congratulations to the team for organising today’s event to celebrate Diabetes Education and Research at GCU. It was an excellent day with superb presentations and highlighted how this area has grown from a small group of staff interested in Diabetes to a mature educational and research unit within GCU.”

Professor Ann Graham, founder of GCU’s Diabetes Research Group, said:

“The event provided a fantastic opportunity to look back and celebrate what colleagues within the University have achieved over the last decade in this vital area. But not only that, GCU’s Diabetes Education and Research Day helped us to bring together our joint expertise in education and research across the University and to plan for the future. 

“We aim to exploit the diverse talents of this group by increasing our external partnerships to further facilitate prevention strategies, treatment and care for diabetic patients in the UK and worldwide.”

Diabetes at GCU

1 A GCU team developed the first taught postgraduate course in diabetes in Scotland – the Post Experience Certificate (PEC) in Diabetes Care.

2 A GCU researcher is working on a multi-million pound diabetes treatment which could dispense with the need for insulin injections. Her team is developing an implant which is inserted under the skin and contains insulin-producing pig cells.

3 Academics recently returned from India, where they helped train the country’s physicians in how to assess and manage the complications caused by diabetic foot disease. India has more diabetics than anywhere else in the world and the condition has been identified as a pandemic across the region.

4 Members of GCU’s Life Sciences research team have obtained over £1.6 million in external research grant funding since 2010.

5 2009 saw the first class of MSc Diabetes Care and Management students attend the University. GCU has now taught students from Scotland, England, Ireland, Pakistan, India, Cyprus, Greece, Myanmar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya.

6 The University has developed a skin research tissue bank to support its diabetes work, as some forms of the illness leads to wounds which won’t heal properly.

7 Since 2008, GCU Life Sciences research teams have produced > 100 research publications and more than 40 PhD students have gone through (or are going through) graduate training schemes.

8 Diabetic retinopathy can lead to impaired sight and even blindness. Several research projects across the University are dedicated to tackling this.

9 In 2002 2.4 per cent of the population of Scotland had diabetes. By 2012 this was almost 5 per cent.

10 GCU has taught specific courses for NHS Education Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GG&C), NHS Forth Valley and NHS Lanarkshire.

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