Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in the world today and is a major risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, and osteopathy. Regenerative approaches to DM are currently being explored and involve efforts to restore beta cell function and to treat underlying complications of DM. The former area aims to restore beta cell function through cell replacement strategies which will aim to restore normoglycaemia, while the latter focuses on the disease processes which result from chronic hyperglycaemia. Vascular complications associated with DM can affect large blood vessels (macrovascular) or smaller blood vessels (microvascular) and represent a major health and economic burden.  Endothelial dysfunction, impaired angiogenesis, reduced progenitor cell population number/function and inflammation are key factors associated with these complications and may represent therapeutic targets. While reversal of ischaemia has been the main emphasis of therapeutic interventions for macrovascular disease, a successful therapeutic approach will need a pleiotropic strategy targeting tissue viability, inflammation and angiogenesis. Treatment of microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus such as nephropathy, neuropathy, osteopathy and retinopathy are also research targets of interest to the group. PIs in REMEDI are conducting research that will provide new therapeutic approaches to the restoration of normoglycaemia and the macro- and micro-vascular complications of DM utilizing advanced therapy medicinal products. This research programme has a special focus on ensuring clinical translation.

The REMEDI Diabetes Mellitus programme 

The Regenerative Diabetes Programme brings together expertise from multiple disciplines including clinical medicine, cell and molecular biology, drug delivery, physics and engineering to develop novel approaches to beta cell replacement and to the treatment of the microvascular and macrovascular complications of DM. In REMEDI we have developed the complete translational infrastructure to advance the clinical care for diabetic patients. Our vision is to conduct research that will result in major advances in patient care, utilizing the interface between gene and cell therapy and biomaterial science leading to the restoration of normoglycaemia and the treatment of the complications of DM. Furthermore, we strive to ensure that a special emphasis is placed on the manufacture of such products under Good Manufacturing Practice in compliance with regulatory requirements for human administration. This emphasis will ensure that the research outputs will lead to clinical trials aimed at providing impact felt by patients who suffer from these currently untreatable conditions. The programme has 2 principle aims: 1) to develop novel beta cell replacement strategies utilizing biomaterials, macroencapsulation technologies and induced pluripotent stem cells and 2) to develop new treatments for conditions such as diabetes related critical limb ischaemia, neuropathic ulcers, macular oedema, nephropathy, osteopathy and retinopathy. Therapeutic strategies for these conditions have been explored using National and European research funding and have led to advances in cell manufacturing and clinical trials which are currently underway.  


Relevant Research Groups