Funding Research into a Cure of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Nobody knows for sure why these cells have been damaged but the most likely cause is an abnormal reaction of the body to the cells. This may be triggered by a viral or other infection.

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Type 2 Diabetes

If you are white and over 40 years old or if you're black, Asian or from a minority ethnic group and over 25 years old and have one or more of the following risk factors, you should ask your GP for a test for diabetes.

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What we do

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UPDATE APRIL 2020 - Over £130,000 raised so far!

Fourth Project Completed

Type One Mission are pleased to announce that they have just donated another £10,036 to Dr Lucy Walker and her team at UCL for seven pieces of additional equipment. They are:

1. Rotanta 460 Hettich centrifuge;

2. Fisherbrand Microcentrifuge Micro 17, 

3. Multipipette M4, 

4. 12-channel Multichannel pipette, 

5. Whole blood cryopreservation kit, 

6. CoolCell LX controlled cell freezing containers, 

7. Thermosafe 450 Dry Ice Storage Chest 

Here is a photograph with the research team and the equipment you helped to buy in our fight to find a cure for type one diabetes:

Third Project Completed!

Type One Mission (TOM) have donated over £9,700 to Dr Lucy Walker and her team at University College London for two pieces of essential equipment - A PCR Machine (for DNA analysis) and a Benchtop Centrifuge (for immune cell preparation). Type One Mission will continue to raise funds and donate to Dr Lucy Walker and her excellent team at UCL in the hope of finding a prevention or cure to Type One diabetes. Thank you for your support so far - we hope that all donators are pleased with how the money is being spent.

Second Project Completed!

Type One Mission have donated over £3,500 to Dr Lucy Walker and her team at University College London for five pieces of essential equipment that will assist them to continue in researching the causes of Type 1 Diabetes. Here Dr Lucy Walker and her Team are pictured with the purchaed items that were funded by all the kind donations to TOM.

Project (Now Complete - Thank You!)

Type One Mission is currently raising money for Dr Lucy Walker's labority within University College London in order to purchase essential research equipment. 


This equipment is all necessary in order to forward Dr Lucy Walker and her teams ongoing experiments and research into Type One Diabetes. 

The equipment needed is as follows and we are already over 30% of the way to raising the funds necessary:

Cell separation magnets £372 (2 MiniMACS magnets, cat 130-042-102, £186 each). These are used to purify different populations of immune cells for experiments.  These small magnets are used for small cell numbers and for positive selection (retaining the cell populations we want).

Cell separation magnets £830 (2 MidiMACS magnets, cat 130-042-302, £415 each). These are used to purify different populations of immune cells for experiments. These larger magnets are used for larger cell numbers and for negative selection (depleting cell populations we don’t want). 

Set of Laboratory Pipettes & Pipette Aids £1,000 To accurately measure volumes of liquids and immune cell suspensions. These are heavily used in all of our experimental work and are always in demand. 

Western blotting system (for protein analysis) £1,300 (Including MINI-P TET COMP SYS, 10 W, 1.0MM, MINI TRANS-BLOT CELL and POWERPAC). This allows us to separate different proteins isolated from immune cells and characterize them in detail. This could be used to assess whether altered immune function in certain individuals correlates with altered expression of a particular protein.

PCR Machine (for DNA analysis) £5,500 (e.g. the C100 Touch Thermal Cycler, Bio-Rad). This machine has thermal blocks that allow us to perform temperature sensitive reactions.  The blocks change temperature rapidly and uniformly allowing precision reactions in all of our sample tubes. This can be used for amplification of genes and characterization of gene expression in different samples. 

Previous Projects - Where your donations went.

By July 2014 Dr Lucy Walker of University College London (UCL) had just completed a rearch projected in Type One Missions name. Research at this level does not come cheap and the whole project cost £50,000. Seeing as this target has now been exceeded we will be looking to fund further research projects with Lucy in the future in a bid to realise the dream of finding a prevention or cure for Type 1 diabetes.


In the words of Dr Lucy Walker:


"So far in the project we have been using CTLA-4-Ig to block the CD28 pathway in human T cells to test how this alters the immune response.  One issue with this reagent is that we think it interrupts the function of regulatory T cells (that protect from disease) as well as conventional T cells that cause disease. We have performed careful in vitro assays to test the effect of CTLA-4-Ig on naive and memory conventional T cells as well as on regulatory T cells.  We have identified differences in the way the reagent affects each of these cell types which we think might be important.  We are now starting to get results coming through from the mouse part of the project; here we have made mice deficient in the CD28 pathway and are looking at whether these mice can still develop diabetes.  The early data suggest that these mice are not able to develop diabetes - while this is predicted by our thinking, we have not shown this before, making it a novel and interesting finding.  We are keen to follow this up with larger scale experiments to validate and extend our preliminary observation.  This part of the work will be led by a new research assistant, Alex Kogimtzis, and some of the Type One Mission funds will be put towards a part of Alex's salary.  In summary, we have uncovered new information about how the CD28 pathway affects the behaviour of different subsets of T cells and are learning about the capacity of this pathway to potentiate disease in models of diabetes."


"Work on this project commenced 1st May 2012. The Type One Mission research project in the Walker lab at Birmingham University is exploring why T cells mount an immune response against the pancreas in certain people leading to the development of Type One Diabetes (T1D).  The molecular mechanisms that change T cell behavior, causing them to mount this autoimmune response, are not understood.  The Type One Mission research project is allowing us to focus on the role of a particular protein called CD28 that is expressed on the surface of T cells.  CD28 triggers a signaling pathway into the T cells causing them to change their behavior.  We are currently studying precisely how T cell behavior is altered following CD28 engagement so we can assess whether this pathway is likely to contribute to diabetes development.  Drugs are available that target the CD28 pathway and we are in the process of testing exactly how these alter T cell responses in our experiments.  In the long term, if we can understand how the immune response causes T1D this should enable us to design new ways of interrupting the process."

Any money raised between 2011 and 2014 will be dedicated to Dr Lucy Walker and her team.

In General our aims have always been:

1.    Provide relief for people with Type 1 diabetes and its related complications and to those that care for them:

2.    Promote the welfare of people with Type 1 diabetes and its related complications and to those that care for them:

3.    Advance the understanding of the difference in origin of Type 1 diabetes in relation to Type 2 diabetes by education of people with diabetes, others who care for them and the general public;

4.    Advance the understanding and knowledge of immediate life-threatening conditions of Type 1 and 2 diabetes (such as ketoacidosis) by education of people with diabetes, others who care for them and the general public;

5.    Promote and fund research into the origins of Type 1 diabetes; prevention and cure for the origin of Type 1 diabetes; cure for the condition of Type 1 and 2 diabetes; and to publish the results of any such research.