UDC Researchers Receive over half of this Year’s Research Grants from Barndiabetesfonden


Universitetshuset in a winter setting

Barndiabetesfonden (‘The Childrens’ Diabetes Foundation’ in Sweden) has awarded 19,7 million SEK in research grants this year. More than half of that sum has gone to Uppsala researchers who are part of Uppsala Diabetes Centre.

When it comes to Type 1-diabetes research, Barndiabetesfonden is the leading financier in Sweden. In a press release published on the 15th of December 2021, the foundation announced that 19,7 million SEK will be granted to 30 projects this year. More than 11,6 million – about 59 % – will go to research projects in Uppsala. All 14 researchers are part of the Uppsala Diabetes Centre (UDC) network.

Beatrice Kennedy is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Medical Sciences and has been awarded funding for the research project ’Cardiovascular Health in Parents to Children with Type 1 Diabetes’.

“It feels fantastic that Barndiabetesfonden has chosen to provide funding to our project, which focuses on whether type 1 diabetes in children also influences the cardiovascular health of their parents. The project is based on large-scale register linkages across national health and quality registers, including the child diabetes register ‘Swediabkids’. It is an important part of a larger research effort where we aim to understand an array of long-term health and socioeconomic consequences in parents to children with type 1 diabetes. This grant from Barndiabetesfonden will allow us to really focus on the impact on parents’ cardiovascular health, says Beatrice Kennedy.

The press release explicitly mentions Associate Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor and SciLifeLab Fellow Daniel Espes who will receive more than 1,8 million. With an ongoing clinical study, he aims to produce a new treatment method for Type 1 diabetes using tablets containing the amino acid GABA.

“It is very exciting and I am honoured to be awarded research funds from Barndiabetesfonden which is the largest financier of Type 1 diabetes research in Sweden. These funds will enable us to complete the study and if everything goes according to plan, we can compile the results as early as the end of next year. If the results are positive then we hope to follow this project with a larger study to further investigate whether GABA can lead to a curative treatment for Type 1 diabetes”, says Daniel Espes to Barndiabetesfonden.

Espes also received the foundation’s Johny Ludvigsson Award for ‘Young Child Diabetes Researcher in Sweden’ in 2021. The largest sum at more than 2 million goes to Uppsala Diabetes Centre director Professor Per-Ola Carlsson for the research project titled ‘Treating and Preventing Type 1 diabetes with Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

“We received an incredible grant allotment from Barndiabetesfonden with a total of 14 projects. It shows both the strength and the breadth of the Type 1 diabetes research that is being carried out at Uppsala university”, says Per-Ola Carlsson.

Uppsala Diabetes Centre also congratulates Nils Welsh, Per Liss, Bryndis Birnir, Olle Korsgren, Joey Lau Börjesson, Oskar Skog, Olof Eriksson, Gustaf Christoffersson, Marcus Lundberg, Xuan Wang, and Janeth Leksell. The press release and the complete list of recipients can be read at Barndiabetesfonden’s web site.

Anton Nyström

Photograph: David Naylor

Last modified: 2022-01-03