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24 June 2017

News from Europe

Portugal: Taking diabetes research to the next level

APDPERCResearch has been at the heart of the activities of the Portuguese Diabetes Association (APDP) for many years. In recent years, research projects expanded so much so that, back in 2012, APDP decided to create a separate unit dedicated to this field: the APDP Education and Research Centre (ERC).

Beyond taking advantage of the large clinical experience of the institution, the main aim of the ERC is to bring to clinical setting researchers previously working in biomedical laboratories. A member from this new group of researchers, Dr Joana Gaspar, was awarded the IDF Euro Prize for Young Researcher in 2014.

Recently, the ERC also received funding from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) for two projects: the first on alternative markers of glycaemic control led by Dr. Rogério Ribeiro, and the second on predicting diabetes and diabetic wounding in siblings of people with type 2 diabetes led by Prof. João Raposo.

Another field of research the ERC is studying national initiatives on diabetes prevention, which are being rolled-out in 2015. Work will include identifying educational and motivational strategies, as well as assessing the economic impact of diabetes prevention initiatives.

Thanks to the ERC, APDP has expanded its network of collaboration with academic institutions and enterprises, both nationally and internationally. APDP is currently a partner in several EU-funded projects in a range of subjects: paediatric diabetes care, training of educators, management of type 2 diabetes in elderly patients, assessment of risk of type 2 diabetes in adolescents, economic models of integrated care, and many more.

Being the oldest patient association in the world, and providing medical assistance to 300 people daily, APDP is now looking into the future of diabetes research to promote excellence in diabetes care today.