Diabetes at the NICB: 3U Partnership
The 3U Partnership is a major strategic initiative that combines the research expertise of two research intensive, non-medical Universities (Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth) in the Dublin region with Ireland’s largest medical school (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) and its associated hospital based Clinical and Translational Research Centres. The mission of the 3U Partnership is to address the unmet needs in the treatment of diseases and focus on an output that is targeted towards delivery. It will not only play an important role in advancing biomedical science, but will also deliver key innovations to the industry sector which is of critical importance to our economy.
The 3U Diabetes Consortium is a multi-disciplinary research consortium comprising clinicians and researchers that (i) undertake novel inter-disciplinary research to create novel treatment and preventive approaches and (ii) improve the clinical management of patients with diabetes. We have developed an integrated translational research model, designed to facilitate industry partners, by providing a single interface for diabetes research in Ireland.
INTEGRATED RESEARCH STRUCTURES
(i) Biomarker Discovery & Validation.
3U Diabetes Consortium partners are identifying, and validating biomarkers that reflect (i) β-cell mass; (ii) insulin resistance; (iii) metabolic dysfunction and (iv) diabetes complications.
(ii) Pathophysiology of Diabetes.
The consortium has significant expertise in the mechanisms of insulin secretory dysfunction and insulin resistance. Understanding disease pathophysiology and related mechanisms is essential to evaluate the physiological and clinical relevance of identified biomarkers/compounds. In vitro and in vivo models are used to assess the impact of nutritional, pharmacological and exercise interventions on glucose transport, substrate utilisation, intra-cellular signalling, mitochondrial function and gene expression.
(iii) Clinical Investigation.
We have the expertise and experience to design and implement Clinical Trials and already have a strong track record working with industry partners in diabetes. We have also established the first islet isolation facility in Ireland and are working to develop an Islet Transplant Programme in Ireland.
(iv) Clinical & Community Implementation.
A major focus is to change the model of diabetes healthcare delivery to reduce the pressure on tertiary facilities and increase community management. We develop prevalence models and use geographical information system technology to optimise service provision and configuration and work on patient information campaigns to raise awareness of diabetes.