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Home > News & events > News > Her Majesty The Queen tours laboratory aiming to stop type 1 diabetes in its tracks
We have today welcomed our President, Her Majesty The Queen, to University College London (UCL) Institute of Immunity and Transplantation. It is here that Professor Lucy Walker, is working on research that aims to stop the immune attack responsible for type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune conditions.
Professor Walker’s research is funded by the Connect Immune Research Partnership, which was established by JDRF and other autoimmune charities (Versus Arthritis, MS Society and the British Society of Immunology) in 2018. This ground-breaking partnership brings together researchers with expertise in different autoimmune conditions to accelerate research and develop more sophisticated treatments and cures for the millions of people living with autoimmune conditions.
Her Majesty was welcomed to the Institute, which is based within the Pears Building at the Royal Free campus, by Dr Michael Spence, UCL President & Provost and Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost (Health) before being warmly greeted by our Chief Executive Karen Addington and Professor Lucy Walker.
Professor Walker conducted a tour of her state-of-the art laboratories where Her Majesty learnt how immune cells from people with type 1 diabetes are studied in great depth. She went on to meet other members of Lucy’s team.
Her Majesty then joined a reception where she met our supporters including The Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, Derrick Evans MBE (Mr Motivator), Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE, and Nina Wadia OBE who spoke about their first-hand experience of living with type 1 diabetes and their hopes for the future of research.
Karen Addington said: “We are delighted to welcome The Queen to Professor Lucy Walker’s lab and showcase the innovative work being carried out thanks to our Connect Immune Research Partnership. We are incredibly grateful for Her Majesty The Queen’s support since June 2012 as our President and for helping us raise awareness about the importance of research in advancing our understanding of type 1 diabetes, bringing us closer to a cure.”
Lucy Walker says: “It’s a huge honour to welcome Her Majesty to the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation and showcase the research we do here in pursuit of a cure for type 1 diabetes. This visit highlights the critical importance of research in making discoveries that can lead to new treatments. It’s an incredibly exciting time in immunology where we are seeing real progress towards our goal of turning off unwanted immune responses. The support of funders such as JDRF is essential for these discoveries to be translated to life-changing therapies and I’m delighted that The Queen has honoured us with this visit.”
The research, which was co-funded by JDRF, reveals that drugs that target the immune system offer very effective and rapid improvements in stabilising blood sugar levels, often within just three months.
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Results from a clinical trial called the PROTECT study show that teplizumab can preserve beta cell function in children and adolescents newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.