Video: Research – No more insulin

Watch or download our video, which shares the excitement of scientific discovery

Meet Professors Andrew Hattersley and Frances Ashcroft and some people affected by neonatal diabetes whose lives have been transformed as a result of this research.

Neonatal diabetes is a rare but severe form of the disease that occurs early in life. Children affected often have to undergo a life of daily insulin injections and strict diet monitoring. However, thanks to scientific research, many patients can now take well-known drugs called sulphonylureas instead.

Hattersley and Ashcroft found that the condition was caused by a genetic mutation that disrupted part of the insulin-secreting pathway, and could be treated with these drugs. Their research showed that diabetes in very young babies was caused by a genetic mutation, and has led to improved diagnosis of the condition. It also means that many patients can now take tablets instead of having to have daily insulin injections.

Running time 5 mins 17 secs

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About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Careers From Biology’ in June 2012 and reviewed and updated in November 2017.

Genetics and genomics, Careers, Medicine, Health, infection and disease
Careers From Biology, Genes, Genomes and Health
Education levels:
16–19, Undergraduate, Continuing professional development