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Group photo of Dr John Fossey research group
Dr John Fossey (top) and his team of researchers working on 'smart insulin'

The groundbreaking work of Birmingham researcher Dr John Fossey and his team to transform how people with type 1 diabetes manage their condition was recently profiled in a Royal Pharmaceutical Society journal article.

The article looked at how research teams from around the world are developing 'glucose responsive' or 'smart insulins'. These insulins mimic the insulin producing cells found in a healthy individual. Smart insulins offer the possibility of 'once-a-day' treatments for diabetics, freeing patients from the daily grind of counting carbohydrates and injecting insulin several times a day.

Fossey's research group, which forms part of the School of Chemistry's Molecular Synthesis and Catalysis research unit, is focused on identifying the best synthetic molecules to deliver insulin. A key task is to figure out how to incorporate glucose sensors into big chemical structures to that they can hold (entrap) insulin. Once held within the structure, the insulin would only be released when the patient's glucose levels reach a certain level. This would mean insulin is only released when required, reducing the need for patients to continually monitor their blood sugar levels.

Fossey's research is featured alongside three other research projects funded by the the diabetes charity JDRF and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

You can read the full article online on The Pharmaceutical Journal website.