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Research: Diabetes

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the causes of type 1 diabetes; and if he will make a statement. (323116)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The MRC funds a broad portfolio of diabetes research amounting to £28.1 million in 2008-09, of which £6.5 million was directly relevant to type 1 diabetes. Much of the research funded by MRC involves both type 1 and type 2, and often includes both underpinning studies and studies on the prevention, treatment and the downstream consequences of type 1 diabetes.

The MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health. The MRC does not normally allocate funds to particular topics, and research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. When appropriate, high quality research in particular areas of strategic importance may be given priority in competition for funds, but research excellence and importance to health continue to be the primary considerations in funding decisions.