Applications for 2024 awards Research Fellow and Grants – NOW CLOSED
Fund award applications – NOW CLOSED

Professor Pratik Choudhary

We are delighted to welcome new Trustee and Chair of the Research Selection Committee, Professor Pratik Choudhary

Professor Pratik Choudhary is Professor and Honorary consultant in Diabetes with a special interest in type 1 diabetes and technology. He has active clinical and research programs around education, psychology and technology in type 1 diabetes. In particular, his research uses neuroimaging to explore the mechanisms of hypoglycaemia unawareness, and the use of different strategies such as technology and behavioural interventions to restore awareness. He has been involved in a number of national and international research studies, as well as a number of national and international training and education programs for diabetes.

He is ex-chair of the Diabetes Technology Network – UK, medical advisor to the Department of Transport, associate editor for Diabetic Medicine, Midlands Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Lead and member of the EASD Post Graduate education committee.

Prof Pratik Choudhary
Professor/ Hon Consultant in Diabetes
Diabetes Research Centre
University of Leicester

 Elena Tsompanaki

Elena is an HCPC registered dietitian with research interests in type 2 diabetes, behavioural interventions and the impact of weight loss programmes on mental health and disordered eating.

Elena was awarded the 2021 Novo Nordisk Research Foundation Fellowship in Clinical Diabetes to fund her research and pursue her DPhil (PhD). She is supervised by Professor Paul Aveyard, Dr Dimitrios Koutoukidis and Professor Rebecca Park. During my DPhil, Elena aims to investigate the impact of total diet replacement for type 2 diabetes remission on disorder eating, by conducting a clinical trial to monitor the changes in disordered eating symptoms during the programme. She will also collect qualitative data on the experiences of participants during the programme.

Elena has previously worked as a senior Specialist dietitian in two hospitals in London (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust), where she had the opportunity to conduct service evaluations in various specialities to improve patient care, in addition to her clinical role. She was also the Research Champion for Dietetics, as she aspires to encourage more Allied Healthcare Professionals to be involved in research. Her first post in the NHS was a dietetic research assistant role, investigating the gastrointestinal tolerance of pre-digested feeds in critically ill patients.

Prior to working as a clinical dietitian, Elena completed my MSc in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition at UCL with distinction. Elena’s MSc thesis focused on the impact of diet on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Prior to her MSc, she completed her undergraduate training on Nutritional Science and Dietetics in Harokopio University of Athens.

The Department

The NHS has started a trial-run of a weight loss programme replacing food  with  shakes and soups providing ~ 860 kcal/day for  3  months,  offered  to people with  newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes to  lose  weight and put their diabetes into remission. Some healthcare professionals and charities are sceptical about the programme’s effect on people’s mental health. They fear it may trigger people to have a negative relationship with food (disordered eating). Some studies show indirectly that these programmes are somewhat safe; however we do not know for sure if it could affect people’s relationship with food for the worse. 154 people with type 2 diabetes and disordered eating will be invited (picked up by questionnaires they will fill in) to participate in a trial. Of these people, 77 will get TDR and the rest will get their standard care. Scores of disordered eating and changes will be measured at 1, 3, 4, 6 and 12 months. Elena also plans to explore and understand their experiences using TDR and their thoughts about eating and body image. This study will help shed light on how safe this type of diet is for people with disordered eating. It may lead to screening for eating disorders if TDR becomes standard care. If concerns are unfounded, it can reassure people with type 2 diabetes and healthcare professionals.

Elena also is currently doing a systematic review of the impact of different weight loss programmes on disordered eating. This work will help identify potential alternatives for people with T2D who still wish to pursue weight loss as a way of putting their diabetes in remission, without worsening of their disordered eating, if found that this is the case with TDR.


We are delighted to announce the 2023 Research Fellowship is awarded to Dr Sophie McKay, University of Edinburgh
Optimising gestational diabetes care pathways; towards a personalised approach
Supervisor Professor Rebecca Reynolds.

Research Fellowship 2022 awarded to Dr Rabbi Swabi, University of Oxford
Redesigning the pathway to diagnosis in childhood type 1 diabetes
Supervisors : Dr Rachel Besser, Professor Colin Dayan, Professor John Todd.

“I am grateful to Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation for sponsoring this fellowship as part of my DPhil at the University of Oxford, which aims to optimise the pathway to diagnosis in children with early type 1 diabetes as part of my DPhil at the University of Oxford. A mixed method approach will be used to; synthesise evidence on tests used to predict progression to clinical type 1 diabetes, assess a capillary alternative to the standard venous oral glucose tolerance test, explore the experience of children, parents and healthcare professionals involved in follow-up, and test the feasibility of follow-up of children in the UK with early type 1 diabetes.”

Dr Rabbi Swabi

University of Oxford, 2022

“I am grateful to Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation for sponsoring my project at Imperial College London which will be the basis of my PhD. I am looking into the mechanism of action that bile acids have on gut hormones, diabetes control and weight loss. This will better our understanding on the manner in which gastric bypass surgery confers diabetes remission and weight loss. I hope that this will pave the way to developing targeted treatment in the future for patients with diabetes and obesity who cannot have bariatric surgery”.

Dr Yasmin Tabbakh

Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation, 2020

“This project will help to improve understanding of how women with a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes first diagnosed in pregnancy) may be helped to live a healthier lifestyle, and to attend their annual Type 2 diabetes screening appointments. These women are a known ‘at risk’ group for developing Type 2 diabetes. It is important that changes to their sugar levels are identified early and they are helped and supported to live a healthier lifestyle, as this will reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A greater understanding of the issues faced by these women and how these may be overcome can be used to develop interventions for these women to encourage a healthy lifestyle and screening attendance. I am very grateful to the Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation for funding me to undertake this project and enabling me to develop my research and diabetes knowledge.”

Chantelle Moorbey

Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation Fellow, 2019

Awards Now Open 2024

2024 applications – NOW CLOSED