On- Going Studies

Diabetes and Non-Communicable Disease Research

Our research programmes have focused on using international research frameworks to mobilise discovery and evaluation of risk factors for prediction of disease, reporting epigenetic disturbances and translating evidence-based interventions for NCDs into the Indian context. Indians are at ~3-fold higher risk of type-2 diabetes (T2D) and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), compared to Europeans. This excess risk is not explained by known risk factors. Our main research interest is to identify potential causal associations, and help establish new approaches to risk stratification, early interventions, prevention and management of T2D and CVD.

Major Research Grants

This ambitious project, led by Imperial College London represents a collaboration between academic and clinical experts in NCD prevention and control from leading institutions in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the UK. With initial 4 year funding from the UK National Institutes for Health Research, we will pursue a program of translational research in that aims to strengthen disease surveillance ~150,000 South Asians (~60,000 Indians), quantify relationships of clinical and laboratory measures with risk of T2D and CVD, build capacity of health systems (including frontline health workers) and engage key stakeholders, decision-makers and policy makers for an effective dissemination and implementation of the findings.

Funded by EU Horizon 2020, and led by Imperial College London, the iHealth-T2D study brings together an international consortium from the UK, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Using a cluster randomised clinical trial, we are evaluating the clinical effectiveness of intensive lifestyle modification for the prevention of T2D amongst South Asians with central obesity/prediabetes. 20,000 South Asians in 120 location across the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) were screened and 3,600 are enrolled for the designed lifestyle intervention. Our early findings have been incorporated into policy in India, through the NITI Aayog NCD framework. More than 7000 participants screened in India (Delhi-NCR, Mohali, and Muzaffarpur), 912 participants were enrolled and now we are at completion of follow-up 1 and have already started follow-up 2.

This project funded by European FP7, led by Imperial College London with a consortium of 13 partners from the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, Africa, and Europe, investigates the transgenerational and early life epigenetic mechanisms underlying the global differences in T2D amongst South Asians. The study reported that adiposity drives disturbances in regulatory DNA Methylation that may underpin subsequent development of T2D and other clinical consequences of obesity (Genome Biology 2015, Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 2016, and Nature 2017).

The project is funded by Human Genetics Program, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology and consists of a consortium with CMC Vellore, MDRF and SSKM Hospital, IPGMER, Kolkata. The aim is to screen an extended 30 monogenic diabetes gene panel to identify the pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in clinically suspected MODY (Maturity onset diabetes of young: monogenic diabetes) and also in young diabetes subjects. Max Healthcare will lead for the prevalence of MODY in the young population from North India.

Investigator-initiated Research Projects

The study is designed to screen and identify GCK mutations in women with Gestational diabetes. Heterogeneous GCK mutations have a direct relationship with birth weight and it is crucial to identify such patients during pregnancy to administer the appropriate treatment plan. Through this study, we have identified a novel variant in the GCK gene which is reported in the Lancet Endocrinology & Diabetes.

The purpose of this retrospective study is to estimate the prevalence of Ketosis-Prone Diabetes (KPD), allowing for a more comprehensive stratification of the disease in the Indian population. Ongoing screening of our clinic population is underway to identify clinical features and prevalence of KDP. More than 5,000 patients till date have undergone screening for the study and we reported the first case of KDP in India in Diabetes Care.

This is a cluster-randomized trial aimed at identifying and recruiting high-risk women to prevent gestational diabetes through lifestyle intervention and improve maternal-fetal outcomes. Training modules for healthcare workers to deliver the lifestyle intervention as well as comprehensive education material on diet and physical activity have been developed for the study which is in its pilot stage and scheduled to be scaled up.

RT2DM is a project initiated by Dr Sujeet Jha in India 3 years back after observing the remarkable findings of Prof Roy Taylor and team in United Kingdom. The research investigated effect of low calorie diet (800-1000 Kcal/day) in an Indian community without any anti diabetic medications. Participants were strictly supervised and monitored in a structured scientific manner. Self-motivation is a very important key to successfully implement the advice provided. Therefore, Participants who were eager to volunteer in the research were recruited from our Out Patient Department and were counselled about the project. Two months of intervention and follow up of 6 months showed positive and promising results which motivated us to launch it as a choice of treatment for the patients (please provide a link which connects it with Reversal clinic page).