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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Diabetes Research Lay Panel

Diabetes Research Lay Panel Group

For the last 11 years the QMUL/Barts Health Diabetes Research Team has involved a group of 20+ people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to enhance local research.  The Diabetes Research Lay Panel Group was first founded by Professor Graham Hitman and Dr Gillian Hood in 2007.  The Lay Panel meets quarterly with the objective of improving research for the benefit of people with diabetes.  They also give valuable on-line feedback to researchers.  Activities include enhancing patient information sheets, improving research proposals and advising on study recruitment and dissemination, all of which has led to refining study design and delivery. The group are committed to exploring research into all facets of the condition.

“The work this group performs is exemplary and makes a real difference to diabetes research studies locally; I am very proud to have witnessed how it has grown in stature to its present form” (Professor Graham Hitman)

Diabetes can lead to a number of complications which can affect the health of the whole body. The Lay Group has given valuable feedback to researchers working on mental health and well-being, retinopathy, oral health and dentistry, cardiology, hepatology, and circulation.  Researchers presenting at lay group meetings and through online feedback have been considerably influenced by comments made by members.

“Many thanks for the feedback.  This has given lots of food for thought.  Please convey my heartfelt thanks to all members who took the time to review my proposal and give their feedback and advice.  I am encouraged by the appetite for this project” (Researcher)

The Lay Panel group has also represented QMUL/Barts Health at several diabetes awareness events and continues to promote the work of our diabetes research team throughout the locality.  Other activities include participating in research training, steering committees, validating questionnaires and influencing funding charities with debates on diabetes research priorities.

The work of the Lay Panel has been recognised and acknowledged by the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London, who presented them with an award in February 2017.  Dr Gillian Hood, her research team and the various members are very proud of the achievements of this group over the past years.

“The way it is chaired is excellent, discussions and questioning varied and decisions fair and progressive “(Lay Panel member)

“I am proud to be a member of this research group” (Lay Panel member)

To find out more information about the panel please contact Gillian Hood at or

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