Royal visit to artificial pancreas research at Addenbrookes Hospital

Her Royal Highness with Professor Roman Hovorka at Addenbrookes Hospital.

In November 2018, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited Addenbrooke’s Hospital to see the world-leading type 1 diabetes technology being developed there by Professor Roman Hovorka of the University of Cambridge.

The Duchess, who has been President of the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF for the last five years, during which time she has met many individuals and families affected by type 1 diabetes, as well as the scientists and researchers working to cure, treat and prevent the condition supported by JDRF. She previously met Professor Hovorka when she visited Addenbrooke’s in 2012. Hovorka has been developing the artificial pancreas since 2006 with research funded by JDRF and NIHR at the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre*.
The artificial pancreas is now in advanced human trials after being found to be better at helping people with Type 1 diabetes manage their blood glucose levels by keeping them in range 65% of time, compared with 54% of the time without the technology. A prototype of the artificial pancreas is currently being trialled across six centres in the UK including the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility.

HRH Duchess of Cornwall with Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF UK, which helps fund the research into an artificial pancreas.

In attendance at the event was Sky News presenter and JDRF supporter, Stephen Dixon who was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 17. He was accompanied by JDRF Youth Ambassadors George Dove and Amy Wilton who also met Her Royal Highness when she visited Addenbrooke’s in February 2012. The Duchess was handed a posy of flowers by George Vinnicombe aged seven, and his sister Ava, aged five. George was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was six months old and spent a considerable time in intensive care.

JDRF is the leading global organisation funding type 1 diabetes research.

* Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) is a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions and a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation. Based within the most outstanding NHS and University partnerships in the country, the Biomedical Research Centres are leaders in scientific translation. Located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, they receive substantial levels of funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to translate fundamental biomedical research into clinical research that benefits patients and they are early adopters of new treatments. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is dedicated to improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Duchess of Cornwall with T1D George Vinnicombe and his sister Ava.

Photos: Mike Thornton, StillVision photography.

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