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Type 1 Diabetes: Accurate Prediction of Glucose Absorption from Food


Department of Computer Science

Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Manchester United Kingdom Data Analysis Computer Science Software Engineering

About the Project

Help people with Type 1 Diabetes better manage their condition. Better management reduces clinical risks.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed, preventing the body from being able to produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels adequately. Insulin is an essential hormone that allows cells to utilise the carbohydrates/ sugar that has been consumed or produced by the liver. There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Treatment with insulin is required for survival, and is usually given by injection just under the skin but can also be delivered by an insulin pump.

When left untreated, or when poorly controlled, these raised blood sugar levels can cause both microvascular and microvascular damage. This damage will eventually lead to deterioration in health and ultimately early death/ or disability. Essential to reducing these clinical risks is an understanding of how to accurately predict glucose concentration in the blood. This concentration is related to the food consumed and the efficiency of the body at metabolising this food. This is a wicked problem, and there is, likely, no perfect solution, we are 'simply' trying to get as close as possible. Instrumental is an understanding of food carbohydrates, glycemic index, glycemic load, and the bioabsorption of food both singularly and in combination. In this case, you will contribute to our broader Type 1 work by formulating studies, algorithms, and research prototypes to accurately predict blood glucose levels from the food we eat.

You will investigate how we might understand the importance of ingredients; portion size, weight, and composition; carbohydrate estimation and approximation; and absorption. Success will be a system which is better than a human at estimating food absorption and blood glucose levels - including predictions of future levels - for a specific individual.


Funding Notes

Candidates who have been offered a place for PhD study in the Department of Computer Science may be considered for funding by the Department. Further details on funding can be found at: View Website.

References

The effects of free fatty acids on gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis in normal subjects (http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI5479).
Diabetes? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes).
Boden, G. (2004). Gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis in health and diabetes. JIM 52(6), 375. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-52-06-31).

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