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HRH Duchess of Cornwall visits clinical research facility

09 February 2012

Staff and visitors gathered in the ATC atrium to watch the arrival of HRH Duchess of Cornwall who was visiting the Cambridge Wellcome Trust clinical research facility.


Royal visit

HRH was invited to learn more about the work of JDRF, a leading type 1 diabetes research charity, and to speak to celebrities and children living with type 1 diabetes who have been involved with clinical trials. She also met with researchers from the University of Cambridge who are working on developing an artificial pancreas and preventing type 1 diabetes and its complications.


She spent time with Jeremy Irvine, star of Steven Spielberg’s film, Warhorse who has type 1 diabetes and took part in artificial pancreas trials in 2005 and 2007. He explained how technology helps him manage his type 1 with a hectic filming career.


She also spoke with BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter Justin Webb and his son Sam, who has type 1 diabetes, and discussed the family’s hope for the cure.


Samantha Wilson receives her award from Dr Goodier and Dr Archer

The Duchess of Cornwall with Professor David Dunger (professor of paediatrics), Dr Roman Hovorka (chief investigator closed loop), Janet Allen (research nurse).


The Duchess of Cornwall learned about two JDRF-funded trials. The artificial pancreas project focuses on developing an external device which people with type 1 diabetes could use to do what their bodies cannot: control both high and low blood glucose levels around the clock. It combines a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and an insulin pump with sophisticated computer software to provide the right amount of insulin at the right time.


Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Cardio-Renal Intervention Trial (AdDIT) is a clinical trial testing whether existing drugs used for treating high blood pressure and cholesterol in adults can prevent teenagers from developing complications from type 1 diabetes.


With Jeremy Irvine (research patient and star of War Horse), Hannah (research patient), Dr Roman Hovorka

With Jeremy Irvine (research patient and star of War Horse), Hannah (research patient), Dr Roman Hovorka


JDRF chief executive Karen Addington said: “We are delighted HRH Duchess of Cornwall visited the clinical trials centre in Cambridge and has shown an interest in children with type 1 diabetes. Her visit helped to highlight how this challenging and serious autoimmune condition, which is often overlooked, affects thousands of children and adults across the UK.”


The Duchess of Cornwall was welcomed by HM Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Mrs Jane Lewin Smith JP, Mayor of Cambridge, councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith and Mrs Margaret Nimmo-Smith, Dr Pat Troop, CUH non-executive director and Professor Sir Patrick Sissons, Regius Professor of Physic.


The Cambridge Wellcome Trust clinical research facility is a joint venture between CUH, Cambridge University and the Wellcome Trust. The aim of the facility is to support and encourage high-calibre research and ensure that it is conducted to the highest possible standards.





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