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Donors put Nele at the heart of research

 October 26, 2015 | Simon Jenkins

“It’s about understanding why people with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease,” says PhD student Nele Warmke, explaining the focus of the research group she has joined at the University of Leeds.

Nele, from Hamburg, has been funded by the University’s Footsteps Fund to study for her PhD with the research team led by Mark Kearney, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research.

The Footsteps Fund combines gifts from thousands of alumni and other supporters to provide a range of student scholarships and opportunities. And when we appealed for support for Prof Kearney’s work, they responded with great generosity, allowing the team to recruit Nele to bolster our team investigating this potentially deadly combination of diseases.

“I really appreciate this funding and I would like to thank all the Footsteps Fund donors for this opportunity to come here,” she says.

“We’re looking at how new blood vessels form in people with diabetes and whether these cells are working together properly – and whether there is a particular cell type which has an influence on that.

“I hope that through this support I can make a difference during these four years, and hopefully in the long term this will make a real difference to patients.”

Donors put Nele at the heart of research