Keaton Irvine

Host University: Newcastle University

PhD research project:  Facilitating improved health in individuals with type 2 diabetes from historically underrepresented groups in the North-East

Project Summary:  Despite advances in available hypoglycaemic medications, proof of the reversibility of type 2 diabetes through diet and lifestyle interventions and ongoing updates to evidence based clinical guidelines currently support to manage type 2 diabetes is not working for everyone. This is clear in individuals from historically underrepresented groups where type 2 diabetes is more common, and health outcomes are often worse. Factors contributing to this association are complex and research in this field is fragmented. Considering the importance of self-management in type 2 diabetes, some of this association may be accounted for through the influence of social determinants of health on individual behaviours. Limited attention to individual social determinants of health is possible through the current care provision and novel interventions to address their contribution are required.

The North-East of England hosts multiple areas of high deprivation, a high incidence of type 2 diabetes and outcomes in these areas remain below the national average. This population presents an opportunity to further study the association between historically underrepresented groups and behaviours which influence T2DM outcomes and the opportunity to develop and trial an intervention which improves these outcomes within this population.

Background and research interests: I am a Registered Dietitian and postgraduate researcher with a specialist interest in the management of diabetes and equality in the provision of diabetes care.

I achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics, with Distinction, from Glasgow Caledonian University and previously worked as a Research Associate on the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) and the Reversal of Type 2 diabetes Upon Normalisation of Energy intake in the non-obese (ReTUNE) trial.

I am currently a specialist dietitian working on the NHS type 2 diabetes remission pilot programme and have previously worked as a specialist community, paediatric and diabetes dietitian across different health boards, providing outpatient clinics, group education and Healthcare professional training in primary care. Additionally, I have undertaken roles in community health promotion initiatives with national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations within the UK and abroad.

I am committed to an approach which empowers individuals to better understand and manage their own health. In addition to my nutrition-related qualifications I previously obtained a BSc Hons and MSci in Pharmacology from the University of Glasgow and engages with organisations which campaign for equal access to essential medicines and care across the world.

Expected PhD completion date: Summer 2025

Contact: [email protected]