Diabetes Day: predicting progression of disease

[PRESS INVITATION 27 October 2015] Diabetes is a heterogeneous disease, with some diabetes patients developing cardiovascular problems, while others may develop kidney complications. Interaction between genes and lifestyle are likely determinants of disease progression and determine which organ systems will be affected. At this year’s Diabetes Day at Karolinska Institutet, researchers will present the latest clinical and basic research on this topic.

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference and interview the participants.
Conference: Diabetes Day: Diabetes Day - Symposium on Molecular and Physiological Aspects of Diabetes Mellitus
Time: 13 November at 9:00–16:00
Location: Aula Medica, Nobels väg 6, Karolinska Institutet, Campus Solna

“Diabetes is a heterogeneous disease. We know that a person with a parent who suffers from the disease is twice as likely to develop diabetes themselves, but we don’t know who will develop kidney complications and who will develop cardiovascular disease as a result. If we were able to at an early stage identify specific risk progression, treatment could be improved and individualised” says Anna Krook, Professor at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, and one of the conference organisers.

Sarah Wild, Newcastle University, UK, will give an overview of the diabetes epidemic and the challenges we face, and Eva Toft, Ersta Hospital, Stockholm, will give a presentation about Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council's 4D initiative to improve diabetes care.

The hope is that research will be able to identify so called biomarkers, e.g., a protein or a pattern of active and inactive genes and proteins, which in combination with lifestyle information, could be used to understand why different patients are susceptible to different secondary complications. This is the focus of research presented by William T Cefalu, New Orleans, USA.

Sally Marshall, Newcastle University, UK, will present patient studies indicating that poorer glucose control in combination with certain genetic predispositions leads to diabetic kidney disease. Markku Laakso, University of Kuopio, Finland, tackles similar topics in his lecture, but focuses on development of secondary cardiovascular problems.

Why do some people with obesity also develop diabetes, while other obese people do not? Daniel P. Kelly, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona, Orlando, USA, will discuss the link between obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

The day ends with two lectures focused on more basic reaserch. One is about intestinal bacteria and how this bacterial flora may affect, and possibly in the future be used to treat, diabetes and other metabolic diseases, for example through faecal microbiota transplants. Nathalie Delzenne, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, will tell us more.

Ana Maria Cuervo, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA, will speak about autophagy, a constantly ongoing process in the body.

“Autophagy is a form of cannibalism where cells eat themselves. It’s a regulated process that we believe is meant to ensure that nutrients are correctly distributed between different organs. The process deteriorates as we get older, and in people who are ill, but if we could understand and affect the autophagy process, it may have an impact in terms of diabetes,” says Anna Krook.

The conference is organised by the Strategic Research Programme in Diabetes, a network of 230 researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University, which is funded by the Swedish state.

For more information, please view the programme. 

If you have any questions, please contact:
Professor Anna Krook
Tel: +46 70 729 22 79
E-mail: anna.krook@ki.se 

Press Officer Sabina Bossi
Tel: +46 8 524 860 66 or +46 70 614 60 66
E-mail: sabina.bossi@ki.se

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Its vision is to significantly contribute to the improvement of human health. Karolinska Institutet accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country´s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

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