Published: 08-11-2011 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:33

From test tube to treatment at diabetes conference

[PRESS INVITATION 8 November 2011] Diabetes has become a global epidemic that affects over 360 million people a year. The latest research in diabetes is now due to be discussed at an international symposium at Karolinska Institutet. Journalists are welcome.

Symposium on Molecular and Physiological Aspects of Diabetes Mellitus

  • Date and time: Friday 18 November, 9 am - 4 pm
  • Venue: Nobel Forum, Wallenbergsalen, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 1, Solna

Diabetes classifies as one of the greatest challenges to global health and was the subject of recent debate by the UN General Assembly, which agreed to continue trying to curb the spread of this disease that affects nearly all the body's tissues and organs. Diabetes is a complex disease that has several causes, and the symposium at Karolinska Institutet will be covering different aspects of diabetes research, from test tube to treatment.

Eight internationally renowned diabetes researchers have been invited to speak, including Camillo Ricordi from the University of Miami, USA, who will be presenting future possibilities and alternatives to the transplantation of insulin-producing cells. Different kinds of stem cells have been studied and produced promising results. Other possible options are to use the patients' own fully developed cells (e.g. liver cells), which can then be reprogrammed in the laboratory to form insulin-producing cells for retransplantation, and to stimulate the repair or re-formation of insulin-producing tissue inside the body.

Cynthia Kenyon from the University of California, USA, will be describing the latest research on the links between metabolism and life expectancy and the development of age-related diseases. She uses the roundworm C. elegans as a model in her research, which is an effective tool for studying mechanisms affecting life expectancy in higher organisms.

The human central nervous system regulates the body's energy balance by integrating signals received from the body and adjusting food intake and energy use accordingly. Jens C. Brüning of the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Germany, will be presenting genetic studies of the neuronal circuits involved in these feedback mechanisms and how their activity is controlled by hormones such as leptin and insulin.

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