Our research focuses on the cause of diabetes and on possibilities to prevent and cure the disease. The research has a broad multidisciplinary translational approach, which integrates genetics, bioinformatics, physiology, cell biology, clinical immunology, diabetology and transplantation research.
Diabetes mellitus is a lifelong, incapacitating disease affecting multiple organs. Estimates of worldwide prevalence suggest that 250 million patients have diabetes today and that this number by 2025 will increase by fifty percent. In Sweden, at least 500,000 people suffer from diabetes today. Diabetes and its complications impose an immense burden on the quality of life of patients and account for more than ten percent of health care costs in Sweden.
Although type 2 diabetes accounts for most of the diabetes epidemic, type 1 diabetes (TID) is in Sweden the most common chronic disorder in children. More than two children per day are diagnosed with T1D, reaching more than 800 patients per year. In Finland one child out of 123 will be diagnosed with T1D before the age of 15 years. The figures are frightening and for unknown reasons the incidence of T1D has doubled during the past twenty years and continues to increase by four to six percent per year.
The aim of our research is to clarify the etiology of TID and to pave the way for development of new strategies for prevention and cure of TID.
The work is organised in five projects with the following objectives:
a) Unravel the etiology of TID.
b) Halt or prevent TID in newly diagnosed patients by transplanation of autologous mesenchymal stem cells.
c) Islet Imaging: Antibody-based proteomics for discovery and exploration of proteins expressed in pancreatic islets
d) Transplantation of isolated islets to cure patients with the most severe TID, experimental and clinical studies.
e) Induction of immunological tolerance: Regulatory T cells for treatment of transplantation induced immune reactions