Our research

Selected current research projects:

Currently, the Clinical Translational Metabolism group is working within different research areas related to clinical obesity research:

The S-LiTE study

"S-LiTE" is an abbreviation for "Synergy effect of the appetite hormone GLP-1 (LiragluTide) and Exercise in maintenance of weight loss and health after a low calorie diet. The randomized controlled trial started recruitment in August 2016 and is running for several years. See the project's facebook site

The S-LiTE study

Click on the picture to see full overview of study design

Obesity affects 1 billion people and impairs all aspects of health; therefore there is an acute need for better treatment strategies. Chronic inflammation is an established part of the pathogenesis of obesity. Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) reduces food intake. We have previously shown that: 1) obese people have low endogenous GLP-1 response; 2) weight loss induces a marked increase in GLP-1 response, and 3) treatment with GLP-1 analogues facilitates long term weight loss maintenance accompanied by substantial improvement in metabolic health, compared to diet-induced weight loss maintenance. Exercise seem to ensure a more healthy weight loss maintenance and immuno-metabolic profile compared to diet-induced weight loss alone, by influencing systemic and adipose tissue inflammatory pathways. Emerging evidence identify GLP-1 as a potentially important immuno-modulator. Thus, both exercise and GLP-1 analogue treatment seem to facilitate weight loss maintenance, improve metabolic health and reduce systemic inflammation. We therefore hypothesize that combined treatment with GLP-1 and exercise exerts positive synergistic effects on immuno-metabolic health. Following a diet-induced weight loss we will test the individual and combined effects of GLP-1 analogue and exercise treatment on  immuno-metabolic health biomarkers, remission of metabolic syndrome and weight loss maintenance; enrichment of the microbiota and amelioration of the epigenetic signature of spermatozoa.

Thus the goal is to establish novel and interdisciplinary strategies to improve immuno-metabolic health and maintain weight loss. By applying state-of-the-art methods, we wish to identify new pathways and generate targets for sustainable and immuno-metabolic health-promoting weight loss strategies.

Melanocortin-4 receptor mutations and GLP-1

MutationsMutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene represent the most common monogenic cause of severe childhood obesity. The MC4R is expressed in the hypothalamus in the brain and is an important regulator of food intake, energy expenditure and glucose homeostasis. Glucagon-like peptide (GLP) -1 is an incretin hormone that potentiates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and also acts as an appetite-inhibiting hormone affecting the appetite center in the hypothalamus.

The aim of this project is to explore if the MC4R is part of the appetite inhibiting effect of GLP-1 and to investigate the physiological role of GLP-1 concerning body weight and appetite regulation in MC4R mutation carriers. Our hypothesis is that GLP-1 acts independently of the MC4R in the hypothalamus, and analogues of GLP-1 thus may serve as a treatment option for these patients.

Glucose metabolism in patients with mutations in voltage-gated potassium channels (long QT patients)

Glucose metabolismVoltage gated-potassium channels are located in the heart but also in glucose-regulating organs such as the pancreas and the intestine.
Therefore, we investigate the glucose metabolism in patients with loss of function mutations in the Voltage-gated potassium channels (long QT syndrome patients).


Read article about the project

Member of the NNF TrlC consortium: Discovery and validation of novel targets for therapy, characterization and response to treatment in immuno-metabolic diseases

Novo Nordisk Fonden logoThe programmes both combine the fields of immunology and metabolic research and bring together investigators from three institutions; University of Copenhagen, Denmark, University of Oxford, Great Britain, and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

See previous research projects