Translational Metabolic Physiology Group

In our group, laboratory experiments can be translated into effective clinical studies in order to understand the functional challenges of obesity and diabetes, and to provide new principles for improved therapy of these conditions.

Research focus

We attempt to map the elements of endocrine regulation of metabolism and study them in depth. We study the biology and physiology of each of the relevant hormones, transmitters and regulatory agents, and constantly develop new methods, mostly based on immunological approaches, but also employing mass spectrometry. We are also using single cell approaches as well as isolated perfused organs, and in vivo studies in suitable animals (pigs, rats and transgenic mice) but above all human studies.

Main research areas

In our group, laboratory experiments can be translated into effective clinical studies in order to understand the functional challenges of obesity and diabetes, and to provide new principles for improved therapy of these conditions.

The group focuses on the following research areas: 

The role of pancreatic and intestinal hormones in bone physiology

Focuses on pancreatic and intestinal hormones and their role in intestinal and bone physiology. This includes both animal (mice, rat and pig) studies as well as human studies (gastric bypass patients, diabetic patients and healthy controls). In addition, we are continuously working on assay development to improve our unique spectrum of assays for measuring gastrointestinal hormones.

For further information regarding the role of pancreatic and intestinal hormones in bone physiology, please contact Bolette Hartmann.

Clinical translation of diabetes and obesity

Focuses on providing insights into the biological function in humans of the genes behind the strong genetic component of obesity and diabetes, as well as into the treatment potential. Clinically targeting these dysfunctionalities will with time improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of type-2 diabetes and obesity. Therefore, the overall aim is to clinically translate knowledge of rare genetic variants in genes encoding beta-cell and appetite regulating proteins into actions of personalised prevention, diagnosis and treatment of obesity and diabetes.

For further information regarding clinical translation of diabetes and obesity, please contact Signe Sørensen Torekov.

Metabolism and physiology of enteroendocrine hormones

Centers on the degradation and metabolism of the entero-pancreatic hormones (GLP-1, GLP-2, GIP, PYY, glucagon), the physiology and pathophysiology of the incretin hormones, and the therapeutic applications of the incretin hormones, GLP-1 analogues and DPP-4 inhibitors in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

For further information regarding metabolism and physiology of enteroendocrine hormones, please contact Carolyn Deacon.

Intergration of the gut in human glucose metabolism and its role in diabetes and obesity

Centres on the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes (with focus on glucagon and the gut-derived incretin hormones), obesity, regulation of appetite and food intake and utilization of incretins as therapeutics. Integration of the gut (including enteroendocrinology, microflora and bile acid biology) in the understanding of human glucose metabolism and its role in type 2 diabetic pathophysiology is our main focus.

For further information regarding integration of the gut in human glucose metabolism and its role in diabetes and obesity, please contact Filip Krag Knop.

Research goals

Major research goals are centered around the hormones Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1), which was discovered in our laboratory and has been studied extensively by the Section (analogues are now available for diabetes therapy, and are currently being evaluated for obesity treatment); Glucagon-like peptide-2, a regulator of intestinal growth and function as well as bone metabolism (also discovered in our lab, and recently approved for treatment of short-bowel syndrome); Glucose dependent Insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), a regulator of insulin secretion and fat deposition; PYY (a powerful inhibitor of food intake); neurotensin (another appetite suppressant); and glucagon.

Other major goals are elucidation of the beneficial effects of gastric bypass surgery on both diabetes and obesity, and understanding the mechanisms at the organ, cellular and molecular level that cause exaggerated secretion of the gut hormones after bypass surgery with a view to reproduce this in future therapeutic strategies.

Part of the research theme

Principal Investigator

Jens Juul HolstJens Juul Holst
Professor, dr.med.sci. 

+45 35327518
jjholst@sund.ku.dk

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