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Metabolic Stress Associated Molecules as Drivers of inflammation


Obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and associated cardiovascular disease (CVD) often coexist clinically and constitute an epidemic global health problem. These diseases are associated with inflammation of metabolic and endocrine tissues. However, the mechanism behind this low-grade inflammation and to what degree the immune system is directly involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases is still unclear. The focus of our project is the dissection of the molecular underpinnings of metabolic inflammation.


The Novo Nordisk Foundation Immunometabolism Research Programme is led by Professor Claudia Monaco and it comprises 10 researchers within the University of Oxford in UK, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Its focus is on the discovery of new pathways / molecules that are important in sensing metabolism alterations. It is organised around 3 major work packages, which include varied aspects of the disease such as understanding immune cell activation in metabolic diseases and the development of tools to target specific pathways. The Research Programme will create a world class training environment for post graduate students and will foster the development of junior researchers.

The project aims to investigate the signaling pathways connecting metabolism alterations to inflammation in metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and atherosclerosis. Known or emergent biochemical pathways with the potential to induce inflammation in metabolic disease will be evaluated in state-of-the-art models of metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and obesity.