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Olle Melander awarded ERC Advanced Grants

Olle Melander, professor of Internal Medicine and consultant at Skåne University Hospital, has received the prestigious European Research Council’s (ERC) Advanced Grant of approximately SEK 25 million.

Olle Melander
Olle Melander. Photo: Mikael Risedal
Olle Melander. Photo: Mikael Risedal

Olle Melander, Professor of Internal Medicine, does research on new preventive treatments for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“It feels incredibly inspiring that the European Research Council has in this way awarded the highest grade to our research, and shows that we are in the very highest echelons in life science in Europe. Receiving this grant has great significance for our research. It enables intervention studies that are expensive, but extremely important for the field, over the next five years.”

Olle Melander has previously had an ERC Starting Grant 2012–2016. He received the ERC Advanced Grant for the project “PREVENT-2024: Moving from biomarkers to mechanism-oriented prevention of cardiometabolic disease”.

Personalised treatment

In previous research, Olle Melander demonstrated that several different hormonal disruptions, for example of the hormones vasopressin, neurotensin and adrenomedullin, are linked to a considerably increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The funding from the European Research Council will be used primarily to strengthen research on personalised treatment measures to normalise these hormone disruptions. As the hormonal causes of diabetes and cardiovascular disease vary from individual to individual, the researchers first chart which hormone systems are overactive in different individuals and then initiate personalised treatments. By combining specific lifestyle measures and new drugs, the researchers normalise the individual’s hormone disruptions with an aim to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Counteract diabetes and cardiovascular disease

By personalising the preventive treatments, Olle Melander hopes that the “PREVENT‑2024” project will be able to counteract diabetes and cardiovascular disease on a broad front. He considers that the top-class clinical research infrastructures at Lund University and Skåne University Hospital provide unique conditions for succeeding with this type of translational research.

“Thanks to the proximity between academia and healthcare, we have good possibilities to implement our results clinically in the near future, so that they can benefit patients and all citizens. In the long term, I hope that the new concept of personalised and preventive treatment that we are testing in this project will lead to a substantial reduction in the number of people developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease”, says Olle Melander.