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Diabetes and brain function

João Duarte’s group 

Our research

The overall purpose of our research is to understand the molecular determinants underlying cognitive impairment associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome components, including obesity, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, insulin resistance and hyperglycaemia.

Our team is interested in understanding metabolic interactions between glial cells and neurons, how these are regulated to support adequate brain function, and how they adapt to metabolic disease states.

We conduct studies on cells and tissue preparations, which allows us to investigate specific biochemical processes. We also study living rodent models, which allows us to examine brain metabolism structure and function, as well as whole-body physiology with intact interactions between the brain and peripheral organs.


To identify novel pathways that can be targeted by drugs or life-style interventions in order to improve brain function in metabolic disease.


Our current research is unveiling mechanisms of insulin-dependent metabolic regulation in insulin resistance. In the long run, this knowledge will enable us to devise novel therapeutic strategies that directly target brain metabolic regulation for neuroprotection and improvement of brain function in metabolic disease. 

Research output

Link to a list of research output by the group in Lund University’s research portal

Team members

Link to a list of team members in Lund University’s research portal


Current major grants

  • Medicine and health grant from the Swedish Research Council 2020-2022
  • Start-up fund from Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine (funds available until 2024) 
  • Project grant Direktör Albert Påhlssons stiftelse
  • Project grant Diabetesfonden
  • Sweden-Brazil collaboration grant from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education 2020-2022 
Photo of the researcher behind the study.

João M.N. Duarte

Principal investigator
Senior Lecturer
+46 724 525 631
joao [dot] duarte [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

João Duarte’s profile in Lund University’s research portal


EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden 

Link to EXODIAB’s page in Lund University’s research portal

Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine (WCMM)

Link to the WCMM website