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Diabetes – Epigenetics

Charlotte Ling’s group

Our research

The goal of our research is to dissect the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and develop epigenetic-based therapies and biomarkers for precision medicine.

Type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease, and combinations of genetic and non-genetic factors such as age, obesity, and physical inactivity increase disease risk. Data from our group and others also show that epigenetic modifications contribute to type 2 diabetes. The epigenome includes DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNA. 

We have identified epigenetic modifications in pancreatic islets, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the liver from individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with controls. We have shown that genetic and non-genetic factors, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), exercise, diet, obesity, and age alter the epigenetic pattern in human tissues affecting type 2 diabetes. Our group has also identified blood-based epigenetic biomarkers that may be used for precision medicine.


  • To discover novel epigenetic modifications and mechanisms responsible for pancreatic islet dysfunction and insulin resistance in individuals with type 2 diabetes, which can be targeted for future type 2 diabetes therapies. 
  • To develop epigenetic biomarkers of clinical relevance that can be used for precision medicine in type 2 diabetes.


Our pioneering research has improved our understanding of how epigenetic modifications and mechanisms contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease. Our projects are also developing epigenetic tools that may be used for better prediction, prevention, and treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications. 

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

  • Distinguished professor grant from Swedish Research Council 2022-2031
  • Novo Nordisk Distinguished Investigator Grant 2022-2026
  • European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant 2017-2022
Photo of a researcher at Lund University.

Charlotte Ling

Charlotte Ling
Principal Investigator
Professor of diabetes and epigenetics
+46 706 14 51 46
charlotte [dot] ling [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Charlotte Ling’s profile i Lund University’s research portal


EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden 

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

EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Link to the Epihealth website