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Genetics and Diabetes

Emma Ahlqvist’s group

Our research

Diabetes is a heterogeneous multi-organ disease defined by elevated glucose levels. It is caused by genetic and environmental risk factors that combine to cause dysregulation of glucose metabolism through insulin resistance and/or insulin deficiency.

In our research group, we study all types of diabetes to understand how disease heterogeneity affects disease progression, response to treatment and risk of complications.

To this end, we use large population and cohort studies, for example the All New Diabetes In Scania (ANDIS) cohort, as well as other cohorts and biobanks of human tissues, to which we apply various genetic, statistic and bioinformatic methods, focusing on large scale “omics” methods.


  • The overall aim is to describe the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of diabetes to personalise and improve diabetes treatment. Specifically, we aim is to characterise novel subtypes of type 2 diabetes with respect to disease progression and response to treatment.
  • Another major research aim is identification of genetic risk variants and parent-of-origin effects for diabetes-related traits, to identify novel therapeutic targets and elucidate underlying disease mechanisms.


Globally, diabetes affects about ten percent of the population with incidence still on the rise. A more personalised approach to diabetes treatment, focusing on individuals with high risk of complications and tailored to the most important disease mechanisms, could spare both individual suffering and societal costs.

Portrait of Emma Ahlqvist. Photograph.


Emma Ahlqvist
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor of genetic epidemiology and Senior Lecturer
+46 (0)707 56 15 71
+46 (0)40 39 10 14
emma [dot] ahlqvist [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (emma[dot]ahlqvist[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Emma Ahlqvist'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

FIMM – Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki University, Finland
Link to webpage with more information about FIMM