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Insulin signal transduction

Eva Degerman’s group

Our research

There is a confirmed relationship between diabetes and dysfunction of the inner ear, our hearing and balance organ, and a large number of reviews and meta-analyses have been published on the subject. However, the mechanisms behind this association are not known. Our ongoing studies indicate that the inner ear is a direct target for insulin action and insulin resistance with implications for inner ear dysfunction in diabetes. 

In our research, experts from different areas use a variety of techniques to investigate the association between diabetes and inner ear dysfunction. For example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to study inner ear hydrops, which is a distinctive feature of inner ear dysfunction, in vivo, and auditory cells and human inner ears are used to explore inner ear insulin signalling networks. 


We aim to explore mechanisms and generate a view of the inner ear insulin signalling networks and targets that are relevant for inner ear dysfunction in diabetes. We also aim to identify risk factors and treatment strategies at the interface of insulin resistance, diabetes, and the inner ear for the benefit of patients. 


Currently, there are no formal hearing loss screening recommendations for patients with diabetes. Also, considering the importance of the inner ear in balance control, reduced inner ear performance might be a very important factor when it comes to falls and dizziness in patients with diabetes, that has so far been overlooked. A long-term result would be the introduction of hearing assessment as part of diabetes care to minimize further damage to the inner ear.

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
  • Diabetes Wellness Sverige 2022
  • The Albert Påhlsson Foundation 2022
Foto på Eva Degerman.

Eva Degerman

Principal investigator
Professor of experimental diabetes research
+46 708 85 83 62
+46 708 85 83 62
eva [dot] degerman [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

Eva Degerman’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