S Albert Salehi
Research team manager
The aetiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is complex and it seems to involve the interaction between both genetic and environmental factors (also including mutritional and metabolic signals). Despite the increasing knowledge of T2D, treatment or prevention of the disease is still not satisfactory, as no T2D drug available on the market has been able to prevent the progressive nature of the disease and thereby reduce the economic burden of diabetes on society.
G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are of extreme pharmacological improtance and potential targets for new therapeutic agents in the tretment of a number of human diseases including T2D. We have identified numerous orphan GPCRs in human pancreatic islets, abdominal fat tissue and liver cells where we will functionally characterize novel GPCR2, secreted proteins and small molecules that regulate bea-cell proliferation, survival and functionality, where we also evaluate their suitability as novel frug targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. We hope that these proof-of-concept studies will initiate the development of novel classes of anti-diabetic drugs that may either complement or replace existing diabetes medications.
Since the functional role of the majority of all pancreatic islet GPCRs is not stablished, we believe that there is a great potential to discover both the possible physiological role of these GPCRs in islet function to further find a novel pancreatic islet specific drug targets lacking influence on the other tissues.
We are in the process of publishing our GPCR data which will be an evolutionary tool designed to build up a platform to be used by all researchers in Sweden and other countries.
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