Recruited fellows to Novo Nordisk Fellowship Program at Karolinska Institutet

Dr Isabel Cordero Herrera

I graduated in Biochemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid. During my PhD at the Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC) I studied the molecular mechanisms involved in the antidiabetic effect of dietary polyphenols. I have studied how these compounds modulate different signalling pathways, improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance as well as they prevent oxidative stress under diabetic situation. Additionally, I conducted a research stay at Gothenburg University and at Texas Children’s Hospital where I deepened my knowledge on the molecular bases of diabetes and obesity and on the relation between diet and health respectively.

I started my Novo Nordisk Fellowship in October 2016 and joined the Renal and Cardiovascular Research group, headed by Prof Mattias Carlström. Oxidative stress and Nitric Oxide deficiency can contribute to the development of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), or its adverse complications. Adenosine can influence vascular and metabolic functions and modulates oxidative stress. Our translational project aims at characterizing the mechanisms whereby adenosine and nitric oxide signalling modulates oxidative stress, and how this influences metabolic, microvascular and immune cell functions in T2D.

Dr Lars Ketscher


I studied biology at the TU Dresden and obtained a PhD at the University of Freiburg. My PhD thesis was focused on post-translational protein modifications of the innate immune response. Afterwards, I worked at Sanofi-Aventis in collaboration with the EMBL Heidelberg. In this project, I analyzed the secretome of endocrine cells using mass spectrometry and functional assays for the identification of novel secreted peptide hormones in the context of diabetes and metabolic disorders.

In 2016, I came to the Karolinska Institute to start my Novo Nordisk Fellowship in the Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology group headed by Prof. Jorge Ruas. My current research project is focused on small extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from skeletal muscle. Exosomes represent important mediators of inter-organ communication, since they may shuttle biologically active molecules such as RNAs, proteins and metabolites over long distances. This fellowship provides me the opportunity to investigate the function of “myo-exosomes” using skeletal muscle atrophy/hypertrophy models in combination with cellular assays and different “omics” approaches.

Dr Pauline Vercruysse

I studied Biotechnology at the Ecole Superieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS), an engineer school in Strasbourg. My PhD at the University of Strasbourg and at the University of Ulm was focused on the metabolic alterations in a neurodegenerative disease. More precisely I studied the hypothalamic alterations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. 

I started my Novo Nordisk Fellowship at Karolinska Institutet in November 2016 and joined the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Christina Bark. Interestingly, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease share pathophysiological mechanisms. Moreover, impaired regulated membrane fusion is a symptom in both diseases. The dysfunction of membrane fusion could be due to a defect in SNARE proteins. A study from the lab on a mutated mouse with a splicing interference of one of SNARE complex proteins showed that the interference is sufficient to provoke a severe metabolic phenotype. My project is focused on the link between metabolic disease and neurodegeneration. More precisely the goal is to look if the impaired membrane fusion in this mutated mouse, after leading to metabolic dysfunction, could also lead to neurodegeneration and to understand common pathways implicated.