Facts about endocrinology and metabolism

Research into endocrinology and metabolism touches upon many of the most important health problems of our time, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis and hormonal disturbances. The research involves e.g. nutrition, physical activity, anaesthesia and intensive care, drug metabolism, neurology, nephrology, and gastroenterology.


Endocrinology is the study of the body's hormone-secreting organs, such as the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands as well as the ovaries and testes. Endocrine cells are also found in the pancreas, kidneys, heart and intestinal mucosa. Hormones have an important role in the body's metabolism, in salt and water balance, in the regulation of blood pressure and temperature, in the formation of bone, muscle, and blood, and in human reproduction.


Metabolism - the chemical turnover of the body - encompasses the body's chemical reaction pathways that e.g. transform nutrients to energy, structural components and waste products, the regulation of hormone secretion and the breakdown of ingested drugs into active metabolites.

Diagnosis and treatment

Understanding the underlying mechanisms of disease, at a molecular level, is an essential precondition for the development of new methods of diagnosis and treatment. In recent years, rapid developments have been seen in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, imaging and biostatistics, giving us new opportunities for progress in basic research. At the same time, Karolinska Institutet is home to dynamic clinical research in endocrinology and metabolism. The close collaboration with Karolinska University Hospital provides excellent opportunities for translational research in opposite directions from bench to bed and from bed to bench.