Recruited fellows to the SRP Diabetes Fellowship Program

Gizem Korkut

Dr Gizem Korkut

I studied molecular biology and genetics at Bilkent University, Turkey and completed my MSc at Umeå University (Sweden) where I wrote a master’s thesis on cellular immunity in D. melanogaster. I did my PhD in Uppsala University in which I explored innate immunity using freshwater crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus as a model organism, with an emphasis on the infection pathways of the white spot syndrome virus. I defended my thesis in 2018. In 2019, I started a postdoc project focusing on molecular profiling of renal glomerular tissue using single cell transcriptomics, with an aim of discovering molecular pathways driving the progression of chronic kidney disease.

In October 2021, I started my SRP Diabetes Postdoctroal Fellowship project at Karolinska Institutet in a project led by Prof Jaakko Patrakka, with a focus on exploring molecular mechanisms of reno-protective drugs in diabetic nephropathy. In the project, we apply single cell sequencing to clinical and experimental material to identify targets of currently used reno-protective drugs. We hope to discover biomarkers for drug responses and identify novel therapeutical targets for diabetic nephropathy.

Project title: Identification of reno-protective molecular signatures in diabetic nephropathy using single cell transcriptomics. 

Stine Praestholm

Dr Stine Marie Praestholm

I studied biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Southern Denmark and obtained my PhD in April 2021. In my research, I have focused on transcriptional regulation mediated by nuclear receptors: the thyroid hormone receptor and the glucocorticoid receptor, in mouse liver. Specifically, I have investigated enhancers regulated by the thyroid hormone receptor identifying different types of enhancers differential bound by coregulators. Most recently, I studied the role of the glucocorticoid receptor in regulating hepatic gene transcription in the transition from fasting to feeding in a circadian context.

In October 2021, I will start my SRP Diabetes Postdoctoral Fellowship at Karolinska Institutet under the supervision of Professor Jorge Ruas at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. In our project we will investigate how a protein, newly discovered to be a major regulator of inflammation, extracellular matrix remodeling and fibrogenesis, called TRAIN, promotes NAFLD/NASH and elucidate the molecular mechanism. Moreover, we will evaluate the TRAIN-driven secretome to identify diagnostic tools for NAFLD/NASH and investigate TRAIN levels and candidate biomarkers in NAFLD/NASH patient samples. The findings of this project could potentially form a basis of a new class of pharmacological therapies for NASH.

Project title: TRAIN, a novel target in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Maxence Jollet

Dr Maxence Jollet

I am an exercise physiologist specialized in skeletal muscle tissue. I graduated my Bachelor and Master degrees in Faculty of Sport Sciences from University of Montpellier, France. Then, I completed my PhD about gut microbiota – skeletal muscle crosstalk in Muscular Dynamism and Metabolism lab. During my thesis, I worked on association of remarkable muscle phenotypes and intestinal bacterial signatures in order to determine underlying mechanisms of the gut microbiota – skeletal muscle relationship. I investigated this crosstalk in axenic mice, myostatin knock-out  hypertrophic muscle mice, mdx dystrophic mice together with hypoactivity – atrophic human model.

In December 2021, I started my SRP Diabetes Postdoctoral Fellowship at Karolinska Institutet supervised by Professor Juleen Zierath at the Integrative Physiology Group at Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery. Our main objective is to determine whether there is bidirectional signaling between the core clock and pathways coordinating mitochondrial metabolism, and the extent to which the circadian transcriptional machinery is disrupted in type 2 diabetes. To investigate this disruption in type 2 diabetes, we adopt multi-disciplinary approaches integrating animal models and cell-based systems with the clinical material from type 2 diabetes patients.

Project title: Circadian control of mitochondrial metabolism in type 2 diabetes.

Guanglin Niu

Dr Guanglin Niu

I studied Molecular Biology and conducted my master study about the role of non-coding RNAs in muscle development at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China, from 2014 to 2017. After that, I joined Prof. Angelika Schnieke’s research group at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, for a Ph.D. study. In the past 4 years, I have been working on p53 in tumorigenesis, and my investigation leads to discovering a novel circular RNA, 'Circular TP53', in a transgenic porcine model. I joined Dr. Ning Xu Landén's group at the Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institute as a Postdoc fellow in May 2021.

I will start my SRP Diabetes Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2022 and work on a project focusing on the circRNAs encoded by mitochondria (mecciRNAs). I will investigate the role of mecciRNAs in mitochondrial dysfunction and diabetic foot ulcer and evaluate the therapeutic potential of targeting circRNAs in hard-to-heal wounds. The findings of this study may, from a new angle, add to our understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetic ulcers and uncover novel drug targets for further clinical studies.

Project title: Mitochondria-encoded circular RNAs in Diabetic foot ulcers.

Omar Hmeadi

Dr Omar Hmeadi

I graduated from Aleppo University (Syria) with a BSc in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Subsequently, I obtained an MSc in Clinical Biochemistry from Damascus University (Syria), where my research focused on the relationship between serum magnesium levels and obesity, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes. In 2020, I completed my Ph.D. in Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University (Sweden) working with Professor Sebastian Barg where I investigated mechanisms that coupled glucose sensing to hormone secretion in the different pancreatic cells. I then continued in the same lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. My postdoctoral research centered on understanding the nature of impaired pancreatic hormone secretion in type-2 diabetic islets and the visualization of processes occurring at the level of individual cells or intact islets.

From February 2022, I shall be working at the Karolinska Institutet as a SRP Postdoctoral Research Fellow, where I will have the opportunity to work with Niklas Mejhert and Mikael Rydén at MedH, KI. My new area of study will be to assess white adipocyte heterogeneity and its link to insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes. In addtion to isolate and functionally characterize human white adipocyte subpopulations. I hope that this experience may improve our understanding of white adipocyte biology and its relation to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, and lay the foundation for the future development of therapies targeting white adipose tissue.

Project title: Adipocyte heterogeneity - a novel determinant of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.