SRP Diabetes Rising Stars
SRP Diabetes supports young promising independent researchers within metabolism and diabetes through the Rising Stars Grant programme. Within this programme, SRP Diabetes supports Christian Broberger and Kirsty Spalding, who both have been awarded the prestigious ERC Starting Grant and have recently formed independent research groups at Karolinska Institutet.
CB graduated under Tomas Hökfelt's supervision in 1999 with a thesis describing the neuroanatomy of brain circuits involved in the regulation of energy metabolism. After finishing his MD training, he then studied the mechanisms whereby the brain switches from sleep to arousal as a postdoc with David McCormick at Yale University. Since 2004 CB runs his own lab at the Dept of Neuroscience dedicated to characterizing the neural networks that underlie motivated states such as defense, feeding and reproduction. His group combines neuroanatomy and electrophysiology to identify how hypothalamic neurones are connected, what their membrane properties are and how they are regulated to enable e.g. hormone release, feeding behaviour and wakefulness. Most recently, the Broberger lab was able to describe a curious oscillatory discharge pattern in hypothalamic dopamine neurons that inhibit prolactin secretion, which may be crucial in the control of lactation. In a separate line of research, CB is studying a novel protein family, the nucleobindings, in pancreatic islets. CB has been awarded the Florman award from the Royal Academy of Sciences (2006) and an ERC Starting grant (2010) and is an inaugural member and vice president of the Young Academy of Sweden. SRP collaborators include Juleen Zierath, Marie Björnholm, Carlos Ibanez and PO Berggren.
Originally from Perth, Australia, Dr Spalding received her PhD from the University of Western Australia in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, in the field of Neuroscience. In 2002 Dr Spalding moved to Stockholm, Sweden as an Ambassadorial Academic Scholar for one year. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the neural stem cell laboratory of Professor Jonas Frisén, at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Karolinska Institute (KI). Dr Spalding is currently an Assistant Professor at CMB, KI. Her primary research field is regenerative medicine, with a focus on cell turnover in human fat and brain tissue. Dr Spalding was recently awarded an ERC starting grant to study 'Adipose tissue mass regulation in lean and obese individuals'.