Erik Renström is the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University
His research group is primarily focused on:
Diabetes mellitus is a complex disease caused by an unfavourable combination of inherited traits and environmental factors, mainly those related to our lifestyle. Diabetes is also a multifaceted disorder that should be regarded as an umbrella diagnosis for different diseases with a common major symptom – chronically elevated blood glucose. Common to the absolute majority of disease variants is a reduced capacity for insulin secretion from the beta-cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans.
Despite several decades of intense investigations, several of the fundamental reactions of the beta-cell remain elusive. This means that we may misinterpret how diabetes develops and how it should be treated. Development of diabetes is associated with reduced insulin release from the beta-cell, which may dedifferentiate to inactive forms, or even be destroyed by apoptosis. Similar events occur during aging, but elevated concentrations of blood and lipids accelerate this process.
Our research group investigates primarily beta-cells by electrophysiology, live imaging and superresolution microscopy. We have a particular interest in factors that accelerate aging – genetic or environmental – and reactions in the beta-cell that increase the risk of diabetes. Important tools in these endeavors are omics techniques that help us formulate relevant hypotheses.