Significant research funding from the Novo Nordisk foundation was awarded to TCDM coordinator Diana Toivola for endocrinology research

Academy lecturer Diana Toivola, Åbo Akademi University, Faculty of Science and Engineering/Department of Cell Biology, was awarded a prestigious 3-year grant of 3 million DKK from the Novo Nordisk foundation, committee on endocrinology and metabolism, which supports biomedical research in all Nordic countries.

The aim of the basic science research is to find new molecular mechanisms important for beta cell health in the endocrine pancreas. Beta cells are vital to the body by producing the hormone insulin, which is required for the absorption of nutrients in the form of glucose to tissues. When blood glucose levels rise, for example after a meal, beta cells are stimulated to produce insulin. In patients with diabetes mellitus, a disease with a very high prevalence in Finland, beta cells are destroyed, leading to a decreased insulin production and uncontrolled blood glucose levels. In this research project, the research group will investigate how stress-protective proteins, keratins, maintain beta-cell health with special focus on glucose-stimulated production, transport and secretion of insulin.