BMB Section Seminar: "Type 2 diabetes – environment, genetics and epigenetics"
Kåre I. Birkeland MD, PhD, Specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and professor of internal medicine at Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo and senior physician at Oslo University Hospital.
Kåre I. Birkeland (Photo: Private)
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes increases in all part of the world and we estimate that at present more than 400 million people globally have the disease. The increase very much parallels the obesity epidemic, and more than 80% of subjects with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Hence, environmental factors like physical inactivity and energy surplus leading to access of body fat are important established risk factors for the disease. T2D runs in families, as the lifetime risk for having diabetes is 40% with one diabetic parent and 70% with two affected parents. Although more than 100 different SNPs have been identified through a number of large GWASs, no single gene has been shown to account for more than a very limited percentage of the variation in diabetes risk in the population. Hence, gene-environment interaction are obviously important for diabetes development and recent research has indicated that epigenetic mechanisms may play an important role. The lecture will discuss ongoing research in our group trying to illuminate these mechanisms.
Kåre I. Birkeland research group, is part of Oslo Diabetes Research Center and the research is related to type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolism. They perform epidemiological,clinical and translational research to increased the knowledge of diabetes pathophysiology and best treatment to be able to prevent the development of the disease and its complications. He has published about 200 scientific papers in international peer reviewed journals and a large number of popular scientific publications, abstracts and scientific lectures each year. He serves on several national and international advisory boards and scientific committees, act as a member of the editorial board of European Journal of Endocrinology and the board of Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes and is chair of the Medical Council in the Norwegian Diabetes Association.