Skip to main content

By Biocat

The project The role of glycogen metabolism in the pancreatic beta-cell, of the laboratory of Joan J. Guinovart, director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) will receive €100,000 from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) and the Danish pharmaceutical firm, Novo Nordisk, in the Programme  Partnership for Diabetes Research in Europe 2012. The eight winning projects in the current call of this European programme will start in autumn. The project of the IRB Barcelona will run for a year and a half. 

Guinovart, head of the Metabolic Engineering and Diabetes Group at the IRB Barcelona and professor of the University of Barcelona, will seek to clarify the influence of glycogen metabolism in the glucose sensitivity of beta-cells. The aim is to offer new possibilities for the preservation or recovery of this sensitivity in diabetes. “We have observed in diabetes patients and laboratory animals that the over-accumulation of glycogen in pancreatic beta-cells contributes to their dysfunction”, points out Guinovart.

The entry of glucose in the body is not continuous, but is concentrated in brief periods, mainly after eating. A complex system that includes glucose-sensitive storage and buffering mechanisms maintains the blood levels of this sugar under strict control. The queens of the system are the pancreatic beta-cells and their sensitivity to glucose, which is directly related to the release of insulin. Diabetes is the main pathological manifestation of errors in this system.

To carry out the project, Joan J. Guinovart will have the collaboration of Ramon Gomis, of the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, and of Xavier Correig, director of the Metabolomics Platform of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona.

More information on the website of the IRB Barcelona.

Sign up for our newsletters

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and trends in the BioRegion.