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Researcher from Aarhus receives grant for diabetes research

Esben Thyssen Vestergaard from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital has received DKK 100,000 from the Riisfort Foundation for his research project. The project will, among other things, take a closer look at whether the hormone ghrelin causes type 2 diabetes.

More than 320,000 Danes are diagnosed with diabetes and 80 per cent have type 2 diabetes, which is partly hereditary, but is also often triggered by unhealthy eating habits and too little exercise.

Esben Thyssen Vestergaard from AU and AUH will use the grant of DKK 100,000 from the Riisfort Foundation to conduct more research into insulin resistance, which is the mechanism that leads to type 2 diabetes, and the hormone ghrelin, which is sometimes called the body's 'hunger hormone'.

"I study ghrelin’s effect on the conversion of sugar, fat and energy and the mechanisms that lead to insulin resistance," says Esben Thyssen Vestergaard, who is employed in an individual postdoc fellowship from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and a Sapere Aude DFF Young Elite Researcher scholarship.

The research project will investigate whether the diabetes-like state that ghrelin treatment leads to can be nullified by blocking ghrelin’s effects on body fat conversion.

"This is socially and scientifically interesting because it has the potential to contribute to the development of a more targeted treatment of type 2 diabetes. We hope that the clinical trial will provide us with greater insight into the cellular mechanisms that are affected by ghrelin. This understanding of the effects of ghrelin will hopefully also in the long term lead to better and more targeted treatment of type 2 diabetes," he says.

The research project is called "The Effect of Pharmacological Antilipolysis on the Metabolic Effects of Ghrelin." 

Further information

Postdoc Esben Thyssen Vestergaard
Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine and
Aarhus University Hospital, Medical Research Laboratory
Mobile: +45 2184 4734