We are a group of around 35 researchers located within the Physiology House of the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. Our mission is to undertake basic and translational research relevant to the understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity, metabolic disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility. Our research extends to environmental studies of the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment. Our activities benefit from state-of-the-art shared resources within the group as well as from Core Facilities and other clinical facilities at the Sahlgrenska Academy. We also endeavor to inspire and train young researchers through regular seminars and integrated activities.
Two research groups are especially focused on afferent signals to the CNS that control appetite and energy expenditure. Whereas Dickson's team are focused on the role of gut-derived hormone such as ghrelin in the integrated neurobiology of appetite, reward/addiction and mood (anxiety/depression), Jansson's team are interested in immune-modulating cytokines that reduce fat mass by direct communication to hypothalamic circuits involved in energy balance. Holmäng's team address the critical role and mechanisms of the maternal metabolic environment and early childhood for programming of the metabolic syndrome in both animal and human models. Basic and clinical research on the causes and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—the female metabolic syndrome, is the research topic of Stener-Victorin's team that focus, in particular, on the role of sex steroids and metabolic processes and efficacy and mechanisms of new treatments such as acupuncture and physical exercise. Metabolic-endocrine interaction is also a key area in the reproductive physiology group (Billig's team) that focuses on the regulation of follicular apoptosis as well as prolactin effects on adipose tissue. Finally the Larsson team are investigating the fate of pharmaceuticals in the environment and the impact this has on various organisms, lately with a focus on antibiotic resistance.
Within our respective fields, each group leader is recognised as a leading international authority. Important recent research activity highlights can be summarised as follows:
In recent years, members of the endocrine group have been especially involved in the coordination and participation in EU-funded integrated projects. DIABESITY (Novel Drug Targets for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes) was a large grant (11.7M€ over 5 years) involving 27 European research group and was headed by Suzanne Dickson with John-Olov Jansson as Participant. NeuroFAST (The Integrated Neurobiology of Food Intake, Addiction and Stress) has recently be approved for EU funding. This project has 13 European partners and is also Coordinated by Suzanne Dickson (6M€, 2010-2014). Suzanne Dickson is also a partner in EurOCHIP, another EU Integrated project, coordinated by Giles Yeo (University of Cambridge (3 M€ over 3 years, 6 scientific Partners). MistraPharma, involving Joakim Larsson, is one of several projects addressing pharmaceuticals in the environment, with activities in physiology, pharmacology, genomics, ecology, microbiology, environmental analytical as well as stakeholders in society.
Agneta Holmäng is part of Seafood and Health (www.nofima.no), a unique training platform based upon a whole chain approach integrating aquaculture, nutrition and consumer research. Elisabet Stener-Victorin is a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (RCOG) Study group, Current management of PCOS, a prestigious study group. Further local collaborative networks include the Sahlgrenska Centre for Cardiovascular & Metabolic Research (CMR) and the Center of Excellence for Research on Sex Steroids (CEROSS).
The Endocrine group endeavour to inspire undergraduate students, providing a comprehensive basic knowledge of Endocrine topics together with an insight of the unsolved research questions and ways we address these. We have been involved in introducing "Sustainability", an SA priority, to 9 Pharmacy programmes (“Sustainable Pharmacy") with plans to extend. For medical students we introduced a completely new 2 week course: an Elective in Metabolism (research-based) and the use of scientific methodology (BF2). Many young scientists in the Endocrine Unit also contribute to teaching activities and practical classes for undergraduates. We also welcome undergraduates to participate in research projects as part of their course or even as vacation students.
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Dept. of Physiology
The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg
P.O. Box 434
SE-405 30 Göteborg
+ 46 31-786 0000 (Switchboard)