SciLifeLab fellow Olof Eriksson (Uppsala University) has received a grant of 1 303 000 SEK from Diabetes Wellness Sverige. The grant is related to his diabetes research focusing on measuring beta-cell mass in humans.
The organization Diabetes Wellness Sverige is focused on increasing awareness of diabetes among the general public, and on supporting diabetes research. The purpose of the grant is to identify scientific projects close to practical applications on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and to support their endeavors.
In an interview with Diabetes Wellness Sverige, Olof Eriksson tells us more about the story behind his interest in diabetes research.
At a young age, he was already interested in scientific research and read popular science books on everything from astrophysics to evolutionary biology. His interests eventually led to a Ph.D. in PET imaging of Langerhan islands among people with severe type 1 diabetes. Something that sparked his interest in how biomedical imaging could be used to understand and treat diabetes.
Currently, his team is developing a new PET radioactive contrast agent which could depict the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Being able to quickly determine how many cells a patient has left could make it easier to quickly decide on treatment.
“Even smaller research groups and younger researchers now have potential access to very advanced methods for studying disease processes, through organizations such as the Science For Life Laboratory. A big difference is also the possibility of applying for external grants for diabetes research from patient organizations and private foundations such as Diabetes Wellness. This gives young researchers the freedom to develop their own line of research”, says Olof Eriksson.