INCAPET-Incretin mimetic mode of action study in PET

Would you like to describe the project in short?

"Incretin receptor agonists are showing immense potential as anti-diabetic drugs, as their effects incorporate both glucose-lowering, weight loss as well as cardiac protection. However, their mode of action is still not completely clear. These drugs likely have both central and peripheral effects, but to which degree is uncertain. This project will use state-of-the art in vivo imaging technology to enable unique studies into the mode of action of the emerging class of poly-agonistic incretin mimetics."

What are the cross-disciplinary aspects of this project?

"In vivo imaging in models relevant of diabetes is highly challenging and very rarely feasible for a single research group. The researchers involved in the project realized that we together had the unique and necessary expertise in both diabetes models/ veterinary science (SLU), radiochemistry/ peptide chemistry (Region Uppsala) as well as imaging technology (UU), to enable these studies. We look forward to combining our respective interests and infrastructures in order to together answer several questions regarding incretin biology, that we could not manage by ourselves!"

How was the project and collaboration born?

"The applicants have had shorter collaborations previously, which were quite successful and positive. The idea of a closer long-term collaboration really got going as a result of the formation of the UDC, when we saw the opportunity of a joint PhD student which could work at all three labs in parallel. The labs are located at three different sites in Uppsala, and we believe a dedicated PhD student will bring new integration of the labs and the techniques we use."

How can UDC be of help in your research?

"UDC will contribute to this project in two critical ways. The first is the establishment of a research environment with a clear interdisciplinary focus around diabetes research – this will give the recruited PhD student and the supervisors a natural arena to interact, get new ideas and disseminate results – both internally in the project group and externally with other diabetes researchers. Secondly, the UDC PhD research school gave important funding for the recruitment of a joint student to be active in all three labs. Funding opportunities for this kind of close interdisciplinary collaboration are unfortunately otherwise relatively rare."

What can UDC do to make the PhD students feel like they belong to the centre?

"We look forward to contributing to the activity of the centre, including joint courses, seminar series and continuous arenas for networking and discussing ideas. Maybe the most important part is to give the recruited PhD student an additional scientific environment external to his/ her usual lab – this could broaden the network and exposure to ideas and technologies from different fields."

Which UDC activities will be meaningful for this project?

"The dedicated course and the seminar series of course, but hopefully also more informal networks and collaborations will develop between the scientists in the centre."

Olof Eriksson

Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Translational PET Imaging

Last modified: 2022-04-04