Epidemiology Genetics in the Grarup Group  

With an epidemiological approach the Grarup Group investigates genetic variation associated with type 2 diabetes and performs detailed physiological characterization of these variants in relation to diabetes phenotype.

Research focus

The overarching goal of the Grarup Group is to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes, to expand our insights into diabetes pathogenesis and pathophysiology and thereby derive novel drug targets for diabetes and advances in clinical diabetes management and prevention. One major focus area is to define the genetic determinants of diabetes-related phenotypes. Other focus areas include the application of recall-by-genotype principles to investigate the physiological impact on genetic variation related to metabolism and the genetic determinants of food preferences. In addition, we participate in a number of genetic consortia in collaborative studies on obesity, type 2 diabetes and related traits applying genome-wide association or other up-to-date genetic-epidemiological methods. 

Main findings

“FGF21 Is a Sugar-Induced Hormone Associated with Sweet Intake and Preference in Humans”
Published in Cell Metabolism in 2017 this study identifies variation near FGF21 (the hepatokine fibroblast growth factor) in relation to food intake, especially sugar-containing items in Danish individuals. The findings suggest that the liver may secrete hormones that influence eating behavior.

“Loss-of-function variants in ADCY3 increase risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes”
Published in Nature Genetics in 2018 this study identified a loss-of-function variant in ADCY3 (encoding adenylate cyclase 3) in Greenlanders, which had a high impact on obesity and type 2 diabetes. The findings provide new information on disease etiology relevant for future treatment strategies.

“Increasing insulin resistance accentuates the effect of triglyceride-associated loci on serum triglycerides during 5 years”
Published in the Journal of Lipid Research in 2016 this study investigates the association between a serum triglyceride weighted genetic risk score and changes in fasting serum triglyceride level over 5 years. The findings suggest that increased genetic risk load is associated with a larger increase in fasting serum triglyceride levels in nondiabetic individuals. 

Staff of the Grarup Group

Group leader: Associate Professor Niels Grarup