Laurence Hoareau and Manuel Carrasco joined the lab

We are welcoming two new postdoctoral fellows to our research group.

Laurence Hoareau is a scientist in cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. She has been working for 10 years in the field of adipose tissue inflammation linked to obesity-associated diseases. Her work is essentially based on human primary culture of adipose tissue, adipocytes and stromal cells, which lead to around 20 publications. Laurence is from Reunion Island (French overseas department in Indian Ocean). She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from University of Reunion Island, her Master degree from University Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris, France) and her Ph.D in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Reunion Island.

Manuel Carrasco recently obtained his PhD from the Andalusian Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine Centre in Seville, Spain. Manuel’s research was focused on how transcriptional networks control pancreas and liver development and function by using mouse models (conditional knockout mice, reporter transgenic lines, cell culture, etc.). More specifically, Manuel studied the contribution of GATA transcription factors to pancreas organogenesis, regeneration and function. Manuel obtained his Bachelor degree from University of Seville and his Master degree from University Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla, Spain).


Laurence Hoareau and Manuel Carrasco enjoying our first “get-together” dinner


Our confocal is in place!

After more than 6 months of waiting, planing, arguing, more planing, we have our own old but still functional SP2 Leica confocal set in place. Of course, we lost some screws during its movement, but thanks to the great administrative skills of Helge, we have now all that is needed.  So, I have many thanks for:

  • Helge and Simona, which convinced the MIC platform not to retire this great machine (my favourite), and we promise that we’ll still use the MIC confocals (ofc, they have SP5 and SP8!);
  • MIC people, especially Hege and Endy, which took really good care of this machine that is now in our care;
  • Bård-Arne Pedersen from Ortomedic, which managed to put all the pieces back together in ONE day! 


Norwegian Press Reviews

We are very grateful and happy to announce that our research article was discussed in several interviews, where Helge explained the current status of diabetes research and our contribution. You can find the the press articles (in Norwegian) below:

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interview for nrk

interview for

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New Article: Scientific Reports

Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is one of the hereditary forms of diabetes mellitus caused by mutations in an autosomal dominant gene disrupting insulin production. Patients with MODY1 typically develops diabetes (persistent hyperglycemia) before the age of 25 years, but this may not appear until later decades. The degree of insulin deficiency is slowly progressive. Many patients with MODY1 are treated with sulfonylureas for years before insulin is required.

MODY 1 is caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the HNF4α gene. HNF4α is part of a transcription network, including HNF1α (responsible for MODY3) and perhaps HNF1β (MODY5 – see Early Developmental Perturbations in a Human Stem Cell Model of MODY5/HNF1B Pancreatic Hypoplasia), which plays a role in the early development of the pancreas, liver, and intestines. In the pancreas these genes influence the expression of insulin, the principal glucose transporter (GLUT2), and several proteins involved in glucose and mitochondrial metabolism.

We used a combination of global proteomics and cellular biology techniques to investigate the differentiation capacity of insulin-producing cells using a seven-step differentiation protocol (as established by Rezania et al.) of induced pluripotent stem cells, generated from either healthy subjects or MODY1 patients.

Our data show that a human HNF4A mutation is neither blocking the expression of the insulin genes nor the development of insulin-producing cells in vitro. Our analyses also suggest key developmental signalling pathways representing potential targets for improving the efficiency of the current differentiation protocols.

Future studies are required on improving later differentiation stages up to mature insulin-producing β-like cells, which should also reveal the impact of HNF4A-directed transcriptional perturbations on β-cell survival and function.

The paper can be read here.

Probing the missing mature β-cell proteomic landscape in differentiating patient iPSC-derived cells Heidrun Vethe, Yngvild Bjørlykke, Luiza M. Ghila, Joao A. Paulo, Hanne Scholz, Steven P. Gygi, Simona Chera & Helge Ræder
Scientific Reports.2017 Jul 6;7(1):4780. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04979-w.


Invitation to Joint BSDB/Nordic Meeting on Developmental Biology and Regeneration

As a joint endeavor from the British and four Nordic Societies for Developmental Biology the first “Joint BSDB/Nordic Meeting on Developmental Biology and Regeneration” is organized in Aula Medica, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather a wide range of experts to showcase Nordic and British science in an international setting and discuss scientific as well as technological advances in the fields of development and regeneration.

The three-day program covers a broad range of subjects, including animal and plant development, regeneration and stem cell sciences. The meeting has a wide scope covering state of the art genetic, molecular and cellular technologies as well as classical embryology. One of the major aims of the meeting is to provide a forum to create new and strengthen the existing collaborations among developmental biologists, who work on diverse topics and organisms and cells originating from a wide range of species, including model- and non-model organisms, as well as, human and plants. The format of the meeting includes presentations from invited international experts intermingled with abstract selected talks as well as poster ‘flash presentations’. Finally, we hope this will provide a great forum for young PIs, postdocs and students to present their work to a broad and knowledgeable audience and thus be an excellent forum for interaction, collaboration and learning.

Register at:

BSDB nordic conference 170907 new (1)



Postdoctoral Fellow position available

We are seeking a dedicated postdoctoral fellow with interest in the cellular and molecular biology of diabetes to join our team.

The main aim for the position is to seek novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanism of pancreatic β-cell differentiation. The successful candidate will apply a combination of characterisation methods (i.e. immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, functional assays, next generation RNA and DNA sequencing, epigenetic methods) to study pancreatic cells differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC), both  in vitro and in vivo context (murine models).

For further information about the project and the position, please contact Professor Helge Ræder (PI), phone: +47 55975263, e-mail:

For applications, please follow the instructions at: