Our interest in Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has mainly stemmed through the identification of molecular tools and biomarkers (eg miRNA and cfDNA) that we have identified through our research in stem/progenitor cells, pancreas development, T1D and obesity models that we have studied so far. The other major interest has been through the amazing collaborators that we have been fortunate to have over the last several years/decades.
One such collaboration has been with Prof. Ranjan Yajnik's group at the Diabetes Unit, King Edward Memorial Hospital, who, along with (late) Professor David J.P. Barker and Prof. Caroline Fall had the vision to set up a birth cohort several decades ago. The Pune Maternal Nutrition Study (PMNS) is one of the first prospective community-based studies investigating relationships between maternal nutrition and fetal growth and how a combination of these shape up future risk of metabolic disease. Such longitudinal studies are rare to find and hindsight is often anything but 20/20. However, through a combination of luck, funding and the geographical proximity of like-minded researchers coming toggether, we were able to initiate a research program assessing the potential of circulating microRNA biomarkers of future impaired fasting glucose and metabolic disease.
Insulin cfDNA biomarkers of metabolic disease
It is well known that islet beta-cell death contributes to the loss of functional beta-cell mass in T2D (Cnop et al., 2005; Laybutt et al., 2007; Marchetti et al., 2008). Our interest is to test the (few) similarities that some of the molecular biomarkers of islet beta cell death (in T1D) share with the functional islet beta cell loss in T2D. We aim to
(i) profile miRNA and insulin cfDNA in longitudinal birth cohorts (eg. PMNS) of children who develop metabolic disease as adults;
(ii) identify molecular biomarkers that could stratify individuals (eg women with GDM) who progress to future T2D;
(iii) assess and identify microRNA signature that stratifies individuals with insulin-requiring Type 2 diabetes;
(iv) assess molecular biomarkers (miRNA, DNA methylation, SNPs, telomere length) of future complications of diabetes through assessment of longitudinal biomarkers from the FIELD Trial led by Prof. Tony Keech;
(v) assess the similarity, differences in these molecular biomarkers across geographically distinct and ethnically diverse individuals without, at-risk or with metabolic disease that are available through our collaborators in Denmark, Qatar, India, China and Hong Kong.
Our studies have been supported through generous research funding from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, Qatar National Research Foundation, Weizmann-Australia Research Fund, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Danish Diabetes Academy grants to Prof. Anand Hardikar.
Our lab team members: Mugdha Joglekar (GDM biomarker program lead), Wilson Wong, Fahmida Emu, Emma Scott, Luke Carroll (at CTC), Sujitha Padmajeya (at Sidra, Qatar) , Anja Sorensen (Denmark), Sarang Satoor (NCCS), Rohan Patil (DYPU).Past team members: Sarang Satoor and Amaresh RanjanCurrent collaborators: Ammira Akil (Qatar), Khaleed Fakhro (Qatar), Sanjeev Galande (India), Torben Hansen (Denmark), Alicia Jenkins (Australia), Weiping Jia (China), Anthony Keech (Australia), Martha Lappas (Australia), Ronald Ma (Hong Kong), Rinki Murphy (New Zealand), Chris Nolan (Australia), Ranjan Yajnik (India).
Interested in the study? Contact us: