STATE OF THE ART
The Diabetes and Metabolism Research Group has been recognized as a consolidated group by the Generalitat de Catalunya, as well as a group of excellence by the ANEP. Apart from belonging to CIBERDEM, our group is associated with the cardiovascular diseases network (RECAVA). Our research is mainly addressed to the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy and obesity with the final goal of discovering new therapeutic targets. Since 2011, we coordinate EUROCONDOR: a European project for studying an innovative therapeutic strategy using eye drops to combat retinopathy. Our combination of basic and clinical research is important not also in obtaining relevant results, but also in facilitating the rapid transference of these results to clinical practice.
Our general aim in the field of diabetic retinopathy is to find out new therapeutic targets. In the next two years the main objectives will be:
1) To identify the mechanisms that trigger neurodegeneration and its consequences in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy through the use of integrated systems biology.
2) To determine the molecular mechanisms involved in blood-retinal barrier disruption and to evaluate new potential drugs for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.
3) To explore the proteomic and metabonomic profile of the vitreous fluid of diabetic patients vs. non diabetic patients.
In the field of obesity research we are investigating new candidates involved in its pathogenesis. The main objectives during the next years will be:
1) To identify by proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid new regulators of food intake.
2) To determine the influence of SHBG/sex-steroids on fat properties and distribution and the incidence of diabetes.
3) To investigate the role of the mitochondria in obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Regarding endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetic patients, we are testing new methods of evaluating endothelial damage and the prevalence of and the main factors accounting for true silent ischemia.