Group members

The links below lead to the university directory.

Gunilla Westermark

Ongoing projects:

Studies on the transmission of amyloid

Amyloid and type 2 diabetes

Expand / collapse all projects

Studies on the transmission of amyloid

Amyloidogenesis is referred to as a self-driven process, but very little is known about the initiation of this process. Together with other groups study how amyloid can be transferred between individuals and the infectivity of various fibrilar structures. Amyloid has some similarities with prions, one important is that amyloid fibrils from one individual can prime for the disease in a recipient.

Until know, these studies have manly been performed on mice, but a new model in C. elegans, is on its way.

Amyloid and type 2 diabetes

Islet amyloid is detected in islets of Langerhans in almost all individuals with type 2 diabetes. The degree of amyloid varies, but the amyloid load and the numbers of affected islets are higher in cases where the patients required insulin for treatment of the diabetic condition. IAPP (islet amyloid polypeptide), is the main protein component and is synthesized by the beta cells and released together with insulin upon stimulation. The initial amyloid formation occurs intracellularly. With our research we try to pinpoint the mechanisms that lead to amyloid formation and to find out which intracellular pathways that are activated by protein aggregates and that lead to beta cell death. These studies are performed on transgenic mice and human islets but also on Drosophila melanogaster.

For further information about this research group please contact Professor Gunilla Westermark

Financial support


Swedish Research Council