Professor Per-Olof Berggren

Professor Per-Olof Berggren
Visiting Professor
Principal Investigator, Islets Biology Laboratory

Laboratory Staff

  • Dr Juan Antonio Irondo Diez, PhD, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Olga Victoria Stelmashenko, PhD, Research Fellow
  • Dr Zheng Xiaofeng, PhD, Research Fellow
  • Minni Chua, Research Assistant


Per-Olof Berggren is Professor and Head of Cell Biology and Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Director The Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2013 PO joined NTU as a Visiting Professor at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Metabolic Disease Research Program. Prof. Berggren acquired his Ph.D. in Medical Cell Biology at the University of Uppsala and has published 383 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Throughout his scientific career, PO has done pioneering work regarding the fundamental mechanisms regulating the stimulus-response coupling in the endocrine pancreas with several seminal contributions within the fields of insulin secreting pancreatic beta-cell Ca2+ handling, phosphorylated inositol compounds and insulin receptor operated signalling.

Research Focus

The Berggren laboratory is interested in understanding molecular aspects of pancreatic islet cell biology, cell physiology, cell pathology, mechanisms involved in insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis,  Ca2+ signaling and cellular cross-talk.

Key Publications

1. Noninvasive in vivo model demonstrating the effects of autonomic innervations on  pancreatic islet function. R RODRIGUEZ-DIAZ, S SPEIER, RD MOLANO, A  FORMOSO, I GANS, MH ABDULREDA, O CABRERA, J MOLINA, A FACHADO, C RICORDI, I LEIBIGER, A PILEGGI, P-O BERGGREN & A CAICEDO. Proc Natl  Acad Sci USA 109: 21456-21461, 2012.

2. Inositol hexakisphosphate suppresses excitatory neurotransmission via synaptotagmin-1 C2B domain in the hippocampal neuron. S-N YANG, Y SHI, G YANG, Y LI, L YU, O-H SHIN, T BACAJ, TC SÜDHOF, J YU & P-O BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 12183-12188, 2012.

3. High-resolution, non-invasive longitudinal live imaging of immune responses. MH ABDULREDA, G FALEO, RD MOLANO, M LOPEZ-CABEZAS, J MOLINA, Y TAN, OAR ECEVERRIA, E ZAHR-AKRAWI, R RODRIGUEZ-DIAZ, PK EDLUND, I LEIBIGER, AL BAYER, V PEREZ, C RICORDI, A CAICEDO, A PILEGGI & P-O BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108: 12863-12868, 2011.

4. Lowering apolipoprotein CIII delays onset of type 1 diabetes. R HOLMBERG, E REFAI, A HÖÖG,  RM CROOKE, M GRAHAM, G OLIVECRONA, P-O BERGGREN & L JUNTTI-BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108: 10685-10689, 2011.

5. Innervation patterns of autonomic axons in the human endocrine pancreas. R RODRIGUEZ-DIAZ, MH ABDULREDA, AL FORMOSO, I GANS, C RICORDI, P-O BERGGREN & A CAICEDO. Cell Metab 14:45-54, 2011.

6. Alpha cells secrete acetylcholine as a non-neuronal paracrine signal priming human beta cell function. R RODRIGUEZ-DIAZ, R DANDO, MC JACQUES-SILVA, A FACHADO, J MOLINA, M ABDULREDA, C RICORDI, SD ROPER, P-O BERGGREN & A CAICEDO. Nature Medicine 17: 888-892, 2011.

7. The anterior chamber of the eye as a clinical transplantation site for the treatment of diabetes. VL PEREZ, A CAICEDO, DM BERMAN, E ARRIETA, MH ABDULREDA, R RODRIGUEZ-DIAZ, A PILEGGI, E HERNANDEZ, SR DUBOVY, JM PAREL C RICORDI, NM KENYON, NS KENYON & P-O BERGGREN. Diabetologia 54: 1121-1126, 2011.

8. Glutamate is a positive autocrine signal for glucagon release. O CABRERA, MC JACQUES-SILVA, S SPEIER, S-N YANG, M KÖHLER, A FACHADO, E VIEIRA, JR ZIERATH, R KIBBEY, DM BERMAN, NS KENYON, C RICORDI, A CAICEDO & P-O BERGGREN. Cell Metab 7: 545-554, 2008.

9. Non-invasive in vivo imaging of pancreatic islet cell biology. S SPEIER, D NYQVIST, O CABRERA, J YU, RD MOLANO, A PILEGGI, T MOEDE, M KOHLER, J WILBERTZ, B LEIBIGER, C RICORDI, IB LEIBIGER, A CAICEDO & P-O BERGGREN. Nature Medicine 14: 574-578, 2008.

10. Requirement of inositol pyrophosphates for full exocytotic capacity in pancreatic -cells. C ILLIES, J GROMADA, R FIUME, B LEIBIGER, J YU, K JUHL, S-N YANG, DK BARMA, JR FALCK, A SAIARDI, CJ BARKER & P-O BERGGREN. Science 318: 1299-1302, 2007.

11. Glucose recruits KATP channels via non-insulin-containing dense-core granules. SN YANG, N DEKKI WENNA, J YU, G YANG, H QIU, L YU, L JUNTTI-BERGGREN, M KÖHLER & P-O BERGGREN. Cell Metab 6: 217-228, 2007.

12. The unique cytoarchitecture of human pancreatic islets has implications for islet cell function. O  CABRERA, DM BERMAN, NS KENYON, C RICORDI, P-O BERGGREN & A CAICEDO. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 2334-2339, 2006.

13. Transthyretin constitutes a functional component in pancreatic -cell stimulus-secretion coupling. E REFAI, N DEKKI, S-N YANG, G IMREH, O CABRERA, L YU, G YANG, S NORGREN, SM RÖSSNER, L INVERARDI, C RICORDI, G OLIVECRONA, M ANDERSSON, H JÖRNVALL, P-O BERGGREN & L JUNTTI-BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 17020-17025, 2005.

14. Neuronal calcium sensor-1 potentiates glucose-dependent exocytosis in pancreatic cells through activation of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase. J GROMADA, C BARK, K SMIDT, AM EFANOV, J JANSON, SA MANDIC, D-L WEBB, W ZHANG, B MEISTER, A JEROMIN & P-O BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 10303-10308, 2005.

15. Removal of Ca2+ channel 3 subunit enhances Ca2+ oscillation frequency and insulin exocytosis. P-O BERGGREN, S-N YANG, M MURAKAMI, AM EFANOV, S UHLES, M KÖHLER, T MOEDE, A FERNSTRÖM, IB APPELSKOG, CA ASPINWALL, SV ZAITSEV, O LARSSON, L MOITOSO DE VARGAS, C FECHER-TROST, P

16. Apolipoprotein CIII promotes Ca2+-dependent  cell death in type 1 diabetes.L JUNTTI-BERGGREN, E REFAI, I APPELSKOG, M ANDERSSON, G IMREH, N DEKKI, S UHLES, L YU, WJ GRIFFITHS, S ZAITSEV, I LEIBIGER, S-N YANG, G OLIVECRONA, H JÖRNVALL & P-O BERGGREN. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 10090-10094, 2004.