“Transplantation of the islets of Langerhans to the eye makes it possible to study the insulin-producing beta cells with a high resolution, over an extended period of time in the living organism.”

Per-Olof Berggren, Ph.D.

Per-Olof Berggren, Ph.D., is Head of Cell Biology and Signal Transduction and the Mary Lou Held Visiting Scientist at the Diabetes Research Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at University of Miami. He is also Professor and Head of Cell Biology and Experimental Endocrinology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Dr. Berggren is also Visiting Professor in the Division of Integrative Biosciences and Biotechnology, University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea; Visiting Professor at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine/Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College, London, UK; and Distinguished Professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.

Dr. Berggren is a member of EMBO, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine (USA), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Class VII, and the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet among other prestigious posts.

Dr. Berggren’s work focuses on the detailed study and evaluation of beta cell function in health and diabetes. Through cell imaging techniques and other innovative approaches, his work aims to develop new ways to prevent and reduce islet loss during diabetes and in islet transplant applications. He joined the DRI in 2001 to head its new cellular biology lab, one of several leadership initiatives at the Institute that have since led to cutting-edge and high profile discoveries. In addition, Dr. Berggren in collaboration other scientists at the DRI and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, is exploring islet transplantation into the anterior chamber of the eye as a potential clinical transplantation site in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The FDA-approved Phase I clinical trial will test this approach in a very select group of type 1 diabetes patients.

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