Laboratory of Dr. Kirsty L. Spalding, Karolinska Institutet
GRANT FROM THE ASPIRE PROGRAM OF THE MARK FOUNDATION
Wednesday the 22nd of December
Kirsty has recently been awarded a grant from the ASPIRE (Accelerating Scientific Platforms and Innovative Research) programme from the Mark Foundation. This award supports high-risk, high-reward cancer research that answers proof-of-concept questions in the cancer field. This year the Mark Foundation has for the first time awarded grants outside of the US and the lab is very excited to be among the groups receiving funding. The lab will use the funding for its project “Targeting fat cells to reduce breast cancer progression and metastasis in humans”. Karolinska Institutets press release can be read here.
NEW PUBLICATION ON ADIPOCYTE SENESCENCE IN NATURE MEDICINE
Monday the 4th of October
Obesity strongly associates with many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. A study from our group, published in Nature Medicine today, shows that mature human adipocytes can activate a cell cycle program in association with obesity and hyperinsulinemia. Whilst fat cells can activate the expression of specific cell cycle markers and synthesise new DNA, they do not divide and rather exist as larger cells with increased genomic content. This process, termed endoreplication, is a strategy used by both plants and animals when cells are required to increase significantly in size, but has not previously been shown for mature adipocytes. The ability of adipocytes to activate a cell cycle program and endoreplicate could confer a physiological advantage to a cell type that needs to undergo tremendous increases in size during development and weight gain, as adipocytes can increase in size more than 200-fold across their lifespan! We further show that in response to chronic hyperinsulinemia adipocytes can exit the cell cycle and senesce. Senescent adipocytes secrete factors known to be pro-inflammatory, potentially driving inflammation and pathology in human adipose tissue and impacting whole body health. Using drugs currently on the market for other purposes, we show that manipulating adipocyte cell cycle entry and progression enables one to influence the formation of senescent cells. You can read the paper here.
NEW METHODS PRIMER OUT ON RADIOCARBON DATING
Thursday the 9th of September
One of the main techniques the Spalding lab has used the past years is radiocarbon dating. In short, this method uses 14C measurements to calculate the age of biological samples. Together with an international group of scientists, Kirsty Spalding has recently published a Nature Reviews Method Primer article about radiocarbon dating. In this article the technique is described, as well as its applications, considerations and future development. You can read the paper here.
BLUE SKY GRANT - AN UPDATE
Monday the 31st of May
Kirsty Spalding has recently been awarded a Blue Sky Grant for Innovative Cancer Research and Technology. This is a grant for "high risk - high reward" research within the cancer field. The research that is supported by this grant will investigate the connections between adipose tissue and cancer. A story (in Swedish) about this research line of the Spalding lab has been published by Radiumhemmets Forskningsfonder and can be read here.