Diabetes, Metabolism, and Circadian Rhythm

Understand the mechanisms involved in diabetes, basing research on the biological cycle


All living organisms function according to their own unique circadian rhythm, which lasts around 24 hours. Organs interact with each other, each in sync with its own metabolic cycle. The coordination and reciprocal influences of the clocks in different cell types are therefore crucial for the organism to function correctly. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas malfunction and cause glucose metabolism to cease, with repercussions on the metabolisms of fat, muscle, and liver cells. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is increasingly prevalent in modern society.



This project establishes the identification of the molecular basis of circadian rhythms as a new avenue of research for Type 2 diabetes. It promotes further analysis of the circadian cycle, its genetic components, alpha and beta cells in the pancreas, muscle cells, and their rhythmic interactions. With these elements accounted for, the researchers will be able to develop new treatment protocols that modulate the circadian cycle.


project manager

Dr. Charna Dibner, Biologist, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Hypertension, and Nutrition Division, Department of Medical Specialties, Geneva University Hospitals

Professor Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva




to know more:

Transcriptomic analyses reveal rhythmic and CLOCK-driven pathways in human skeletal muscle.
Perrin L, Loizides-Mangold U, Chanon S, Gobet C, Hulo N, Isenegger L, Weger BD, Migliavacca E, Charpagne A, Betts JA, Walhin JP, Templeman I, Stokes K, Thompson D, Tsintzas K, Robert M, Howald C, Riezman H, Feige JN, Karagounis LG, Johnston JD, Dermitzakis ET, Gachon F, Lefai E, Dibner C.
Elife. 2018 Apr 16;7. pii: e34114. doi: 10.7554/eLife.34114.
PMID: 29658882

A functional circadian clock is required for proper insulin secretion by human pancreatic islet cells.
Saini C, Petrenko V, Pulimeno P, Giovannoni L, Berney T, Hebrok M, Howald C, Dermitzakis ET, Dibner C.
Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Apr;18(4):355-65. doi: 10.1111/dom.12616. Epub 2016 Jan 22.
PMID: 26662378