IMIDIA SolimenaType 2 diabetes, which affects >0.5 billion people worldwide, results from the inability of pancreatic beta cells to provide the body with enough insulin to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose.

As part of the IMIDIA initiative, an international study led by Prof. Michele Solimena at the Technische Universität (Dresden), Dr. Anke M Schulte at Sanofi (Frankfurt), Dr. Mark Ibberson at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (Lausanne) and Prof. Piero Marchetti at University of Pisa, now identified a novel cluster of dysregulated genes in the pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Beta cells reside in the pancreatic islets, small cell clusters scattered throughout the pancreas.
Defining which genes are abnormally expressed in diabetic beta cells compared to non-diabetic ones is one of the main tasks of IMIDIA, the EU-Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) research consortium of which the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a partner.

These findings are published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).


Solimena M et al. Systems biology of the IMIDIA biobank from organ donors and pancreatectomised patients defines a novel transcriptomic signature of islets from individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 2017. DOI:

Link to the press release on EurekAlert