Karolinska CMC Collaboration

The Department of Endocrinology, CMC, Vellore, begin collaborations with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden after a joint MOU signed between both the institutions in 2007.The collaboration is chiefly aimed to improve understanding and open avenues for research in field of genetics of diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders.

In pursuit of this goal, the collaboration main focus is on Genetic research on population based cohorts from Vellore.

Genetic research on cross-sectional cohorts from Vellore.

Research to understand behavioral pattern of Asian Indians in response to glucose challenge Immunogenetic research on autoimmune diabetes.

The main collaborators with us include Prof Kerstin Brismar and Dr. Carani Sanjeevi from the Department of Molecular Medicine & Surgery, KI. This research initiative has also helped us to establish collaborations with other research groups globally.

The principal investigators from CMC, Vellore include Dr. Senthil Vasan and Prof Nihal Thomas.

Our Collaborators

Research Principal collaborators Other collaborators
Genetics of disorders of Impaired glucose homeostasis Kerstin Brismar (KI, Sweden)

Fredrik Karpe (OCDEM, Oxford, UK)

Harvest F Gu (KI, Sweden)

Tove Fall (KI, Sweden)

Erik Ingelsson (KI, Sweden)

Genetics of Low birth weight and adult disease Fredrik Karpe ( OCDEM)

Caroline Fall ( Southampton, UK)

Tove Fall (KI, Sweden)

Kerstin Brismar (KI, Sweden)

Antonisamy B (CMC, Vellore)

Erik Ingelsson (KI, Sweden)

Studies to evaluate glucose-insulin response among Indians Fredrik Karpe (OCDEM, UK)

Johan Eriksson (Finland)

Kerstin Brismar (KI, Sweden)

Tove Fall (KI, Sweden)
Studies on Insulin-like growth factors axis Kerstin Brismar

Harvest F Gu

Immunogenetics of autoimmune diabetes Carani Sanjeevi

Kerstin Brismar

Harvest F Gu

Genetics of disorders of impaired glucose homeostasis

We are looking at genetic polymorphisms that are associated with a wide spectrum of disorders that impair glucose homeostasis (Obesity, IFG, IGT, T2DM) among Indians. The risk genetic variants are studied on a longitudinal birth cohort established in 1969, funded by the British Heart Foundation. Replication of primary findings are carried out in another cross sectional cohort from Vellore, studied in 2007, funded by the Pfizer & Biocon pharmaceuticals.

Genetics of Low birth weight and adult disease

It is well established that low birth weight is associated with adult onset of several diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic abnormalities. The current study involves exploring genetic variations associated with low birth weight and adult disease in the longitudinal birth cohort from Vellore. The cohort is well characterized phenotypically and genotyping is underway. The study is funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Studies to evaluate glucose-insulin response among Indians

Asians, and in particular Indians are at increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease at a much lower BMI, compared to the west. Though it is assumed that increased visceral adiposity at a lower BMI predisposes to this risk, data confirming this association is sparse from India. The metabolic response to glucose challenge among Indians is also varied. The current epidemiological study focuses on understanding b cell response to glucose challenge in adulthood, and explores correlations between proxy measures of adiposity and glycemic traits.

Studies on Insulin-like growth factors axis

The growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis and insulin are major anabolic effectors in body weight regulation and linear growth. Abnormalities in one of these systems leads to disordered metabolic homeostasis. The current research aims to study polymorphisms associated with IGF system in diabetes and correlations with protein levels and phenotypic traits.

Immunogenetics of Autoimmune diabetes

The genetics of autoimmune diabetes is well characterized with strong risk susceptibility to carriers of certain specific HLA haplotype. The role of innate and adaptive immunity in pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes and genetic polymorphisms in the pathways that regulate immune response have been associated with disease risk. We aim to study the genetic variants associated with immune regulation and type 1 diabetes in a well-characterized cohort from India. The study is funded by the Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India.

Cohorts established

We are currently working with two cohorts for genetic and phenotypic characterization. Details of the cohorts can be found in the below links Antonisamy B, Raghupathy P, Christopher S, Richard J, Rao PS et al. (2009) Cohort Profile: the 1969-73 Vellore birth cohort study in South India. Int J Epidemiol. 38 : 663-69. Vasan SK, Thomas N, Christopher S, Geethanjali FS, Paul TV et al. (2011) Anthropometric measurements for the prediction of the metabolic syndrome: a cross-sectional study on adolescents and young adults from Southern India. Heart Asia. 3:2-7.


The Endocrine biobank was established in the 2007. The biobank is a self initiated biological sample archiving centre within the department, where samples for current and future projects are stored. Samples include whole blood, serum, plasma, and DNA. All samples are catalogued and clinical data are available at the department for research purpose only. The biochemical analysis of samples are centrally done at the department of clinical biochemistry, CMC, Vellore.

For collaborations, please contact

Dr. Nihal Thomas
Professor and Head, Unit-1
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Christian Medical College, Vellore-632004, India
website: cmcendovellore.org
Email: nihal_thomas@yahoo.com
Mobile: +91(0)9843111996

Dr. Senthil Vasan K
Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery
Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, L1:01

171 76 Stockholm
Mobile: +46-7 608 139 76
Phone: +46-8 517 749 46
Fax: +46-8 5177 6900