Heli Jokela receives 45 209€ funding from Sakari Alhopuro foundation

    Heli Jokela received 45 209€ funding from Alhopuro Foundation for her research project titled “Macrophages in brown adipose tissue development and function”

    Obesity and its pathological consequences – especially type 2 diabetes – have reached an alarmingly high prevalence globally. The discovery of thermogenic, energy dissipating brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans a decade ago, revived interest in this tissue among basic researchers and clinicians, as active BAT can burn huge amounts of energy from sugar and lipids to generate heat. BAT has the potential to counteract obesity and improve metabolic health, thereby ultimately ameliorating metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes.

    Thus, in this project we aim to discover new targets to treat or even prevent obesity and diabetes by targeting tissue-resident macrophages in brown fat. However, optimal strategies for targeting macrophages require an in-depth understanding of macrophage ontogeny and mechanisms covering their homeostasis.

    Therefore, in this study, we aim to reveal the ontological, functional, and phenotypic heterogeneity of tissue-resident macrophages in pre-and postnatal brown adipose tissue. To address the aims, a detailed immunophenotypic study will be performed with advanced single-cell methods and imaging techniques at Turku Bioscience.