Malin Fex

Malin Fex

Researcher, Associate Professor

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Personal profile


The overarching goal of my research is to understand why the pancreatic beta cells fail to produce adequate amounts of insulin to regulate whole body metabolism in type 2 diabetes (T2D). I focus mainly on monoamine signaling within the islet of Langerhans and we have produced a substantial amount of work focusing on the role of serotonin and melatonin in regulation of islet function. As such, we have utilized data from in genome wide association studies (GWAS), where for instance the melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) have been robustly associated with T2D. Another focus of my research is mechanisms of autophagy, a tightly regulated process involved in cell maintenance and cell survival. Here we focus on the role of autophagy in pancreatic beta cells during metabolic stress and type 2 diabetes.

To reach our goals successfully, we use multiple cell systems and animal models to study islet function and whole body metabolism. We are currently expanding our model systems to include human inducible pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC) derived from patients with distinct geno- and phenotypes. In these, we will use genome editing techniques to correct genetic variants associated with beta cell dysfunction.

Overall, our work holds promise to increase understanding of how T2D evolves. It is our hope that these efforts will benefit patients with T2D in the future.




I currently teach medical students during their third semester, a course focusing on human physiology. Moreover, I am the course leader of an international master course for biomedical students (or equivalent) given at lund university in metabolic diseases (course code BIM23).


I have participated in organizing the World Diabetes Day in Malmö/Lund, an annual event frequented by both the public and researchers. In addition, I often give seminars on diabetes and my research on pancreatic beta cells for the public.

Professional work

I hold a master degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and a PhD in Medical Science from Lund University. I have focused on diabetes related research for the past 15 years and I hope to continue to do so for a long time.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

UKÄ subject classification

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Physiology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • beta cells, islets of Langerhans, metabolism, melatonin, serotonin, autophagy


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