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Helmholtz Diabetes Center Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM)

The primary research goal of the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases is the individualized prediction of diabetes risk and diabetes prevention and its personalized therapy.

The primary research goal of the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases is the individualized prediction of diabetes risk and diabetes prevention and its personalized therapy.

Our Research Groups

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Fritsche Lab

Prevention

Our research focuses on the understanding and resolving the mechanisms that promote the development of diabetes. In addition, we are working to define high risk phenotypes for the development of diabetes and determining response or non-response to specific diabetes prevention measures.

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Stefan Lab

Pathophysiology of Prediabetes

We focus on the understanding of the role of hepatokines linking NAFLD and cardiometabolic risk and identification of novel treatment approaches for NAFLD- Other areas of focus include determining the impact of increased fat mass and disproportionate body fat distribution on cardiometabolic health and establishment of novel treatments to improve cardiometabolic health.

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Weigert Lab

Molecular Diabetology

Our research is focused on the determinants and regulators of successful prevention of diabetes and metabolic comorbidities through exercise. Other research topics include Organ Crosstalk and Exercise: Regulation and function of secreted proteins and metabolites.

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Preissl Lab

Metabolic Neuroimaging

Our research focuses on identifying neurobiological mechanisms associated with obesity and diabetes in humans using neuroimaging and neuromodulation methods. We are also investigating the role of brain-body interactions in the development of brain insulin action across the lifespan from the fetus to the elderly. Other research includes pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches to overcome brain insulin resistance and improve metabolic and cognitive health.

Helmholtz Munich | Stefanie Winkler
Birkenfeld Lab

Translational Diabetology

Our department is propelled by curiosity to understand how type 2 diabetes develops and what this may tell us about potential new therapeutic approaches. The study of different plasma membrane transporters as targets for therapeutic interventions in diabetes, obesity and metabolism associated fatty liver disease serves as a showcase. We are particularly curious to learn how organs intercommunicate in the context of metabolic disease processes and how metabolism shapes the aging process. To achieve our goals we combine our expertise in molecular biochemical approaches (Prof. Dr. R. Lammers), cell culture studies using human primary cells (Prof. D. Siegel-Axel), animal models (Dr. Anica Kurzbach, Prof. A. Birkenfeld) and translational clinical studies (Prof. A. Birkenfeld).

Clinical Trials & Cohort Studies

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Ongoing trial

German Study of gestational diabetes (PREG Study)

Gestational diabetes (GDM) defined as any degree of glucose intolerance first diagnosed during pregnancy. It is one of the major pregnancy complications and untreated it leads to fetal overgrowth, macrosomic newborns and related birth complications. The mother has a very high risk for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. The offspring is at high risk for obesity and impaired glucose tolerance or even diabetes starting already in early childhood. Even if GDM is detected and successfully treated the fetus has been exposed to elevated glucose levels for the first months of pregnancy. A long-term impact on the health of mother and child is likely. To elucidate the impact of treated GDM on mother and child the PREG study has been initiated. The study is a multicenter prospective cohort study conducted in six sites of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), with the lead center being Tübingen.

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Ongoing trial

Dopamine Genetics

So far, the origin of obesity, regardless of an existing positive energy balance, is not fully understood. In addition to environmental factors, the genetic background plays an important role in the pathogenesis of obesity. Common genetic polymorphisms, variants in the fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) locus have the highest effect size on body weight. Animal and first clinical studies indicate that FTO variants interact with dopamine signaling in the brain, thus contributing to the risk for overweight. In fact, preliminary results indicate that enhancing dopamine signaling with the dopamine agonist bromocriptine, depending on the FTO genotype, either induces weight loss or has a neutral effect on body weight.

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Ongoing study

Intermittent Fasting to Improve Insulin Secretion (IFIS)

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its complications are a challenge for health care systems as the numbers increases constantly. T2D occurs when insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells cannot sufficiently compensate for insulin resistance. To improve insulin secretion is essential in treatment and prevention of diabetes. Up to now, lifestyle intervention or pharmacological trials did not show an improvement of insulin secretion. However, one recent small human trial shows that intermittent fasting is able to improve insulin secretion. The IFIS study will investigate the effectiveness of 4 weeks of intermittent fasting on changes in insulin secretion capacity in people with prediabetes and the people with diabetes.

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Ongoing study

TUEDID study

The goal of the Tübingen Diabetes Mellitus Database TUEDID is a structured collection of data on people affected by diabetes mellitus. In addition, supplementary examinations are carried out which make it possible to answer further questions about the role of diabetes in different organ systems. These data will be compared with those of people without diabetes mellitus. Since this is an open cohort, the number of study participants is not limited.

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Prediabetes Lifestyle Intervention Study Follow Up (PLIS FU)

The prediabetes lifestyle intervention study (PLIS) was a stratified randomized multi-center trial involving eight study sites in Germany. The primary hypothesis was that individuals with prediabetes who have a high risk for a failure to restore normal glucose regulation with conventional lifestyle intervention (LI) will benefit from an intensification of the LI.

Scientists at the IDM

Dr. Corinna Dannecker

Scientist

Dr. Ralf Veit

Senior scientist

Dr. Franziska Schleger

Senior scientist

Maike Borutta

TA

Lisa Ulmer

TA

Ingrid Rösch

Administrative Assistant

Karin Waneck

TA

Timm Oliver Larbig

Technician

Dr. Dorothea Baumann

Medical doctor

Dr. Anja Moller

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Dr. Bernhard Bohnert

Medical doctor, Scientist

Dr. Ellen Kern

Medical doctor

Prof. Dr. Nils Heyne

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Dr. Anja Hieronimus

Medical doctor, Scientist

Dr. Sarah Hudak

Medical doctor, Scientist

Dr. Thomas Mühlbacher

Medical doctor

Prof. Dr. Norbert Stefan

Medical doctor, Senior scientist View profile

Prof. Dr. Dr. Fritz Schick

Medical doctor, Senior scientist View profile

Prof. Dr. Cora Weigert

Senior scientist

Prof. Dr. Erwin Schleicher

Senior scientist

Prof. Dr. Andreas Peter

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Anja Dessecker

Nurse

Marjo Bartus-Graf

Diet assistant

Alke Guirguis

TA

Sieglinde Haug

TA

Ann Kathrin Horlacher

TA

Andrea Janessa

TA

Dr. Angela Lehn-Stefan

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Dorothee Neuscheler

TA

Prof. Dr. Dorothea Siegel-Axel

Senior scientist

Roman-Georg Werner

TA

Melanie Weisser

TA

Dr. Anja Schork

Medical doctor

Dr. Michaela Keuper

Scientist

Tobias Haueise

PhD student

Alexandra Hopf

Administrative Assistant

Prof. Dr. Hubert Preissl

Senior scientist

Theresa Ester

PhD student

Lore Wagner

PhD student

Judith Leonie Nono

MTA

PD Dr. Stephanie Kullmann

Senior scientist

PD Dr. Martina Guthoff

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

David Arturo Juarez Lopez

TA

Sabine Kümmerle

Diet assistant

Jennifer Maurer

PhD student

PD Dr. Miriam Hoene

Senior scientist

Thomas Goj

PhD student

Prof. Dr. Rainer Lehmann

Senior scientist

Johannes Krier

PhD student

Eva-Maria Stehle

Medical Assistant

Dr. Julia Hartkopf

Scientist

Dr. Jelena Soldo

Medical doctor, Scientist

Dr. Lasse Relker

Medical doctor

Prof. Dr. Andreas Fritsche

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Prof. Dr. Ferruh Artunc

Medical doctor, Senior scientist

Andreas Vosseler

PhD student

Dr. Katrin Sippel

Scientist

Anja Fischer

PhD student

PD Dr. Felicia Gerst

Senior scientist

Dr. Sabine Frank-Podlech

Senior scientist

PD Dr. Jürgen Machann

Senior scientist View profile

Dr. Simon Dreher

Scientist

Lorenzo Semeia

PhD student

Prof. Dr. Reiner Jumpertz-von Schwartzenberg

Medical doctor, Scientist

Vanessa Hartmann

Study coordinator, project manager

Elisabeth Schrempf

Ines Wagener

Study nurse

Alexandra Eberle

Henrike Peuker

TA

Kerstin Kernn

Dr. Louise Fritsche

Senior scientist

Dr. Jason Martin

Scientist

Dr. Nermeen Elagroudy

Scientist

Dorina Löffler

PhD student

Prof. Dr. Andreas Birkenfeld

Head of Insitute, Medical doctor View profile

Recent Publications

2022 Diabetologie und Stoffwechsel https://doi.org/10.1007/s12181-022-00562-4

Schuett K, Aberle J, Bauersachs J, Birkenfeld AL, Frantz S, Ganz M, Jacob S, Kellerer M, Leschke M, Liebetrau C, Marx N, Mueller-Wieland D, Raake P, Schulze PC, Tschoepe D, von Haehling S, Zelniker TA, Forst T

Positionspapier Herzinsuffizienz und Diabetes.

2022 Diabetologie, Die

Schuett K, Forst T, Birkenfeld AL, Zirlik A, Mueller-Wieland D, Marx N

2022 Hormone and Metabolic Research 10.1055/a-1834-9008

Hoffmann C, Gerber PA, Cavelti-Weder C, Licht L, Kotb R, Al Dweik R, Cherfane M, Bornstein SR, Perakakis N

Liver, NAFLD and COVID-19.

Contact

Ingrid Rösch

Administrative Assistant