Prof. Dr. med. Andreas L. BirkenfeldDirector of the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) Helmholtz Munich at the University Hospital Tübingen
“My vision is a life without type 2 diabetes (T2D). To even come close to that goal, we need to address T2D at a much earlier stage than is currently done in medical care. I aim to understand how T2D is caused and how to prevent, precisely and sustainably treat and reverse the disease.”
“My vision is life without type 2 diabetes (T2D). To come even near this goal, we have to address T2D in a much earlier stage as currently done in medical care. I aim to understanding how T2D is caused and how to prevent, precisely and sustainably treat and reverse the disease.”
Academic Career and Research Areas
After his clinical training at the Charité-Berlin with Friedrich Luft and Jens Jordan, Andreas became a fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and joined Gerald I. Shulman at Yale University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, were he studied the origins of insulin resistance. He then received a DFG funded research group at the Charité-Berlin in 2010, and was appointed “Hans A. Krebs Professor of Therapy & Pathophysiology of Diabetes” in 2014.
He moved on to the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus of the Technical University Dresden to become the Professor of Metabolic Vascular Medicine and Chair of the Dept. of Metabolic Vascular Medicine. Andreas also became “TransCampus Professor” within the Section of Diabetology at King’s College London, UK.
In 2019, Andreas was appointed Medical Director and Chairman of the Department of Diabetology, Endocrinology and Nephrology at the University Hospital Tübingen as well as Director of the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM), Helmholtz Munich. He serves as one of five speakers of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD).
Andreas clinical and basic research intends to reverse the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He derives his experience from working with patients with metabolic diseases as a clinician. He identified a hormonal heart – adipose tissue axis regulating human metabolism (ANP), as well as the plasma membrane transporter INDY (I’m Not Dead Yet) as a regulator of lipid and glucose metabolism.
He currently works to bring these strategies to patients to treat diabetes. Andreas lead large international multicenter trials evaluating novel treatment options for diabetes and obesity which are now in clinical use (Semaglutide). He seeks to better understand which factors drive remission of (pre)diabetes in his patients.
Fields of Work and Expertise
Diabetology Endocrinology Translational Research (Molecular -, Cell based -, Clinical Studies)
Director, Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM), Helmholtz Munich
Speaker, German Center for Diabetes Research
Director, Clinic for Diabetology, Endocrinology, Nephrology, University Clinic Tübingen
TransCampus Professor, Dept. of Diabetology, King’s College London, UK
Professor and Chair of the Department of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Technical University Dresden
Honors and Awards
Ferdinand Bertram Award, German Diabetes Association (DDG)
Schoeller-Junkmann-Award, German Society of Endocrinology (DGE)
“Rising Star” Award, European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)
Award of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for European Fellows
Highlight PublicationsSee all
Obesity and impaired Metabolic Health increase the Risk of COVID-19-related Mortality in young and middle-aged adults to the Risk Level observed in elderly People; the LEOSS registry. Front. Med., 11 May 2022
Pathophysiology-based subphenotyping of individuals at elevated risk for type 2 diabetes. Nature Med. 2021;27:49-57.
Practical Recommendations for the Management of Diabetes in Patients With COVID-19. Lancet Diabetes Endo 2020;8:546-550.
SLC Transporters as Potential Targets for the Treatment of Metabolic Disease. Pharmacol Rev 2020; 72:343-379
Atp6ap2 deletion causes extensive vacuolation that consumes the insulin content of pancreatic β-cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019; 116:19983-19988.
Oral Semaglutide and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2019; 381:841-85.
Efficacy and safety of semaglutide compared with liraglutide and placebo for weight loss in patients with obesity: a randomised, double-blind, placebo and active controlled, dose-ranging, phase 2 trial. Lancet 2018; 392:637-649.