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Helmholtz Munich | © Ismael Gonzalez-Garcia
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Helmholtz Diabetes Center Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO)

The IDO investigates the diseases of the metabolic syndrome by means of systems biological and translational approaches on the basis of cellular systems, genetically modified mouse models and clinical intervention studies.

The IDO investigates the diseases of the metabolic syndrome by means of systems biological and translational approaches on the basis of cellular systems, genetically modified mouse models and clinical intervention studies.

Our Research Groups

Helmholtz Munich | Haggenmüller
Dr. Timo Müller / Director (acting) / Group Leader

Molecular Pharmacology Unit

Aim: To establish new pharmacotherapies to safely and efficiently lower body weight while improving glucose sensitivity.

Matthias Tunger Photodesign
Dr. Siegfried Ussar / Deputy Director (acting)/ Group Leader

Adipocytes and Metabolism Unit

The overarching aim of our research is to elucidate mechanism enabling healthy adipose tissue expansion upon weight gain to prevent the development of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

© Helmholtz Munich/ Michael Haggenmüller
Prof. Dr. Cristina García Cáceres / Deputy Director (acting)/ ERC Starting / W2 professor at LMU / Group Leader

Astrocyte-Neuron Networks

To explore the functional role of astrocytes controlling energy metabolism at the central and peripheral level.

Matthias Tunger Photodesign
Prof. Dr. Paul T. Pfluger / Head of Research Unit

Research Unit Neurobiology of Diabetes (NBD)

Our research focuses on the role of the central nervous system (CNS) as potential common denominator for obesity and diabetes type 2.

Helmholtz Munich | © Michael Haggenmüller
Prof. Dr. Fabiana Perocchi / W3 Associate Professor

Functional Genomics of Mitochondria Unit

Objectives: To characterize mitochondrial signal transduction cascades that occur in response to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli.

Helmholtz Munich | © Natalie Krahmer
Dr. Natalie Krahmer

Cellular Proteomics and Metabolic Signaling

Characterization of the subcellular reorganization including organelle proteomes, lipidomes and organelle contacts in the development of metabolic diseases using cell biological and proteomic approaches. Characterization of metabolic signaling pathways and identification of new players in leptin and insulin resistance using phosphoproteomic workflows.

©Michael Haggenmueller
Dr. Alberto Cebrian Serrano

Genetics Unit

To develop animal models to understand human gene function and disease for internal scientific projects and external collaborations.

Matthias Tunger Photodesign
Dr. Dominik Lutter

Computational Discovery Research

Aim: systems biology of metabolic disorders.

Helmholtz Munich | Stefanie Winkler
Dr. Günter Müller

Biochemistry Unit

Aim: Role of non-classical mechanisms for intercellular communication in (the therapy and diagnosis of) metabolic diseases.

Helmholtz Munich | Haggenmüller
Dr. Timo Müller, Director (acting) / Head of Research Unit

Animal Administration

Aim: Next generation mouse metabolic phenotyping.

Helmholtz Munich | © Andreas Weiss
Dr. Maryna Bondarava / Head of Research Management

IDO Management

We support scientists to be successful in a global research competition.

Our staff

Lingru Kang

Chenxi Wang

Dr. Khanh Vo

Verena Schöler

Dr. Siegfried Ussar

Deputy Director (acting), Group Leader View profile

Prof. Dr. Cristina García Cáceres

Deputy Director (acting), ERC Starting, Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Fabiana Perocchi

Group Leader (W3 Associate Professor)

Dr. Natalie Krahmer

Emmy Noether Group Leader

PD Dr. Kerstin Stemmer

Group Leader

Marion Konheiser

IDO Administration

Peggy Dörfelt

Technician

Dr. Cahuê De Bernardis Murat

Postdoc

Dr. Sonja Schriever

Deputy Head

Daniel Haas

PhD Student

Irem Altun

PhD Student

Philipp Melander

Koordinator Budget & Personal

Dr. Beata Legutko

Senior Scientist

Daniela Heine

Lab manager

Marlene Kilian

Technician

Andrea Machmüller

PhD Student (parental leave)

Dr. Günter Müller

Group Leader

Amare Wolide

PhD Student

Clarita Layritz

Technician

Dr. Gerald Grandl

Postdoc

Lisa Ständer

PhD Student

Hülya Akdag

Lab-assist

Sneha Prakash

PhD Student

Katrin Huber

Technician

Daniel Brandt

Technician

Özum Sehnaz Caliskan

PhD Student

Nicole Klas

Technician

Felix Klingelhuber

PhD Student

Dr. Katharina Haas

Scientist

Samira Zamani

Technician

Ahmed Khalil

PhD Student

Andreas Israel

Technician

Luiza Lutomska

PhD Student

Melanie Huber

PhD Student

Dr. Daniela Liśkiewicz

Postdoc

Anna Molenaar

PhD Student

Franziska Lechner

PhD Student

Dr. Seun Akindehin

PhD Student (HDC School)

Dr. Callum Coupland

PhD Student

Dr. Maximilian Kleinert

Group Leader

Meri De Angelis

Postdoc

Sara Ribičić

Research Scientist

Miriam Krekel

Technician

Inderjeet Singh

PhD student

Alina Blenninger

Technician

Dr. Ophélia Le Thuc

Postdoc

Fabian Seebacher

PhD Student

Cassie Hollemann

Technician

Martina Brand

Technician

Dr. Yanjun Xu

Postdoc

Sebastian Kerngast

Technician

Prof. Dr. Aloys Schepers

Scientist Deputy Head

Emily Klein

Technician

Michael Sheng-Fu Feng

PhD Student

Li Jiang

PhD Student (parental leave)

Dr. Denis Vecellio Reane

Postdoc

Dr. Ismael González García

Postdoc

Balma Carcia Colomer

Technician

Xenia Leonhardt

Technician

Konxhe Kulaj

PhD Student

Liu Xue

PhD Student

Xiaocheng Yan

PhD Student

Dr. Alberto Cebrian Serrano

Group Leader View profile

Lena Holzhäuser

Technician

Aaron Novikoff

PhD Student

Dr. Sander Verbrugge

Postdoc

Songül Sahin

Lab technician

Vanessa Turtenwald

Technician

Dr. Viktorian Miok

Postdoc

Dr. Arkadiusz Liśkiewicz

Postdoc

Elena Lopez Gonzales

PhD Student

Andrew Flatley

Technician

Elena Garcia Clave

PhD Student (HDC)

Martina Brand

Technician

Claudia Brucker

Technician

Alexander Huber

Technician

Danijel Kupresanin

Technician

Eva Trautmann

Technician

Yasuhiro Onogi

Postdoc

Dr. José Manuel Monroy Kuhn

Postdoc

Dr. Gandhari Maity Kumar

Postdoc

Elisavet Lola

Technician

Hilda Carolina Delgado De la Herrán

PhD Student

Natalia Prudente de Mello

PhD Student

Miriam Bernecker

PhD Student (HDC)

Dr. Yiming Cheng

Senior Bioinformatician/Scientist

Recent Publication Highlights

See all

2022 Nat Metab. PMID: 35501600

Gruber T, García-Cáceres C.

Astroglial clean-up of satiety synapses

Until now, the BDNF–TrkB signalling pathway was thought to be exclusively regulated by neurons. Ameroso et al. show that astrocytic TrkB.T1 is a critical substrate of BDNF in the regulation of energy balance and that its defective signalling in hypothalamic circuits leads to obesity.

2022 Nature Metabolism PMID: 35995995

Carmelo Quarta et al.

GLP-1-mediated delivery of tesaglitazar improves obesity and glucose metabolism in male mice

Dual agonists activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha and gamma (PPARɑ/ɣ) have beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes, but their development was discontinued due to potential adverse effects. Here we report the design and preclinical evaluation of a molecule that covalently links the PPARɑ/ɣ dual-agonist tesaglitazar to a GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) to allow for GLP-1R-dependent cellular delivery of tesaglitazar. GLP-1RA/tesaglitazar does not differ from the pharmacokinetically matched GLP-1RA in GLP-1R signalling, but shows GLP-1R-dependent PPARɣ-retinoic acid receptor heterodimerization and enhanced improvements of body weight, food intake and glucose metabolism relative to the GLP-1RA or tesaglitazar alone in obese male mice. The conjugate fails to affect body weight and glucose metabolism in GLP-1R knockout mice and shows preserved effects in obese mice at subthreshold doses for the GLP-1RA and tesaglitazar. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based proteomics identified PPAR regulated proteins in the hypothalamus that are acutely upregulated by GLP-1RA/tesaglitazar. Our data show that GLP-1RA/tesaglitazar improves glucose control with superior efficacy to the GLP-1RA or tesaglitazar alone and suggest that this conjugate might hold therapeutic value to acutely treat hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance.

2022 Nature Reviews Drug Discovery PMID: 34815532

Timo D Müller, Matthias Blüher, Matthias H Tschöp, Richard D DiMarchi

Anti-obesity drug discovery: advances and challenges

Enormous progress has been made in the last half-century in the management of diseases closely integrated with excess body weight, such as hypertension, adult-onset diabetes and elevated cholesterol. However, the treatment of obesity itself has proven largely resistant to therapy, with anti-obesity medications (AOMs) often delivering insufficient efficacy and dubious safety. Here, we provide an overview of the history of AOM development, focusing on lessons learned and ongoing obstacles. Recent advances, including increased understanding of the molecular gut-brain communication, are inspiring the pursuit of next-generation AOMs that appear capable of safely achieving sizeable and sustained body weight loss.

2022 Allergy PMID: 35060125

Karlina R. et al.

Differential effects of lung inflammation on insulin resistance in humans and mice

Background: The rates of obesity, its associated diseases, and allergies are raising at alarming rates in most countries. House dust mites (HDM) are highly allergenic and exposure often associates with an urban sedentary indoor lifestyle, also resulting in obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological association and physiological impact of lung inflammation on obesity and glucose homeostasis. Methods: Epidemiological data from 2207 adults of the population-based KORA FF4 cohort were used to test associations between asthma and rhinitis with metrics of body weight and insulin sensitivity. To obtain functional insights, C57BL/6J mice were intranasally sensitized and challenged with HDM and simultaneously fed with either low-fat or high-fat diet for 12 weeks followed by a detailed metabolic and biochemical phenotyping of the lung, liver, and adipose tissues. Results: We found a direct association of asthma with insulin resistance but not body weight in humans. In mice, co-development of obesity and HDM-induced lung inflammation attenuated inflammation in lung and perigonadal fat, with little impact on body weight, but small shifts in the composition of gut microbiota. Exposure to HDM improved glucose tolerance, reduced hepatosteatosis, and increased energy expenditure and basal metabolic rate. These effects associate with increased activity of thermogenic adipose tissues independent of uncoupling protein 1. Conclusions: Asthma associates with insulin resistance in humans, but HDM challenge results in opposing effects on glucose homeostasis in mice due to increased energy expenditure, reduced adipose inflammation, and hepatosteatosis. Keywords: allergy; house dust mites; inflammation; insulin sensitivity; obesity.

Our Networks and Affiliations

Contact

Marion Konheiser

IDO Administration

3620 / 242a