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Paul Pfluger, Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Head, Research Unit NeuroBiology of Diabetes (NBD)

"My research focuses on the role of the central nervous system (CNS) as potential common denominator for obesity and diabetes type 2, with an emphasis toward leptin resistance, yoyo dieting and epigenetics."

"My research focuses on the role of the central nervous system (CNS) as potential common denominator for obesity and diabetes type 2, with an emphasis toward leptin resistance, yoyo dieting and epigenetics."

Career

Prime focus of Prof. Pfluger’s academic research is the study of central nervous system mechanisms governing body weight and glucose homeostasis. Most of his research is conducted in gain- and loss-of-function mouse models and in genetically modified cells, and centers on the role of the CNS in driving metabolic dysfunction. His research further entails both the use of clinical material such as post-mortem human brain tissue, and collaborative studies in patients conducted by German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) brain academy colleagues using techniques such as MRI.

Specifically, his laboratory studies the role of neuroinflammation and epigenetic mechanisms as common denominators for metabolic diseases and CNS dysfunction ranging from hyperaggression to neurodegenerative diseases. In his research, faced with the complex interconnection and heterogeneity of neuronal and glial subpopulations in the CNS, he had to spend considerable time and efforts to establishing a pipeline for fluorescence-activated cell sorting, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics. This endeavour is now supported by an ERC consolidator grant, which allows him to interrogate the role of single neuronal subpopulations in orchestrating energy and glucose homeostasis and delineate the molecular basis for leptin resistance.

Lately, his focus has furthermore expanded toward developing novel thyroid hormone peptide chimera drugs that aim at reversing the severe cognitive and motor deficiencies of children with the Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome (AHDS). With epidemiologists at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, his lab moreover assesses whether low-to-moderate doses of cranial irradiation can serve as risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and the metabolic syndrome in healthy individuals.

 

 

Skills and Expertise

Yoyo DietingLeptin ResistanceMurine Energy PhysiologyHypothalamic Obesity HDAC

Professional Career

Since 2019

Associate Professor (W3) for Neurobiology of Diabetes at the TUM School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany

Since 2015

Head of Research Unit NeuroBiology of Diabetes, Helmholtz Centre Munich, Munich, Germany

2011 - 2015

Associate Director ‘Institute for Diabetes and Obesity’ and Head of Division ‘Nutrition Biology’, Helmholtz Centre Munich, Munich, Germany

2009 - 2011

Research Assistant Professor in the Obesity Research Center – Metabolic Diseases Institute, Dept. of Internal Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Cincinnati, USA

1994 - 2004

Biology studies at University of Constance, Germany (Dipl. Biol.) and graduate studies at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbrücke (Dr. rer. nat.)

Honors and Awards

2002
Young Investigator Award, Society for Free Radical Research Europe, Paris
2016
Helmholtz Young Investigator Diabetes (HelDi) Award Nominee, 4th Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference, Munich, Germany
2021
ERC 2020 Consolidator Grant “Yoyo LepReSens - Weight Maintenance by AgRP neurons”

Publications

Read more

2022 Scientific Article in Molecular Metabolism

Maity-Kumar, G. ; Ständer, L. ; de Angelis, M. ; Lee, S. ; Molenaar, A. ; Becker, L. ; Garrett, L. ; Amarie, O.V. ; Hölter, S.M. ; Wurst, W. ; Fuchs, H. ; Feuchtinger, A. ; Gailus-Durner, V. ; García-Cáceres, C. ; Othman, A.E. ; Brockmann, C. ; Schöffling, V.I. ; Beiser, K. ; Krude, H. ; Mroz, P.A. ; Hofmann, S.M. ; Tuckermann, J. ; DiMarchi, R.D. ; Hrabě de Angelis, M. ; Tschöp, M.H. ; Pfluger, P.T. ; Müller, T.D.

Validation of Mct8/Oatp1c1 dKO mice as a model organism for the Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome.

2022 Scientific Article in Nature metabolism

Parikh, S. ; Parikh, R. ; Michael, K. ; Bikovski, L. ; Barnabas, G. ; Mardamshina, M. ; Hemi, R. ; Manich, P. ; Goldstein, N. ; Malcov-Brog, H. ; Ben-Dov, T. ; Glaich, O. ; Liber, D. ; Bornstein, Y. ; Goltseker, K. ; Ben-Bezalel, R. ; Pavlovsky, M. ; Golan, T. ; Spitzer, L. ; Matz, H. ; Gonen, P. ; Percik, R. ; Leibou, L. ; Perluk, T. ; Ast, G. ; Frand, J. ; Brenner, R. ; Ziv, T. ; Khaled, M. ; Ben-Eliyahu, S. ; Barak, S. ; Karnieli-Miller, O. ; Levin, E. ; Gepner, Y. ; Weiss, R. ; Pfluger, P.T. ; Weller, A. ; Levy, C.

Food-seeking behavior is triggered by skin ultraviolet exposure in males.

Private Requests

"Next to my academic research, I am actively engaged in teaching and science dissemination activities, for instance as scientific representative and ombudsperson for our International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes (HRD) or as contributor to the patient information service of our DZD network."

"I consider it a privilege to serve as mentor, colleague and host for students, internees and guest scientist in my laboratory, to enrich science communication and exchange within my lab, our center, and across continents."

"Next to my academic research, I am actively engaged in teaching and science dissemination activities, for instance as scientific representative and ombudsperson for our International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes (HRD) or as contributor to the patient information service of our DZD network."

"I consider it a privilege to serve as mentor, colleague and host for students, internees and guest scientist in my laboratory, to enrich science communication and exchange within my lab, our center, and across continents."