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Helmholtz Munich | Erik Bader

Helmholtz Diabetes Center Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research

The primary objective of the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research (IDR) at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center Munich is to develop regenerative therapeutic approaches to treat diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the aim is to improve current strategies for functional β-cell production in vitro with the ultimate goal to provide alternative sources of β-cells for cell replacement therapy in diabetes. Additionally, we analyze and characterize the embryonic and adult pancreatic progenitor cells to understand β-cell development, homeostasis and function for in vivo regeneration. Triggering endogenous β-cell regeneration is a promising approach to restore beta cell mass and normoglycemia in diabetic patients.

The primary objective of the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research (IDR) at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center Munich is to develop regenerative therapeutic approaches to treat diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the aim is to improve current strategies for functional β-cell production in vitro with the ultimate goal to provide alternative sources of β-cells for cell replacement therapy in diabetes. Additionally, we analyze and characterize the embryonic and adult pancreatic progenitor cells to understand β-cell development, homeostasis and function for in vivo regeneration. Triggering endogenous β-cell regeneration is a promising approach to restore beta cell mass and normoglycemia in diabetic patients.

Our Research Groups

Helmholtz Munich | Mostafa Bakhti
Dr. Mostafa Bakhti

Beta Cell Development and Regeneration

We study the programs underlying pancreatic formation and function to design novel strategies for diabetes therapy and tissue engineering. Specifically, we explore the cellular and molecular processes that coordinate endocrine cell morphogenesis, differentiation, and function.

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Helmholtz Munich | Ingo Burtscher
Dr. Ingo Burtscher

Stem Cell Research

Using CRISPR/Cas 9 technology Dr. Burtscher and his team is generating numerous fluorescent iPSC reporter lines which are being used to investigate how alpha-, beta- or other endocrine cells are formed, how these lineage decisions are regulated, and how mature cell types can be differentiated in a culture dish.

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Helmholtz Munich | © Katharina Scheibner
Dr. Katharina Scheibner

Beta Cell Replacement

Our group aims to advance the generation of human stem cell-derived islet-like clusters (SC-ILCs). Human pancreas development is not well understood and thus current protocols result in inefficient and impure SC-ILCs with limited functionality. Therefore, the Beta Cell Replacement group focusses on deciphering essential processes during human pancreas development and establishes new approaches to generate improved SC-ILCs.

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The picture shows a cross-section of the small intestine of the mouse. Foxa2-positive cells and their lineage are stained in green (GFP). Cells that proliferated in the crypt are stained white (BrdU). Cell membrane is stained red (membrane tomato).
Dr. Anika Böttcher

Intestinal Stem Cell Research

Deciphering the molecular mechanisms driving intestinal stem cell lineage decisions in order to identify new druggable targets for the treatment of diet-induced intestinal dysfunction. Understanding how stem cell niche composition and mechanics regulate cellular differentiation and if niche composition and mechanics are altered in obesity and diabetes and contribute to diet-induced intestinal dysfunction.

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Helmholtz Munich | Joanne van Vuuren
Prof. Heiko Lickert

Islet Biology

We study the molecular basis of pancreatic lineage specification as well as islet cell development, maturation, heterogeneity, function, and regeneration across species. We investigate epigenetic, transcriptional, and proteomic features in mouse, pig, and human islets in order to uncover and functionally interrogate the driving factors and molecular programs behind the changes in islet cell phenotypes.

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©Helmholtz Zentrum München
Prof. Heiko Lickert

Insulin/IGF Signalling

Our discovery of inceptor, a novel and druggable insulin inhibitory receptor, is a significant milestone for diabetes research as the scientific community celebrates 100 years of insulin and 50 years of insulin receptor discovery. The blocking of inceptor function leads to an increased sensitisation of the insulin signaling pathway in pancreatic beta cells. This might allow protection and regeneration of beta cells for diabetes remission.

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Helmholtz Munich | Michael Sterr
Dr. Michael Sterr

Single Cell Analysis

Single-cell based methods are key technologies to uncover the cellular complexity of biological systems, answering important and longstanding biological questions. Single-cell genomics allows to better characterize different cell types and cellular states, identify rare cell populations, and reconstruct developmental trajectories.

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Helmholtz Munich | Ingo Burtscher
Dr. Silvia Schirge

Endoderm Development and Transgenic Unit

We are using various mouse models to address questions in the field of endoderm and pancreas development, endocrine lineage formation in gut and pancreas as well as beta-cell maturation and regeneration

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Prof. Susanna Hofmann

Independent Group "Woman and Diabetes"

Our mission is to investigate the molecular mechanisms causing gender and sex specific differences in diabetic dyslipidemia and to develop novel personalised treatment strategies.

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IDR Management

The IDR Management team covers the administrative/ organisational aspects of all scientific projects at IDR. We ensure the feasibility and scientific quality of the projects, availability of staff, funding and legal approval in close collaboration with the HMGU administrative departments like Finances, Human Resources, Legal & Compliance, Communications & Strategic Relations, Innovation and Strategy/ Programs/ Resources, as well as Core Facilities like Antibody and Laboratory Animal Sciences CF. We accompany projects from the planning phase, during performance until reporting and are contact partners to grantors and authorities.

Scientists at Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research

Prof. Dr. Heiko Lickert

Institute Director and Group Leader Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth & Islet Biology View profile

Dr. Mostafa Bakhti

Group Leader Beta cell development and regeneration

Lisa Appel

Technical Assistant - Transgenic Unit

Melis Akgün

PhD student - Stem cell research

Priyadharishini Ayyappan

PhD Student - Islet Biology

Dr. Aimee Bastidas-Ponce

Post Doc - Beta cell development and regeneration

Emily Baumgart

Lab Manager and Technical Assistant Stem Cell Group

Sreya Bhattacharya

PhD Student - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Sára Bileková

PhD student - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Dr. Anika Böttcher

Group Leader Intestinal stem cells

Dr. Ingo Burtscher

Deputy Director and Group Leader Stem cell research

Dr. Mara Catani

Scientific Project and Grant Manager

Changying Jing

PhD student - Beta cell development and regeneration

Dr. Prisca Chapouton

Senior Scientist Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Perla Cota

PhD Student - Beta cell development and regeneration

Sebastian Cucuruz

TA

Oliver Czarnecki

PhD student - Beta cell development and regeneration

Kerstin Diemer

Lab Manager IDR-L and technical assistant - Islet Biology

Sophia Dinges

PhD Student

Carola Eggert

Technical Assistant - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Jin Feng

PhD Student - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Sonja Frevel

Personal Assistant IDR-H

Gabriela Glaser

Lab Assistant

Tobias Greisle

PhD student - Intestinal stem cells

Prof. Dr. med. Susanna Hofmann

Independent Group Leader "Women and Diabetes" (IDR-H)

Dr. Monica Istrate

m4 Project Manager

Jessica Jaki

Technical Assistant - Beta cell development and regeneration

Dr. Christos Karampelias

Postdoc

Ines Kunze

Technical Assistant - Intestinal stem cells

Mireia Molina van den Bosch

Timucin Öztürk

Technical Assistant - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Sandra Pfluger

PhD student - Stem cell research

Nicole Katarina Rogers

PhD student - Beta cell replacement

Lama Saber

PhD Student - Beta cell development and regeneration

Dr. Katharina Scheibner

Junior group Leader Beta cell replacement

Dr. Silvia Schirge

Group Leader Transgenic Unit

Dr. Elke Schlüssel

Scientific Project and Compliance Manager

Eunike Setyono

PhD student - Beta cell replacement

Johanna Siehler

PhD student - Stem cell research

Dr. Michael Sterr

Single Cell Core Facility Group Leader

Donna Thomson

Personal Assistant IDR-L / Office and Administrative Project Manager

Dr. Xianming Wang

Post Doc - Stem cell research

Dr. Marc Walter

Scientific Manager and Coordinator IDR-H

Pei Xu

PhD Student - Insulin/IGF signalling in metabolism and growth

Dr. Kaiyuan Yang

Post Doc - Islet Biology

Thomas Worring

TA

Dr. Robby Zachariah Tom

Post Doc

Liwei Zhang

PhD Student

Shiqi Zhang

PhD Student

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Our latest Publications

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2022 Scientific Article in Nature Communications

Schmidt, S. ; Luecken, M. ; Trümbach, D. ; Hembach, S. ; Niedermeier, K.M. ; Wenck, N. ; Pflügler, K. ; Stautner, C. ; Böttcher, A. ; Lickert, H. ; Ramirez Suastegui, C. ; Ahmad, R. ; Ziller, M.J. ; Fitzgerald, J.C. ; Ruf, V. ; van de Berg, W.D.J. ; Jonker, A.J. ; Gasser, T. ; Winner, B. ; Winkler, J. ; Weisenhorn, D.M. ; Giesert, F. ; Theis, F.J. ; Wurst, W.

Primary cilia and SHH signaling impairments in human and mouse models of Parkinson's disease.

2022 Scientific Article in Clinical Cancer Research

Weber, P. ; Künstner, A. ; Hess-Rieger, J. ; Unger, K. ; Marschner, S. ; Idel, C. ; Ribbat-Idel, J. ; Walz, C. ; Rietzler, S. ; Valeanu, L. ; Herkommer, T. ; Kreutzer, L. ; Klymenko, O. ; Kirchner, T. ; Ganswindt, U. ; Walch, A.K. ; Sterr, M. ; Lickert, H. ; Canis, M. ; Rades, D. ; Perner, S. ; Berriel Diaz, M. ; Herzig, S. ; Wollenberg, B. ; Busch, H. ; Zitzelsberger, H.

Therapy-related transcriptional subtypes in matched primary and recurrent head and neck cancer.

Contact us!

Donna Thomson

Personal Assistant IDR-L / Office and Administrative Project Manager

Campus Neuherberg, building 3620, room 306b