DZD PhD students at Lund University Diabetes Research Course

Participants at the one-week course organized by the Diabetes Program at Lund University in October 2021 learned about the current status of metabolism research. The program covered insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of diabetes and its complications and provided insights into diagnosis and treatment of diabetes in the clinics. Within the framework of the collaboration of the LUDC and the DZD, the NEXT program sponsored three young DZD scientists to travel to Lund for this comprehensive training opportunity. The DZD and LUDC have been working together for severeal years in the area of promoting young researchers and enable each other's exclusive participation in various program offerings.

“The talks started from very general topics in the first days such as historical aspects on the metabolic syndrome followed by topics in more detail like insulin signaling, genetic and environmental etiology of autoimmune diabetes, ” reports Shirin Tabei (DZD NEXT member, UKSH Lübeck). “It combined in depth lectures and active discussions on every aspect of diabetes from risk factors over prevention strategies to severe complications and uniquely combined the perspective of molecular scientists, clinicians and also patients,” adds Jasmin Gaugel (DZD NEXT member, DIfE Potsdam-Rehbrücke).

Translational diabetes research is the central focus of the DZD. One aspect supporting translation is opening the mind set of basic scientists towards the clinic. “Visiting the clinic of diabetology was very exciting for me. I already have some experiences during my internship and master study by visiting the Diabetes Sprechstunde at the University of Leipzig Medical Center, that’s why I was very interested to compare the routine therapies for patients with diabetes and to learn more about the new methods,” explains Shirin Tabei. Her colleague Xue Liu (DZD NEXT member, Helmholtz Munich) agrees, “Most fun part was the clinic cases discussion for me. From this part, I could really feel to translate my theory knowledge into practical.”

Besides expert talks, the course offered several opportunities to network and connect with colleagues at Lund University. “In the first afternoon a get together was already organized. It was a very fun and I had a quality time getting to know other participants, PhDs, and Postdocs, and to chat closely and to talk about their projects and introducing my own project.  I’ m looking forward to having collaboration

with Lund University in the future,” tells Shirin Tabei. Jasmin Gaugel agrees, “It was great to discuss different exercise and diet types with the lecturers and the other participants, to share experiences and to become aware of missing puzzle pieces to achieve improved prevention strategies in the future.”

Overall, this one-week experience boosted the DZD young scientists’ engagement for diabetes research: “it opened my mind regarding diabetes research,” concludes Xue Liu and here colleague Shirin Tabei adds, “Now, I’m more than before sure, that this field is exactly the field that I want to work on it later, after successfully finishing my PhD.”

Partner organizations

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) is a national association that brings together experts in the field of diabetes research and combines basic research, translational research, epidemiology and clinical applications. The aim is to develop novel strategies for personalized prevention and treatment of diabetes. Members are Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health, the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf, the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbrücke, the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden of the Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University Medical Center Carl Gustav Carus of the TU Dresden and the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Zentrum München at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen together with associated partners at the Universities in Heidelberg, Cologne, Leipzig, Lübeck and Munich. Evidence-based information from research and practice on diabetes mellitus is provided on the national diabetes information portal

Lund University Diabetes Centre, LUDC, is a consortium of research groups at Lund University dedicated to unravelling the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes mellitus. LUDC started July 1st 2006 when selected for funding by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) in fierce national competition, as a part of the call for applications for Linneaus grants. LUDC is active in several different areas of diabetes research. The aim is to identify the genetic factors responsible for development of diabetes, how they interact with the environment and then to integrate this knowledge with identifying the pathophysiology in pancreatic islet cells and insulin target tissue. The DPLU is an academic network within the Lund University Diabetes Centre (LUDC). The network mainly applies to young scientist, postdoctoral students and PhD students.


Facts at a glance


October 25th - 29th, 2021


Segerfalkssalen, BMC

Lund, Sweden