The second conference in the series was initiated jointly by the Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the DZD, and Nature Medicine and confirmed the format's success. Leading experts and up-and-coming young scientists presented and discussed the latest research approaches and results in an intimate setting with the objective of developing new strategies for fighting the diabetes pandemic. New to this year's conference was the round table session in which 25 selected young scientists discussed their research projects in small groups with leading scientists. Günther Wess, CEO of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, summed it up, "The conference series is an internationally unique, top conference in diabetes research. We are already looking forward to the third event next September."
This year, the Novo Nordisk Helmholtz Young Investigator Diabetes (HeIDi) Award for young scientists who have achieved outstanding results in diabetes research went to Brian Finan from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Shingo Kajimura from the University of California, San Francisco. Finan is investigating medicinal therapy strategies for diabetes and obesity. A multi-hormone molecule that he has helped to develop combines the positive characteristics of a number of metabolic hormones and consequently reduces the blood sugar and body weight. Kajimura is addressing pharmacological approaches to adipose tissue in order to promote the development of brown and beige adipose tissues, which are responsible for generating energy through fat oxidation. "The prize honors young talents for their excellent research results. We want to encourage young scientists to continue their research and also to pursue the translational potential in order to build on their findings and develop new treatment strategies," explains Ulrich Stilz, Vice President of Novo Nordisk.
The Helmholtz Diabetes Lecture recognizes outstanding contributions made by a leading scientist, and this year the honor of presenting the lecture was given to Jeffrey Friedman of the Rockefeller University (USA). In his lecture, Friedman examined the history, the current state, and the challenges of research on leptin, a chemical messenger that plays a central role in controlling food intake.
Both the organizers and the participants were enthusiastic about the event: "The conference was a complete success. We have received a great deal of positive feedback on the excellent presentations and the event's format, which offers the ideal setting for an intensive scientific exchange," says Matthias Tschöp, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.
Please also visit the Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference website