Diabetes Congress 2013: Today’s Research for Tomorrow’s Practice

The Diabetes Congress 2013, the 48th annual meeting of the German Diabetes Association (DDG), came to a successful close on May 11, 2013 in Leipzig. Approximately 6000 participants attended the various lectures, symposia and workshops in the Congress Center Leipzig. The Congress, which is the largest annual event in the German-speaking region on the topic of diabetes, was organized by Congress President Professor Harald H. Klein from Bochum. This year’s motto for the Congress was “Today’s Research for Tomorrow’s Practice”. During the annual meeting, the DDG conferred awards for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of diabetology. Two DZD scientists were among the award winners. The Congress was the final event in the presidency of Professor Stephan Matthaei. The new president is Priv.-Doz. Dr. Erhard Siegel from Heidelberg.


Lectures related to diabetes research – on prevention and treatment, exercise and nutrition – were main topics as well as “Diabetes and Pregnancy” or “Epidemiology, Genetics and the Environment”. More than 40 scientific contributions were presented by DZD scientists at the Diabetes Congress.

Opening lecture by Professor Häring
At the opening of the Diabetes Congress Professor Hans-Ulrich Häring, DZD board member and medical director of Medical Clinic IV, University Hospital of Tübingen, spoke about the possibilities of individualized prevention and treatment of diabetes. He stressed that in the future, researchers must be able to distinguish between those people with pre-diabetes who later actually develop diabetes and those who despite severe obesity do not develop the disease. In addition, researchers must determine which people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing cancer or Alzheimer’s. Both questions are currently being investigated in large-scale studies. In this context, Professor Häring praised the work of the translational research collaborations which have converged in the German Center for Diabetes Research. 


Paul Langerhans Medal and other awards
The Paul Langerhans Medal, the highest award of the DDG, went in 2013 to Professor Henning Beck-Nielsen from Odense/Denmark. His main scientific interest is the study of insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christian Herder of the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf, a partner in the DZD, was one of the two winners of the Ferdinand Bertram Award 2013 of Roche Diagnostics GmbH. He was honored for his work on mechanisms in the development of type 2 diabetes.
The Ernst Friedrich Pfeiffer Award from Lilly Germany went to Dr. Stephan Speier of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID), a partner in the DZD. He explores the physiology of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas in order to understand their function and regeneration potential.

Change in leadership and new congress location Berlin
The German Diabetes Association was founded in 1964 and, with more than 8600 members, is one of the largest medical-scientific associations in Germany. From 2013 to 2015 Priv.-Doz. Dr. Erhard Siegel from St. Joseph Hospital in Heidelberg will assume the presidency of the DDG. He succeeds Professor Stephan Matthaei from Quakenbrück. The new vice president of the DDG is Professor Baptist Gallwitz of University Hospital of Tübingen; Dr. Dietrich Garlichs will continue to be managing director. Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler of Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the DZD, is responsible for organizing the Diabetes Congress 2014 at the new location in Berlin.