The annual report offers an insight into the multifaceted scientific work of the DZD as well as selected highlights of the year 2020. The report pays special attention to the promotion of young scientists of the DZD. The DZD NEXT program helps young researchers to further their education, to develop networks and to take the next steps in their careers. In this way, the DZD also contributes to making Germany an attractive location for young scientists. In three short interviews, researchers report on how they have benefited from the program.
Another focus is the presentation of research highlights: DZD researchers have succeeded in identifying subtypes already in a preliminary stage of diabetes (prediabetes). This provides a key basis for the development of precise diabetes prevention and therapy. DZD studies show that the function of insulin-producing beta cells already deteriorates at an early stage of type 2 diabetes development. DZD scientists were able to restore beta cell function in an animal model with the aid of a new combination of active compounds.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in children and adolescents. DZD scientists are conducting intensive research on this autoimmune disease. Screening for islet autoantibodies makes it possible for the first time to diagnose the disease before the first symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear (pre-symptomatic stages).
Other topics covered in the annual report include the main research areas (academies), the expansion of the research infrastructure, the current status of multicenter studies, highlights from public relations work, and current figures and data from the DZD.