DZD Exchange with Japanese Delegation about Diabetes Research and Prevention

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) presented itself to Japanese diabetes scientists as point of contact for an international exchange about the status of research and prevention of the widespread disease diabetes. On February 13, 2014 representatives of German diabetes organizations met at Helmholtz Zentrum München with scientists of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo. Dr. Dr. Hiroshi Kajio, director for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research, and Dr. Takehiro Sugiyama, project director of the National Diabetes Plan, visited national diabetes centers on their eight-day delegation tour through Europe and the U.S. in order to learn from the experience and knowledge that has been gained up to now.

In response to the invitation of the DZD board members Prof. Martin Hrabĕ de Angelis and Prof. Hans-Ulrich Häring, Prof. Monika Kellerer, medical director of Internal Medicine of Marienhospital (St. Mary’s Hospital) in Stuttgart and guidelines officer of the German Diabetes Association (DDG), Prof. Baptist Gallwitz of the University Hospital Tübingen, vice president of the DDG, and Dr. Stefanie Gerlach, head of Health Policy at diabetesDE – German Diabetes Aid, took part in the meeting.

“In Japan, too, diabetes is a widespread disease and a major medical and economic problem. As one of six national health research centers in Japan, we have the task to develop a national diabetes prevention program for the Japanese government and are very interested in exchanging ideas with leading diabetes institutions,” the Japanese scientists said.  In Japan a voluntary survey of nutrition and health data is already underway.       

Prof. Hans-Ulrich Häring (photo above right) presented the diabetes prevention activities in Germany as well as the Germany-wide prevention study of the DZD. Prof. Martin Hrabĕ de Angelis presented the structure and the research program of the DZD: “In the DZD we bring together non-university research centers and universities. Thus, a new and very successful collaboration in diabetes research has emerged.” This functioning structure of a national diabetes research center greatly impressed the Japanese guests.

They also followed with great interest the overview of Dr. Stefanie Gerlach (photo below left) about diabetes activities throughout the world and the demands for a coordinated approach to national diabetes strategies and the status of the national diabetes plan for Germany. The German experience of the last ten years with disease management programs and the national diabetes guidelines developed by the German Diabetes Association were presented by Prof. Kellerer (photo below right). The lively discussion, moderated by Prof. Gallwitz, lasted the entire morning. The Japanese guests thanked their hosts for the valuable suggestions and intend to continue the exchange.