DZD Researcher Norbert Stefan Appointed Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School

Professor Norbert Stefan, MD, Heisenberg Professor for Clinical Experimental Diabetology at the University of Tübingen and researcher at the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), was awarded a visiting professorship at Harvard Medical School. There he will expand his research on the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes and, in close cooperation with his American colleagues, establish new structures of interaction in the field of diabetes research with the University of Tübingen and the DZD. In mid-September he gave his inaugural lecture in Boston.

Prof. Norbert Stefan. Source: private

At Harvard, Stefan works with Professor Morris White of the Division of Endocrinology of the Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital. Together, they want to expand and deepen hepatokine research * to elucidate the role of fatty liver in the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, joint clinical trials are planned to investigate the effects of fat distribution disorders on the risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications in adolescents and adults. The aim is to establish a close scientific cooperation in diabetes research at the renowned Harvard Medical School with the Medical Clinic IV of Tübingen University Hospital, Helmholtz Zentrum München and the DZD.

Stefan holds the Heisenberg Professorship for Clinical Experimental Diabetology at Medical Clinic IV of Tübingen University Hospital, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). He also heads the Department of Pathophysiology of Prediabetes at the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Tübingen. In close cooperation with Professor Hans-Ulrich Häring, director of Medical Clinic IV and the IDM Tübingen, his research focuses on the precise characterization of the risk of type 2 diabetes. As part of the clinical-experimental research approach, Stefan has developed groundbreaking concepts for stratifying the risk of diabetes. These include the identification and investigation of metabolically healthy obesity, metabolically abnormal normal weight, hepatokines (liver hormones) and the determinants of the success of lifestyle intervention to prevent type 2 diabetes and its sequelae.

The focus of his work in recent years has been the investigation of the causes and consequences of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Stefan has led the DZD's first multicenter study on the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and has been honored with many national and international scientific awards.

*Hepatokines are liver proteins