DZD Scientist Awarded Dr. Eickelberg Foundation Prize

Oana-Patricia Zaharia, a young scientist at the DZD partner German Diabetes Center (DDZ) has been awarded the Dr. Eickelberg Foundation Prize 2018. In addition, a project grant was awarded to an interdisciplinary project team. Zaharia received the prize for her research on metabolic characteristics in people who have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have a particular form of autoimmune diabetes.

From left: Ansgar Kentrup of the Dr. Eickelberg Foundation, Andreas Fidelak, administrative director of the DDZ, Oana-Patricia Zaharia, winner of the Dr. Eickelberg Foundation Prize, and Prof. Dr. Michael Roden, scientific director of the DDZ. Source: DDZ

Among patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes often remains undetected. In her study Zaharia succeeded in showing that these patients often feature preserved beta cell function and chronic hyperglycemia. The paper was published in the international journal The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

"The Dr. Eickelberg Foundation makes innovative work in diabetes research by young scientists visible," said Professor Michael Roden, scientific director and chairman of the DDZ, on the occasion of the awarding of the prizes. "Awards are immensely important for the motivation of scientists because  research projects require a lot of patience," he added.

In addition to the 1,500 euro prize, the Dr. Eickelberg Foundation also awarded a project grant to an interdisciplinary DDZ team led by Gidon Bönhof from the Neuropathy working group (Institute of Clinical Diabetology), Dr. Yuliya Kupriyanova from the Metabolic Imaging working group (Institute of Clinical Diabetology) and Dr. Klaus Strassburger from the Institute of Biometry and Epidemiology. The team investigates the peripheral nerves by means of diffusion tensor imaging in diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy. For this, the research group has been awarded a grant amounting to 3,500 euros.

The German Diabetes Center also awarded its own project grant within the framework of the Training and Feasibility Grants (TFG) to a three-member team; Oana-Patricia Zaharia (Institute of Clinical Diabetology), Dr. Klaus Strassburger (Institute of Biometry and Epidemiology) and Dr. Birgit Knebel (Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry). The team is investigating the genetic differences between the subphenotypes of diabetes mellitus.

The Dr. Eickelberg Foundation based in Düsseldorf was established in 2011/2012. The committed women's rights activist, urban planner and artist, Dr. Gisela Eickelberg, suffered from diabetes throughout her life. The purpose of the foundation is to promote research into diabetes mellitus. The Dr. Eickelberg Foundation Prize and project grant will be awarded for the fifth time for 2018.