DZD Scientist PD Dr. Julia Szendrödi Receives Award for Habilitation Thesis

To date, the mechanisms of insulin resistance in skeletal muscles and other tissues of type 2 diabetes patients are not completely understood. In her habilitation thesis, the specialist in diabetology and endocrinology investigated muscle insulin resistance and fatty liver. These precede overt type 2 diabetes by many years and are important risk factors for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality.

PD Dr. Julia Szendrödi. Source: DDZ

In this context, Szendrödi’s research investigates the role of the mitochondria (power stations of the cells) and the storage of fat in muscles and the liver in the development of insulin resistance. She has thus been able to determine that mitochondrial impairment favors the development of insulin resistance, which often occurs as a result. Especially the disturbed adaptation of mitochondrial activity to current conditions such as higher insulin levels reduces mitochondrial plasticity in type 2 diabetes. A reduced oxidative capacity of the liver can thus promote the development of fatty liver.

“I am delighted to receive this award and would like to express my thanks to the Society of Friends and Supporters of the University of Düsseldorf for this honor. I hope that my research work will contribute to developing targeted therapies for those affected in order to detect secondary diseases such as the development of fatty liver due to type 2 diabetes at an early stage,” said PD Dr. Julia Szendrödi, head of the Clinical Study Center of the German  Diabetes Center (DDZ) and deputy director of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology of Düsseldorf University Hospital, on the occasion of the award ceremony.

The prize, donated by the Friends and Supporters of the University of  Düsseldorf, honors habilitation theses of the University of Düsseldorf and is intended to be an incentive for scientific activity. The prize is awarded annually on a rotating basis, taking into account each of the university’s four faculties, and is endowed with 10,000 euros.