Carolin Daniel works with her team at the Institute of Diabetes Research of Helmholtz Zentrum München, where she investigates how to interfere with the autoimmune response underlying type 1 diabetes. She focusses specifically on regulatory cells of the immune system, which she also discusses in the video Immunization against Type 1 Diabetes. Based on this research, Carolin Daniel first aims to decode the mechanisms that lead to the aberrant immune activation with a view to targeting them. In the long term, she hopes to develop new concepts for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes. At the beginning of the year, Daniel and her team succeeded in blocking an important signaling pathway and thus preventing an adverse reaction of the immune system.
Carolin Daniel studied nutrition science at Justus Liebig University Giessen and completed her undergraduate dissertation at the Max Planck Institute in Bad Nauheim. From 2003 to 2007 she completed her doctorate at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. In 2008 she moved to Harald von Boehmer’s laboratory at the Dana Faber Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School in Boston, with the help of a Leopoldina Scholarship. Since March 2012, she has headed the Immune Tolerance in Diabetes Research Group at the Institute of Diabetes Research of Helmholtz Zentrum München. This leadership function was consolidated in 2016, and in recognition of her scientific excellence, the Helmholtz Association granted her research funding for a W2 professorship. Carolin Daniel and her team are partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). She has received numerous awards and distinctions for her research work, including the Ernst Friedrich Pfeiffer Prize from the German Diabetes Society last year.
The DGfI awards the Georges Köhler Prize annually to scientists whose work has contributed to a better understanding of the immune system or has created relevant applications. It is named after Prof. Dr. Georges Jean Franz Köhler, MD (1946−1995), winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (together with César Milstein and Niels K. Jerne) for discovering the principle for producing monoclonal antibodies and former Director at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg. The award is sponsored by Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.