After conducting a rigorous and multifaceted evaluation, an international commission of experts gave the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE), which is a partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), a rating of ‘very good to excellent’ for its research achievements. Leibniz Institutes must undergo an intensive, external review at least once every seven years.
According to the review of the evaluation commission, the DIfE has been very successful in elucidating the relationship between nutrition and health, and the research activities of the Institute are of great public health importance. The Institute has a unique position in Germany in the field of nutrition research and cooperates very well with other research institutions, both nationally and internationally. This especially includes its membership in the DZD. Moreover, the DIfE fulfills all requirements placed on an institution of superregional and national importance and with regard to overall government science policy. The Institute has been very successful in carrying out important long-term tasks in epidemiology and in the context of cohort studies, which can only be accomplished in this form in a non-university institution. Here the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) deserves special mention, in which e.g. the associations between diet, cancer and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes are investigated.
“I am delighted that our institute received such a positive evaluation. The commission of experts reviewed all of our departments and rated all of them as having very good research results and outstanding publications,” Joost said. “According to the experts, research on the molecular causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as taste research has excellent prospects.”
To improve the education and training of the Institute’s young scientists, Joost introduced a structured graduate program that complements the scientific and experimental training of the doctoral students. “It is important that our future scientists learn how to present and publish their own data, Joost added. “Furthermore, we offer advanced training seminars with external experts to give the doctoral students a broad overview of the methods and experimental strategies of nutrition research.
Information on the Potsdam EPIC study can be found at: