New Diabetes Research Building in Düsseldorf

A “Translational science building for CARDiovascular research in DIABetes”, called CARDDIAB, is currently being built at Düsseldorf University Hospital (UKD) as part of the “Federal Government–State Program for Research Buildings”. The project is funded with around 73 million euros from the federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


Spokespersons of the project are Prof. Dr. Malte Kelm and DZD board member Prof. Dr. Michael Roden. At Düsseldorf University Hospital, Professor Kelm heads the Department of Cardiology, Pneumology and Angiology. Professor Roden is head of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology there; he is also scientific director of the DZD partner German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf. Due to the pandemic, a ceremonial laying of the foundation stone on St. Nicholas Day, which would have marked the official start of construction, could not take place.

Cardiovascular disease already poses the highest risk of morbidity and mortality, and this trend is continuing to rise. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disease worldwide. It already affects 25 percent of the elderly German population. In the future, it will also increasingly affect younger people. Both disease complexes have striking similarities, not only in their prevalence, causes and consequences, but also with regard to specific pathological changes, dysfunctions and disease courses. Thus, the majority of people with diabetes die as a result of cardiovascular disease; on the other hand, more than 50 percent of all patients with acute myocardial infarction already have disorders of glucose metabolism or develop diabetes in the context of a myocardial infarction.

"CARDDIAB's research focuses on topic areas aimed at identifying promising targets for drug, medical technology and behavioral prevention and therapeutic measures," said Professor Kelm, describing the project’s goal. Professor Roden pointed out the significance of the research from a medical, social and economic perspective: "Due to the prevalence and social importance of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus, this innovative project is urgently needed to improve care."

 For the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Nikolaj Klöcker, the cooperative approach of the project is also future-oriented: "Traditional boundaries of individual subjects are dissolved and the participation of institutions of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf make the planned research building a structure-forming element at the location." The concept of CARDDIAB aims at the direct transfer of preclinical and clinical-experimental findings into medical-practical care.

The 3,700 square meters of usable floor space in the new research building will contain, among other things, outpatient and day-clinic examination units, large-scale medical equipment that will enable completely new types of measurement and analysis procedures, and other facilities for research. The new building will be constructed on the grounds of Düsseldorf University Hospital. Today's laying of the foundation stone marks the start of construction of CARDDIAB.