Prize for Interdisciplinary Cooperation for DZD Researchers

The research team headed by Professor Heiko Lickert has been awarded the Prize for Interdisciplinary Cooperation of the Friends and Supporters Association of Helmholtz Zentrum München (VdFF). The prize is endowed with EUR 10,000. DZD scientists from Munich, Tübingen and Dresden, together with international colleagues, reported on a possible starting point for regenerative therapies in diabetes in the renowned journal 'Nature'.

Festive award ceremony for the team led by Professor Heiko Lickert (3rd fr. r.) Source: AtemWeg Foundation/Jan Roeder

The VdFF honors works in which significant new discoveries have only been made possible by overcoming the boundaries between established disciplines. "Heiko Lickert's team has succeeded in understanding the accepted observation that there are different beta cell types in the insulin-producing islets of the pancreas in terms of cell and molecular biology. The team combined biological and clinical expertise in diabetes research with concepts and techniques that stem cell researchers use to visualize the development and differentiation of specialized cells. Molecular understanding and detection methods are important prerequisites for new and targeted therapeutic approaches,“ said Professor Martin Göttlicher, chairman of the VdFF. The focus is on the marker flattop, which divides the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas into two different subpopulations: those that maintain the glucose metabolism and those that divide more frequently and thus adapt the entire beta cell mass to metabolic changes.