The minister stressed the significance of Professor Lammert’s research in light of the fact that diabetes is a widespread, progressive disease affecting six million people in Germany. It causes much human suffering and annual medical costs of 6.3 billion euros. In his speech, Bahr addressed foundation donor Josef Klüh personally, saying: "Your commitment as a citizen has my deepest respect."
Professor Lammert, who estimates the number of people with type 2 diabetes in the world to be 370 million, received the award from the Foundation for his research in the field of metabolic diseases, in particular diabetes mellitus. With the award, which is endowed with 25,000 euros, the Düsseldorf professor wants to spur drug development together with his team.
Adaptability of the vascular system
The research focus of Lammert, whose specialty is the interaction of vascular and organ function, is to elucidate why some people develop type 2 diabetes while others are spared from this disease. According to Lammert, a key difference between these people is their blood vessels. Insulin-resistant people with adaptable vascular systems do not develop type 2 diabetes as easily as insulin-resistant people with defective blood vessels.
He has also studied molecular mechanisms in order to determine how cells form blood vessels, which are essential for supplying the human body with oxygen and nutrients. In addition, he is searching systematically for substances that would reactivate and also preserve the islets of Langerhans. These islets, which are aggregates of cells in the pancreas, play a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels via the secretion of the hormone insulin.
Within the framework of his research on insulin secretion disorders, he maintains close cooperation with the University Children’s Hospital Düsseldorf. Here research focuses on the elucidation of hyperinsulinism in children. These children have a life-threatening disease characterized by severe hypoglycemia and seizures due to a congenital defect of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. However, with early diagnosis and the initiation of often complex treatment regimens, they can lead a relatively normal life.
It is hoped that in several years, through the research of Professor Lammert, a drug combination with beneficial effects against diabetes can be developed that can then be tested in clinical trials.
The Klüh Foundation was founded in 1986 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Klüh Group, Düsseldorf. The Foundation’s founder is Mr. Josef Klüh, sole shareholder of the Klüh Group, Düsseldorf, an international multi-service provider of facility services.