Cologne/Neuherberg, 23.09.2020

DZD Researchers Honored at EASD Annual Meeting

Two researchers of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) have been honored at the virtual Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). Professor Jens Brüning has received the EASD / Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence. A Future Leaders Award from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (ESFD) / Novo Nordisk Foundation went to Dr. Natalie Kramer.

Professor Jens Brüning, director of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research in Cologne and associated partner in the DZD, investigates the physiological role of insulin action. In particular, he studies the central nervous system and conducts research on the identification of the molecular mechanisms of obesity-associated insulin resistance.

In addition to the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research in Cologne, he is head of the Polyclinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine at Cologne University Hospital. He led the establishment of the Cologne Cluster of Excellence on Cellular Stress Responses in Age-Related Diseases (CECAD) at the University of Cologne and was its founding director from 2007 to 2018. Since 2011 he has also led the reorientation of the Max Planck Institute to its current focus.

He studied medicine in Cologne and received his clinical training in internal medicine and endocrinology at Cologne University Hospital, interrupted by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center in the laboratory of Dr. C. Ronald Kahn from 1993-1997. In 2003 he became Professor of Genetics at the University of Cologne until he took up his current position in 2011.


Dr. Natalie Krahmer of the DZD partner Helmholtz Zentrum München, a winner of the Future Leader Award, will receive around 672,000 euros (a total of five million Danish kroner) over the next five years for her research on leptin signaling.

Leptin is a metabolic hormone produced by fat cells. When the fat cells release leptin, it is transported to the brain via the blood. If there is an abundance of leptin in the blood, the brain signals the body that it does not need any more food for the time being. In overweight people this regulation no longer works.

Since January 2019, Krahmer has headed an Emmy Noether Young Investigator Group at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). By combining proteomics and cell biology, she and her team are seeking to elucidate the changes in the subcellular organization in the development of metabolic diseases and in particular in non-alcoholic fatty liver (hepatic steatosis).

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