Düsseldorf, 31.05.2021

Yanislava Karusheva, MD Honored with the Sponsorship Award of the German Diabetes Association

Yanislava Karusheva, MD, research associate at the Institute of Clinical Diabetology of the German Diabetes Center is the recipient of the 2021 Sponsorship Award of the German Diabetes Association. She received the award for her dissertation on "The role of branched-chain amino acids in the development and progression of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes".

The Sponsorship Award  of the German Diabetes Association was presented at the 55th Diabetes Congress. The award, donated by the company Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH since 2010, is endowed with 10,000 euros and is granted to German-speaking doctoral students for outstanding dissertations in the field of diabetology, at the latest two years after completion of the dissertation. This year, the award went to Yanislava Karusheva, MD of the Institute of Clinical Diabetology of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) for her clinical-experimental study "The role of branched-chain amino acids in the development and progression of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes“.

"The dissertation helps to better understand the effects of certain foods and better classify their role in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes," said Professor Michael Roden, scientific director and board member of the DDZ, and doctoral supervisor of Dr. Karusheva. In her dissertation, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, she conducted clinical and experimental investigations on the influence of branched-chain amino acids on glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes. The aim was to elucidate the effect of a four-week dietary intervention (change in intake of branched-chain amino acids) on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion – taking into account the composition of the gut microbiome – in people with type 2 diabetes. She showed how the reduction of branched-chain amino acids in the  food led to an increase in insulin action, but after meals, by contrast, led to a decrease of insulin secretion. Furthermore, after only seven days, the function of the mitochondria, the so-called “power plants” of cells, improved in the adipose tissue.

Dr. Yanislava Karusheva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and studied medicine at the Medical University of Sofia and at the Charité in Berlin. Since June 2015, she has been working as a research associate at the Clinical Study Center of the Institute of Clinical Diabetology at the German Diabetes Center and is thus part of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD).

From 2016 to 2020, she completed her doctorate at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Since May 2021, she has been conducting research at the Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Treatment Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom, with a Walter Benjamin Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The award winner has already received several awards for her scientific work. For example, she received a General Project Grant in 2018 and a Best Poster Award from the German Diabetes Association in 2019, as well as the 2021 Hans Adolf Krebs Prize from the German Nutrition Society. "I am very honored to receive this prestigious award and hope that this is just the beginning of my future research work," Dr.Karusheva said. "Now I am looking forward to the new impressions in Cambridge and hope that when I return to the German Diabetes Center I can continue my research together with our team and complete my residency at Düsseldorf University Hospital."

Original Publication:
Karusheva Y, Koessler T, Strassburger K, Markgraf D, Mastrototaro L, Jelenik T, Simon MC, Pesta D, Zaharia OP, Bódis K, Bärenz F, Schmoll D, Wolkersdorfer M, Tura A, Pacini G, Burkart V, Müssig K, Szendroedi J, Roden M. Short-term dietary reduction of branched-chain amino acids reduces meal-induced insulin secretion and modifies microbiome composition in type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;110(5):1098-1107. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz191.

The German Diabetes Center (DDZ) serves as the German reference center for diabetes. Its objective is to contribute to the improvement of prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus. At the same time, the research center aims at improving the epidemiological data situation in Germany. The DDZ coordinates the multicenter German Diabetes Study and is a point of contact for all players in the health sector. In addition, it prepares scientific information on diabetes mellitus and makes it available to the public. The DDZ is part of the Leibniz Association (Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, WGL) and is a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD e.V.). www.ddz.de/en

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