Research for a Future
without Diabetes

10 years translational
Diabetes research at the DZD

„Research for a future without diabetes – this is the mission of the DZD that inspires and unites us.“

Prof. Martin Hrabě de Angelis, DZD board member

Research for a Future
without Diabetes

10 years translational
Diabetes research at the DZD

„The Germany-wide cooperation in the DZD ensures that multicenter studies can be carried out with the required number of participants.“

Prof. Michael Roden, DZD board member

Research for a Future
without Diabetes

10 years translational
Diabetes research at the DZD

„The DZD places particular importance on the fast transfer of lab results to patient care.“

Prof. Michele Solimena, DZD speaker

10 years translational
Diabetes research at the DZD

„The special feature of research at the DZD is the close interdisciplinary cooperation between different disciplines.“

Prof. Annette Schuermann, DZD Speaker

DZD - German Center
for Diabetes Research

Press Releases 2017

Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 15.12.2017

Sleep loss affects the production of the enzyme DPP-4 in women and men differently

After a night without sleep, women form more DPP-4<sup>1</sup>, an enzyme that promotes obesity, fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. In men, on the other hand, the morning activity of the enzyme decreases when they do not sleep enough. This is shown by a recent study by the Uppsala University, Sweden, and the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). The findings are published in Diabetes Care (DOI:


Düsseldorf, 07.12.2017

Sport Lessons with Top Athletes

The primary school children participating in the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the DZD partner German Diabetes Center completed a training session with the SMS sponsors.


Dresden, 01.12.2017

Novel transcriptomic signature of type 2 diabetic islets identified

Type 2 diabetes, which affects >0.5 billion people worldwide, results from the inability of beta cells in the pancreatic islets to provide the body with enough insulin to maintain blood glucose levels within the range for a healthy life. A collaborative study led by Prof. Michele Solimena at the Technische Universität in Dresden, Dr. Anke M Schulte at Sanofi in Frankfurt, Dr. Mark Ibberson at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (Lausanne) and Prof. Piero Marchetti at University of Pisa as part of the EU-Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) research consortium IMIDIA has identified a novel cluster of dysregulated genes in the pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes. These findings are now published in the scientific journal Diabetologia.


Heidelberg, 17.11.2017

Endogenous Protein Reverses Scarring in the Lungs

Heidelberg scientists discover new DNA repair mechanism: Possible therapeutic approach for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis / Lung damage almost completely healed in animal experiments / Results published in Nucleic Acids Research


Düsseldorf, 14.11.2017

Women with Diabetes: 50 Percent Increased Risk of Stroke

Women with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Studies from the German Diabetes Center show that the risk of stroke is 50 percent higher in women with diabetes than in women without diabetes. In the long term, diabetes can damage many organs, especially if the metabolism is not properly regulated. Heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage and also fatty liver disease, depression and even dementia can be the consequences. Initial results of the German Diabetes Study indicate that there also appear to be gender-specific differences in the development of insulin resistance and nerve damage in the early course of diabetes.


Düsseldorf, 10.11.2017

German Diabetes Study Welcomes the Thousandth Study Participant in Düsseldorf

Around 6.5 million people in Germany have diabetes. Thus, Germany ranks second in Europe in the number of cases of the disease. The German Diabetes Study, which has been conducted for more than ten years at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), the coordinating center located in Düsseldorf, has now accepted the thousandth person as participant in the study. This study, which is organized at eight locations of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), investigates people with newly diagnosed diabetes. This involves research into how the course of the diabetes changes over time and which factors are responsible for the development of diabetes and its complications.


Düsseldorf, 08.11.2017

Diabetes-related Mortality in Germany Higher Than Expected

In Germany, nationwide data on mortality attributable to diagnosed diabetes are not available. Researchers at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf have now calculated that a total of around 175,000 deaths were associated with diabetes in 2010. The result of the analysis shows that far more people in Germany die from diabetes and its complications than is stated in the official statistics on cause of death.


Düsseldorf, 07.11.2017

DDZ Researcher Receives 1.5 Million Euros in EU Funding

Dr. Bengt-Frederik Belgardt, deputy director of the Institute for Beta Cell Biology at the German Diabetes Center (Deutsches Diabetes Zentrum, DDZ), has received a Starting Grant of approximately 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) for his future work on pathological processes during the development of diabetes. The jury was impressed by his project approach to combat this widespread disease. With the ERC Starting Grant, the scientist intends to investigate the molecular processes involved in the development of type 2 diabetes at the DDZ over the next five years.


Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 19.10.2017

Help Improve Diabetes Prevention in Germany!

Scientists of the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) are calling on all adults to participate in the Citizen Science project DIRIKO. The objective of the project is to improve communication regarding diabetes risk in the DIfE – GERMAN DIABETES RISK TEST® and thus to better prevent diabetes in the population. DIfE is a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research and has developed the German Diabetes Risk Test (, which is available free of charge on the Internet and is based on the data of the large-scale Potsdam population study.


Düsseldorf, 25.09.2017

Diabetes Researcher Professor Hans-Georg Joost Awarded the Von Mering Gold Medal

The Potsdam-based diabetes researcher Professor Hans-Georg Joost, founding member and board member of diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid, ombudsperson of the Leibniz Association and former scientific director of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), is this year’s recipient of the Von Mering Gold Medal of the German Diabetes Center Düsseldorf (DDZ). The pharmacologist and experimental diabetologist has also been a close scientific cooperation partner of the DDZ for many years.


Düsseldorf, 22.09.2017

On the Trail of Sugar – Magic Show for World Children’s Day

The initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center invited the participating primary schools to the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf on the occasion of the World Children's Day on September 20, 2017.


Dresden, 22.09.2017

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity by tracing developmental origins

Dr. Nikolay Ninov, group leader at the DFG research center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden, and Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID), and his group developed a system called “Beta-bow”, which allows the history of β-cells to be traced by genetic bar-coding and multicolor imaging. The results of this study are now published in the scientific journal "Nature Communications".


Tübingen, 15.09.2017

Treatment of Overweight: Is Metabolically Healthy Obesity a Worthwhile Initial Goal?

Worldwide nearly one in three individuals is obese. The consequence: More and more people suffer from diseases associated with morbid overweight such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Despite the well-known health risks, only some of those affected attempt to lose weight. Many people are most probably daunted by the prospect of losing the required large amount of weight. Researchers of the German Center for Diabetes Research in Tübingen and Potsdam now report in the journal “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology“” on the basis of already published and new data that metabolically healthy obesity could be a worthwhile initial goal in the therapy of obesity.


Düsseldorf, 11.09.2017

Fighting Diabetes: Ex-Pros Kick for a Good Cause

When referee legend Walter Eschweiler, cult reporter Werner Hansch,"Euro Fighter" Ingo Anderbrügge, the honorary captain of Fortuna Düsseldorf Gerd Zewe, Hockey Olympic bronze medal winner Timur Oruz and cult policeman "Toto" Torsten Heim come together on a holiday, it can only be about one thing: to join forces for a good cause. On the Day of German Unity on October 3rd, a small-field football tournament will take place at the Paul Janes Stadium in Düsseldorf starting at 2:00 pm with the traditional team of the local Fortuna Düsseldorf, the Ruhrpotthelden, the City of Düsseldorf and FC Diabetologie. FC Diabetologie is a team of physicians, diabetes counselors, and people with diabetes who make public appearances to draw attention to the widespread disease of diabetes. Seven million people in Germany are affected by diabetes, with 1,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each day. The revenues from the accompanying charity flea market organized by Fortuna Düsseldorf will benefit the diabetes prevention initiative "SMS – Be smart. Join in. Be fit.".


Neuherberg, 08.09.2017

Immune cells help fat deal with environmental challenges

Immunosuppressive regulatory T-cells play an important role in the functioning of adipose tissue. This is the discovery of scientists from the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Their findings are published in the journal ‘Cell Metabolism’.


Neuherberg, 07.09.2017

DZD Scientist Matthias Tschöp to Receive Carus Medal

For the first time, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina will award the Carus Medal to a diabetes researcher. This year’s award will go to Professor Matthias Tschöp for his outstanding research on diabetes and metabolism. Tschöp is the director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and heads the research area “New Therapeutic Concepts” in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). He will receive the award on September 22, 2017 in Halle (Saale).


Neuherberg, 31.08.2017

Plan B for heat generation

Brown adipose tissue is considered an interesting target for the treatment of obesity or type 2 diabetes. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO), partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, have now shown that the proteins UCP1 and FGF21 are not crucial for energy homeostasis in the cold, as generally accepted. Their work is published in Cell Metabolism.


Düsseldorf, 29.08.2017

DDZ Introduces Germany-Wide Initiative “Diabetes – Not Only a Question of Type”

In Germany, 600,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year. The disease can have a significant impact on the lives of those affected and their quality of life. Apart from the burden of the disease, the costs of medical care for people with diabetes are with 5000 euros per year twice as high as for healthy people due to diabetes complications. With the support of the Federal Ministry of Health, the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) has developed the nationwide initiative "DIABETES - NOT ONLY A QUESTION OF TYPE". Its intention is to raise awareness for diabetes.


Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 23.08.2017

Enzyme produced in the liver promotes obesity, fatty liver disease and insulin resistance

In mice that are given a high-fat diet, an increased production of the enzyme DPP4* by the liver promotes an increase in body fat, the development of fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. These were the findings of a current study by DZD-researchers in Potsdam and Tübingen. "In combination with our observations from additional human and cell studies, these results indicate that increased DPP4 production by the liver is the cause rather than the consequence of a fatty liver and insulin resistance," says the head of the study, Annette Schürmann from the German Institute for Human Nutrition Research (DIfE), a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). The research team led by Schürmann has now published its findings in Molecular Metabolism.


Tübingen, 21.08.2017

Nearly One in Four Hospitalized Patients Has Diabetes

One in four patients in a university hospital suffers from diabetes (22 percent), and again as many suffer from prediabetes (24 percent). These were the findings of a current study by researchers in Tübingen of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and Helmholtz Zentrum München. Further results of the study: Patients with diabetes have prolonged hospital stays and a higher risk of complications.


Tübingen, 18.08.2017

Organ Crosstalk: Fatty Liver Can Cause Damage to Other Organs

The consensus among scientists until now has been that overweight people have an increased risk for diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and heart attack. However, studies show that not only the extent, but above all the location and function of adipose tissue play a decisive role in the development of the disease. Several years ago, scientists of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) in Tübingen discovered that a fatty liver can cause damage to other organs. Now, in two just-published studies they demonstrate the effects of fatty liver disease on the function of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas and on renal function.


Neuherberg, 10.08.2017

Long-Term Diabetes Complication: Liver Inflammation Raises Cholesterol Levels

Inflammatory processes in the liver lead to elevated cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, thus promoting subsequent vascular diseases. This is the result of a study by scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München (TUM) and the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1118 at Heidelberg University Hospital. The paper, which has now been published in the journal ‘Cell Reports’, presents a previously unknown mechanism.


Tübingen, 01.08.2017

Characteristics of metabolically unhealthy lean people

Compared to people who are of normal weight and metabolically healthy, subjects who are of normal weight but metabolically unhealthy (~20% of normal weight adults) have a more than three-fold higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events. This risk is also higher than that of metabolically healthy obese subjects. Norbert Stefan, Fritz Schick and Hans-Ulrich Häring have now addressed characteristics determining metabolic health in lean, overweight and obese people, showed that a reduced accumulation of fat in the lower body puts lean people at risk and highlighted implications of their findings for personalized prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.


Neuherberg, 18.07.2017

The German Council of Science and Humanities Lauds the German Centers for Health Research: Promising Model for Medical Research

The German Council of Science and Humanities has given the German Centers for Health Research (DZG) a positive assessment in recognition of the DZG’s outstanding achievements. According to the Council, the DZG are a suitable model to promote translational research in specific areas of disease. In the assessment, the advisory body for the Federal Government and the State Governments (Länder) certified that the six centers play an important role in the German science system and recommended their further development.


Düsseldorf, 05.07.2017

Fit for the School Day with Whole Grain Bread

The school children participating in the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join In. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center gain insight into the production of bakery products.


Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 28.06.2017

The New Biennial Report of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Has Now Been Published

The new Biennial Report 2015-2016 of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE), a member of the Leibniz Association, can now be accessed via the link . The report provides information on current research projects and other activities of the institute. From the beginning of July 2017 it is also possible to order printed copies via or via the telephone number +49 (0) 33200 88-2335.


Düsseldorf, 26.06.2017

Joint Initiative to Get Düsseldorf Primary School Children Moving

The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center has joined up with the project “Wanted: Sandlot Football Heroes" to promote regular physical exercise among primary school children.


Düsseldorf, 23.06.2017

Top Athletes Help Düsseldorf Primary School Kids Get Fit

The children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit.” of the German Diabetes Center gain insight into the lives of top athletes.


Düsseldorf, 22.06.2017

Family Friendly: the DDZ Receives berufundfamilie Certificate

Nowadays it is not always easy to reconcile work, family and one’s private life. However, employers have a variety of solutions at their disposal to improve work-life balance. There are a lot of adjustments which can be made to ensure individually tailored, family-friendly offerings – from part-time work, parental leave, health-promoting measures such as sports facilities to flexible working hours. The German Diabetes Center (DDZ) supports its employees with a broad spectrum of offerings and has now received the berufundfamilie certificate for the third time in a row.


Tübingen, 12.06.2017

How Insuline in the Brain May Suppress the Subjective Feeling of Hunger

Insulin in the brain may help regulate the hunger sensation and improve functional connectivity in certain cognitive brain regions (default-mode network, DMN *) as well as in the hippocampus and hypothalamus. This is the finding of a new study by researchers at the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) in Tübingen.


Tübingen, 31.05.2017

Norbert Stefan Receives Werner Creutzfeldt Prize

Professor Norbert Stefan of University Hospital Tübingen has been awarded the 2017 Werner Creutzfeld Prize of the German Diabetes Association for his outstanding research work on the “identification of phenotypes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes for a better understanding of diabetes mellitus and the implementation of innovative prevention and therapy concepts”.


Neuherberg, 30.05.2017

Carolin Daniel Receives 2017 Ernst Friedrich Pfeiffer Prize

The German Diabetes Association (DDG) has awarded Dr. Carolin Daniel of Helmholtz Zentrum München the 2017 Ernst Friedrich Pfeiffer Prize. The award ceremony took place at the DDG Annual Meeting on May 25, 2017 in Hamburg.


Düsseldorf, 26.05.2017

Professor Michael Roden Awarded the 2017 Paul Langerhans Medal of the German Diabetes Association

Professor Michael Roden, board member of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) – Leibniz Institute for Diabetes Research, director of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology at Düsseldorf University Hospital and board member of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD e.V), has received the highest distinction of the German Diabetes Association, the 2017 Paul Langerhans Medal. With the medal named after the German pathologist Paul Langerhans, the German Diabetes Association has been honoring top international researchers in diabetology for more than 40 years.


Düsseldorf, 26.05.2017

Excellent Beta Cell Research: Dr. Bengt-Frederik Belgardt Receives the 2017 Hellmut Mehnert Project Grant

At this year’s Annual Meeting of the German Diabetes Association (DDG) in Hamburg, Dr. Bengt-Frederik Belgardt received the 2017 Hellmut Mehnert Project Grant of the DDG. Currently the Deputy Director of the Institute for Beta Cell Biology at the German Diabetes Center is studying the pathological processes in beta cells during the development of diabetes. Belgardt convinced the jury with his proposal “Necrosis and necroptosis of pancreatic beta cells in type 2 diabetes”.


Düsseldorf, 24.05.2017

Primary School Children Visit the Botanical Garden: “Bananas and Tomatoes Don’t Grow in the Supermarket”

Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers: The three nightshade plants originally come from Central and South America. Nowadays however, depending on the variety, they can be cultivated and harvested in Germany. The primary school children of the initiative "SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit. "of the German Diabetes Center were astonished and asked many questions during a guided tour through the Botanical Garden of the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf. Biologist Dr. Joachim Busch led the children from plants to trees and flowerbeds and explained how the individual plants are cultivated and which origin they have.


Neuherberg, 23.05.2017

Awards for Excellent Research: Six Prizes for DZD Scientists

The German Diabetes Association (DDG) will honor several researchers of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) at the DDG Congress in Hamburg on May 24th -27th. The highest distinction of the DDG, the Paul Langerhans Medal, goes to Professor Michael Roden, a board member of the DZD.


Neuherberg, 22.05.2017

The DZD at the DDG Diabetes Congress: Diabetes Epidemic: Trend Reversal through Translational Research

Diabetes mellitus has become a major health problem throughout the world. In Germany alone almost one in ten people suffers from the metabolic disease. The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) will present current research findings and new approaches to counteract this diabetic epidemic by means of translational research at the DDG Diabetes Congress (May 24th - 27th in Hamburg).


Neuherberg, 16.05.2017

2017 Hansen Family Award goes to Matthias Tschöp

Prof. Matthias Tschöp, Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center at Helmholtz Zentrum München, was awarded the 2017 Hansen Family Award. The prize endowed with 75,000 euros recognizes his discoveries in gut-brain signaling and the development of drug candidates, which are now in clinical trials for obesity and diabetes.


Neuherberg, 04.05.2017

Renowned Diabetes Experts and Young Researchers Exchange Ideas

More than 80 young scientists from all over the world informed themselves about the current status of diabetes research at the DZD Diabetes Research School DRS17 and the subsequent Insulin Receptor Meeting IR 2017, which took place from April 19th to April 22nd in Nice. International experts gave an overview of their research. The focus was on the translation of scientific results into clinical practice and new concepts for diabetes therapy.


Neuherberg, 02.05.2017

Invitation to the Press: DZD-Symposium

Scientific Symposium by the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) „Diabetesepidemie – Trendwende durch translationale Forschung“, Friday, May 26, 2017, 10:30 h to 12:00 h, room "Stolte", Neue Messe Hamburg. (German only)


Düsseldorf, 02.05.2017

Racing against Diabetes: DDZ Relay Teams Run in the Marathon in Düsseldorf

In sunny but windy weather, two relay teams of the German Diabetes Center took part on Sunday, April 30th, in the Metro Group Marathon in Düsseldorf. Altogether, eight runners took off at the starting line along with 12,000 other relay runners. As they passed Düsseldorf landmarks such as the Tonhalle, the TV tower, the harbor, and the Königsallee, the runners were spurred on by cheering crowds of onlookers.


Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 02.05.2017

Fatty Acids in the Blood Reflect the Amount of Dietary Fiber Intake

To estimate dietary fiber intake, researchers have previously depended on study participants’ self-reports of their dietary habits. Now scientists from the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), a partner in the DZD, have found a new way of objectively evaluating and quantifying the individual intake of dietary fiber based on the blood plasma concentrations of certain fatty acids. In the future, the discovery may help to improve the informative value of dietary studies as well as to make individual diet recommendations more accurate.


Neuherberg, 28.04.2017

The swollen colon – cause of chronic inflammation discovered

Researchers at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered that too much of the oncogene Bcl-3 leads to chronic intestinal diseases. They describe in ‘Nature Communications’ exactly how it throws the immune system off-balance.


Düsseldorf, 27.04.2017

Inspiring Kids to Eat Healthy Food

The children participating in the initiative “SMS. Be Smart. Join In. Be Fit.” earn their “aid” nutrition pilot license.


Neuherberg, 18.04.2017

Makrophages leave brown adipose tissue cold

Brown adipose tissue is considered a pharmacologically interesting target structure to treat obesity. When the "good" brown fat is activated, the metabolism is boosted, and the "bad" white fat deposits are broken down. Scientists led by Dr. Timo Müller of Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO) and a partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), have now shown that macrophages do not activate this process, as previously thought. Their paper has now been published in 'Nature Medicine'.


Düsseldorf, 31.03.2017

SMS Initiative Honored for Special Commitment

The initiative “SMS. Be smart. Join in. Be fit." of the German Diabetes Center received an award from “We for Düsseldorf".


Potsdam-Rehbrücke, 16.03.2017

Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing

Potsdam-Rehbruecke – A new study led by the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), shows that gliptins – well known from diabetes treatment – may oppose the detrimental effects of fat cell accumulation in the bone marrow to improve bone healing in older, overweight patients. The research team led by stem cell researchers Thomas H. Ambrosi and Tim J. Schulz has now published its findings in Cell Stem Cell (Ambrosi et al. 2017;


Press contact

Birgit Niesing

+49 (0)89 3187-3971