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The Research Training Group vivid focuses on the comprehensive analysis of early factors in type 2 diabetes development and the trajectories and pathogenetic events throughout stages of life that lead to insulin resistance and subsequently to impaired β−cell function. The projects within vivid investigate critical pathogenetic pathways that may lead to diabetes including 


  • prenatal metabolic programming and cell development, 
  • postnatal energy substrate metabolism and inflammation and 
  • early adaptation of pancreatic islets. 

The aim of the research program is to identify molecular mechanisms of metabolic responses to environmental cues that are critical to the initial phase of conversion from a healthy state to insulin resistance and impaired β−cell function in type 2 diabetes development. Therefore, the projects focus on investigating predisposing factors and responses to environmental challenges in the nascent pre-diabetic condition. Ultimately, the program contributes to the design of strategies for precision medicine in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Doctoral researchers (PhD/MD) investigate animal and cell models and human cohort studies using state-of-the-art technologies to gain comprehensive knowledge of molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, integrative physiology and genetics/epigenetics, which is required for understanding the mechanisms that are responsible for onset and development of metabolic disturbances resulting in diabetes.

The research program is closely linked to resources of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at HHU and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)

Vivid includes 9 PhD/Dr. rer.nat doctoral researchers. After three years the doctoral researchers have successfully completed their dissertations or are in the final phase of their projects. In addition, vivid awards numerous scholarships for doctoral MD students.

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