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Vivid follows an interdisciplinary approach to investigate mechanisms involved in the early steps of diabetes development, interconnecting different disciplines of life sciences including biochemistry, biology, molecular biology, pharmacology, pediatrics, endocrinology and diabetology. 


Outline of the different projects

Mechanisms of sex-specific programming of obesity and type 2 diabetes risk by peri-conceptional exposure to a maternal obesogenic milieu 

Maternal overweigt is a strong risk factors for type 2 diabetes in the offspring. This project investigates the underlying mechanisms of prenatal programming of liver and adipose cells in a peri-conceptional diabetogenic environment.

Detailed project description

1a: PI: Dr. Bengt-F. Belgardt
PhD: Celina Kim Uhlemeyer
PhD: Jonas Voß
MD: Lea Lissy Matern
MD (Alumna): Anna Heusch

1b: PI: Prof. Dr. Regina Ensenauer 
PhD: Marten Schouwink
PhD: Angelina Sofia Markshausen
MD: Maximiliane Fritz
MD (Alumnus): Thomas Hautzinger


Hyaluronan matrix in bone marrow adipose tissue: implications for the development and progression of insulin resistance

Bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT) is a distinct specialized compartment contributing to systemic metabolism. The project studies the role of MAT in the early development of insulin resistance.

Detailed project description

PI: Prof. Dr. Maria Grandoch, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Jens W. Fischer
PhD: Katja Wegener
PhD: Maren Döring

MD: Nahari Ibrahim
MD (Alumnus): Oliver Steinhoff
MD (Alumnus): Tim Seher

Role of mitochondrial function in lipid-induced insulin resistance

Changes in oxidative phosphorylation and formation of mitochondrial cristae and crista junctions have been implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. The project focuses on these processes and their role in the progression of insulin resistance.

Detailed project description


3a: PI: Prof. Dr. Michael Roden
PhD: Mona Hendlinger
MD: Alessandro Falcone

3b: PI: Prof. Dr. Andreas Reichert
PhD: Melissa Lubeck
PhD: Nika Atanelovi
MD (Alumnus): Nick Derkum


Metabolic flexibility in early diabetes development

An impaired balance of glucose and fatty acids as energy source in skeletal muscle is an early indicator of insulin resistance and diabetes. The project analyzes the impact of early nutritional challenges on energy substrate preference and metabolic health.

Detailed project description

PI: Dr. Alexandra Chadt, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani
PhD: Anna Scheel
PhD: Marina Tautz
MD: Leonie Förster
MD (Alumna): Silja Pirseyedi
MD (Alumna): Jasmin Eftekharzadeh

Role of Interleukin (IL-)6 trans-signaling in metainflammation and development of insulin resistance

Type 2 diabetes is accompanied by a chronic, low-grade metabolic inflammation (‘meta-inflammation’) which may already occur in early developmental stages and impact metabolism and disease progression throughout different stages of life. The project investigates the role of different (IL)-6 signaling routes and their role in diet-induced meta-inflammation early in life.

Detailed project description

PI: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheller, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani
PhD: Anna Rita Minafra
PhD: Kevin Brors
MD: Jonas Schlei
MD: (Alumna) Patricia Rodrigues-Cruz
MD (Alumna): Nadine Julia Youssef

MD (Alumna): Jana Reetz

Exercise-triggered mechanisms contributing to beneficial metabolic responses and type 2 diabetes protection

Physical exercise improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. The project aims at identifying novel exercise-associated regulatory factors, cytokines/myokines and metabolites that explain the diabetes-protective effect.

Detailed project description

PI: Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Regina Ensenauer
PhD: Pia Marlene Förster
PhD: Julian Hogenkamp
MD: Lilith Schollmeyer

MD (Aluma): Moira Fee Pottgießer
MD (Alumna): Michelle Isabel Deatc
MD (Alumna): Carolin Laura Brügge


Investigation of alternative mechanisms involved in the anti-diabetic effects of dextromethorphan

Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been shown to improve insulin secretion and survival of beta cells. The project aims to elucidate the molecular mechanism of NMDA receptor signaling, its modulation by inflammatory cytokines and protective effect of antagonists.

Detailed project description

PI: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Nikolaj Klöcker
PhD: Angela Pelligra
PhD: Philip Kirschner
MD: Quoc-Dat Dang

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