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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.

1a: PI: Prof. Dr. Regina Ensenauer 
PhD: Marten Schouwink
MD: Thomas Hautzinger

1b: PI: Dr. Bengt-F. Belgardt
PhD: Celina Kim Uhlemeyer
MD: Anna Heusch

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.

PI: Prof. Dr. Maria Grandoch, Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Jens W. Fischer
PhD: Katja Wegener
MD: Oliver Steinhoff
MD: 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.

3a: PIs: Prof. Dr. Michael Roden
PhD: Mona Hendlinger

3b: Prof. Dr. Andreas Reichert
PhD: Melissa Lubeck
MD: 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.

PI: Dr. Alexandra Chadt and Co-PI Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani
PhD: Anna Scheel
MD: 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.

PI: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheller
PhD: Anna Rita Minafra

MD: 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.

PI: Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani
PhD: Pia Marlene Förster
MD: Carolin Laura Brügge
MD: Michelle Isabel Deatc

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.

PI: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert and Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Nikolaj Klöcker
PhD: Angela Pelligra