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Investigation of the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disease that is caused by insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction. Insulin resistance which is mainly associated with obesity is defined as condition in which normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin response from fat, muscle and liver according to impaired signal transduction. In the presence of a genetic predisposition a failure of pancreatic beta-cells can finally result in the development of type 2 diabetes. Despite considerable progress in the identification of type 2 diabetes risk genes the underlying molecular mechanisms resulting in defective insulin signalling and beta-cell failure are still incompletely understood.
The department (together with the departments KLE, MEP and ADE and the junior research group CRM) is a member of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). The DZD was founded in 2009 as one of six national health centers by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The DZD is a national research consortium in which basic researchers, clinicians and epidemiologists closely collaborate in order to clarify the causes and pathophysiology of diabetes and to develop individualized to develop individualized approaches to prevention and treatment.
The aim of the department is to investigate the genetic/epigenetic and pathophysiological basis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Specifically, it is intended to:
• clarify the genetic/epigenetic basis responsible for beta-cell loss,
• identify and characterize susceptibility genes for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in mouse models, and to
• investigate the mechanisms of lipid storage in adipose tissue
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