German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) was founded more than 10 years ago by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as one of currently six health centers. It is funded 90 percent by the federal government and 10 percent by the states. The national research network aims to clarify the causes of diabetes through interdisciplinary and translational research and to develop new prevention and therapy concepts that can prevent secondary complications. To achieve this, basic researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists and bioinformaticians work closely together.

More than seven million people in Germany already suffer from the metabolic disease diabetes mellitus, over 95 percent of whom have type 2 diabetes.  The number of people affected is rising continuously. The causes of type 2 diabetes are a genetic predisposition, obesity and lack of exercise.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which immune system defense cells destroy the insulin-producing cells (beta cells), so that those affected have to take insulin for the rest of their lives.

In a recent study, a DZD research team, together with colleagues from Lund University in Sweden, was able to identify at least five different subtypes of type 2 diabetes, which differ in their risk of secondary diseases. These diabetic complications include the development of fatty liver, damage to the eyes, nerves or kidneys, and cardiovascular disease.

Participating Departments and Research Groups