by Dana Krüger

(c) CRTD

PLID/IPI and CRTD contribute to TU Dresden Summer University 2017

An afternoon with focus on diabetes. On July 18th 2017, the PLID and the CRTD hosted a joint event in the program of the TU Dresden Summer University. 25 curious pupils visited the institutes to hear about the research activities of both institutes in the field of diabetes. They were introduced to diabetes research at the PLID/CRTD, to the job profiles Predoc, Postdoc and Technician as well as heard about the recently started Freder1k study. The event concluded with very valuable insights in the life of a type 1 diabetes patient. The general goal of the annual TUD Summer University is the support of pupils in their career and/or study choice. Within this one-week course, they will learn about various research facilities and researchers working at TU Dresden.

by Dana Krüger

Diabetes Information booth at the 15th Long Night of Science, Dresden

As in previous years, the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) participated again with its own information booth at the 15th Long Night of Science in Dresden. On June 16th, more than 2,700 young and old scientifically curious guests visited the CRTD between 6:00 pm and 1:00 am, setting a new visitor record. At our booth, they were taking the opportunity to learn about the current research activities of the PLID scientists on type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In addition to a lecture by Prof. Stephan Speier on "Transplantation, Regeneration and Stem Cells - New Research Approaches for Diabetes Therapy", the PLID staff also offered the possibility to participate in a taste experiment as well as in a "sugar quiz". Moreover, visitors had the chance to reach insights in the intracellular processes of beta cell after glucose stimulation by using our interactive beta cell poster or to inform themselves about the current state of the Freder1k study. Last but not least, our guests were invited to dress up like our clean room specialists and take pictures in our photo box, thus keeping the 15th Long Night of Science for eternity.

by Dana Krüger

(c) Thieme Verlag

DZD and Thieme Verlag publish special issue on translational research

What is the role of the brain and the liver in the development of diabetes, how do organ interact with each other ("organ crosstalk"), what effects does an unhealthy diet have on the genome and how can current research results be used for the development of new therapeutic approaches? These and other topics are in the focus of the current special issue. In addition, the DZD researchers present new approaches to the prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the importance of biomaterial banks in beta cell research, and an app for more physical exercise.

Current translational research is the focus of the latest edition of the journal "Diabetes aktuell. Für die Hausarztpraxis ". The articles of this issue are exclusively from DZD scientists.

The special print will soon be available for download in the media library of the DZD.

by Dana Krüger

DDG Poster prize for Andreas Müller

Dr. Andreas Müller, postdoc in the working group "Molecular Diabetology" at the Institute for Pancreatic Islet Research/Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (IPI/PLID), was awarded with one of the coveted poster prizes during the 52nd annual meeting of the German Diabetes Society. He receives the prize for his scientific contribution entitled: "Ultrastructural analysis of insulin secretory granule biology by super resolution and transmission electronmicroscopy". The diabetes congress 2017 with the focus "progress for our patients" took place from 24 to 27 May and was held under the presidency of Prof. Dr. Dirk Müller-Wieland and Prof. Dr. Annette Schürmann in Hamburg.

by Dana Krüger

20.000 runners and 3 teams of the Paul Langerhans Institute successfully participated the 9th REWE Team Challenge 2017

We made it! After these five kilometers, there was no stopping. Arms were pulled up, selfies were taken or simply high fives were given. On June 1st, 2017 three teams of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) successfully participated in the 9th REWE Team Challenge. The 12 PLID Runner went along with another 20,000 runners to the 5km long route from Dresden Altmarkt to the DDV Stadium. At ideal temperatures the PLID teams were able to run great positions in the overall classification. In the mixed teams, the team "PLID 2" finished with a total time of 1:46:46 on a very good 823th place of a total of 2415 competing teams. Team "PLID 3" finished on place 920 (1:48:12) and team "PLID 1" on place 1019 (1:49:15). In the individual competition, Anne Eugster was able to run the fastest time of 00:23:59 and reached place 414 from 7542 within the female ranking. On the male side, Frank Möller finished with 0:21:37 and was ranked on position 1480 of 11,330.

Congratulations to this great success and many thanks to the German Center for Diabetes Research e.V. (DZD) and the Helmholtz Centre Munich (HMGU) for their financial and material support and of course also to all who have participated!

by Dana Krüger

2nd Joint Meeting of the EASD Islet Study Group and Beta Cell Workshop in Dresden - International conference on beta cells ended successfully

More than 230 scientists from 25 different countries and with expertise in beta cell research attended last week the 2nd Joint Meeting of the EASD Islet Study Group and Beta Cell Workshop in Dresden. The meeting was hosted by the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden of the Helmholtz Center at the Univ. Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus of the TUD and the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden. The Beta Cell Workshop is one of the most prestigious meetings worldwide in the field of pancreatic islet biology, insulin secretion and diabetes and this year, for the first time in its 25-year history, the meeting took place in Germany. The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) is the largest organization for diabetes research in Europe and its Islet Study Group (EASD-ISG) meets once a year to discuss the most recent advances in the field of insulin secretion and pancreatic islet biology in health and disease.

The conference, which was held in the Westin Bellevue Hotel from May 7-10, 2017, covered a wide spectrum of topics in the field of islet biology, i.e. beta cell development, maturation and regeneration, beta cell function, genetics & epigenetics of beta cells, beta cell therapy and beta cell interaction with immune cells. The program included also three keynote lectures from worldwide renowned speakers who have provided outstanding contributions of general significance in life sciences.

The first lecture was delivered by Prof. Anthony Hyman (MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden), who impressively showed how phase transition is a general principle that allows cells to create intracellular compartments even in the absence of membranes. In the second keynote lecture, Prof. Kai Simons (Lypotype, Dresden and founding director of the MPI for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden) talked about his life-long work on membrane organization in the cells and the emerging field of lipidomics for the profiling of patients affected by different disorders, such as diabetes. The third keynote lecture was given by Prof. Bernard Thorens (Center for Integrative Genomics UNIL, Lausanne), who provided insights into the control of pancreatic hormone secretion by brain glucose sensing networks.

Overall, there were 34 invited presentations by 27 international and 7 national leaders from 13 different countries as well as 10 short talks from young scientists which were selected from the submitted abstracts. Scientific highlights included also two poster sessions in which 121 high quality posters were intensively discussed between junior and senior scientists and from which the 25 best evaluated were selected for poster prizes.

The conference terminated with another highlight, the traditional farewell dinner, which took place in the stunning Albrechtsberg castle. Participants enjoyed the beautiful view over the Elbe meadows, the wild conclusive dancing party and all agreed that it was the perfect ending to bow out of an inspiring conference.

In conclusion, the 2nd Joint Meeting of the EASD Islet Study Group and the Beta Cell Workshop was an exciting conference with a great scientific program, excellent talks and posters, and a unique opportunity for colleagues from around the world to discover the outstanding artistic and historical heritage of Dresden, its vibrant scientific atmosphere and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

by Dana Krüger

New Approach for Regenerative Therapy

Scientists of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden have contributed to a study of colleagues of the Helmholtz Zentrum München which reports in the journal ‘Nature’ about the newly identified marker Flattop. This marker divides the pool of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas into those that maintain glucose metabolism and into immature cells that divide more frequently and adapt beta cell mass to metabolic changes. This insight could provide a starting point for new regenerative diabetes therapies. For more information visit:

by Dana Krüger

PLID researcher appointed CRTD Director

PLID / CRTD research group leader Prof. Ezio Bonifacio was appointed CRTD Director by the Rector of TU Dresden, Prof. Dr. Hans Müller-Steinhagen on June 13, 2016. Prof. Bonifacio will now hold this position for the next two years. Before working in Dresden, Ezio Bonifacio worked at scientific institutes in Milan (Italy), London (England), Munich (Germany), City of Nedlands (Australia) and Crawley (Australia). Within his latest study Freder1k, which is jointly conducted by the CRTD, Technische Universität Dresden, Universität Leipzig, Helmholtz Zentrum München and maternity and paediatric clinics in Saxony, he is aiming to provide early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children who have elevated genetic risk for developing type 1 diabetes. The study is a model project that will provide the foundation for an European investment into early diabetes diagnosis and childhood diabetes prevention and starts in Leipzig and Dresden (Saxony, Germany).

by Dana Krüger

TUD Young Investigator Status for Dr. Uenal Coskun

Dr. Uenal Coskun was appointed TUD Young Investigator of the TU Dresden. With his nomination, he is the 13th scientist who holds this title.

Dr. Coskun is the leader of the gorup "Membrane Biochemistry" at the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden. Togehter with his team he investigates the effect of lipids on the structure and function of proteins.

Dr. Coskun studied Biology at the University of Osnabrück and rececived his PhD in 2005 at the University of the Saarland, Institute of Biophysics. From 2005 to 2012 he worked as a Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

As TUD Young Investigator he is affiliated to the School of Medicine as well as to the School of Science.

by Dana Krüger

Diabetes Information booth at the 14th Long Night of Science, Dresden

As in recent years, the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) participated actively with an information booth at the 14. Long Night of Science. On June 10th, almost 2500 young and old science enthusiasts visited the CRTD between 6:00 pm to 1:00am. At the PLID booth, they had the chance to get an overview of the research activities for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Besides the possibility to see several in vitro models through the microscope, the guests took part in tasting experiments or learned about the sugar content of various food products. Moreover, approximately 350 guests used the opportunity to determine their own blood glucose levels.

by Dana Krüger

4 Teams of the Paul Langerhans Institute successfully participated in the 8th REWE Team Challenge

We made it! On June 8th, 2016 4 teams of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) successfully participated in the 8th REWE Team Challenge. The 16 PLID Runner went along with another 15,984 runners to the 5km long route from Dresden Altmarkt to the DDV Stadium. Despite the warm temperatures, the PLID teams can be proud of their great rankings within all participants. In the rankings of the solely female teams, the team "PLID 3" finished with a total time of 1:51:11 on the excellent 94th place of a total of 520 competing teams. In the mixed teams, team "PLID - AG Birkenfeld" finished on place 114 (1:33:23), the team "PLID 2" on place 506 (1:42:36) and the team "PLID 1" on place 1312 (1:54:38) of total of 2129 competing mixed teams. In the individual competition, Nina Wodrich was able to ran the fastest time of 00:22:47 and reached place 173 from 6592 within the female rankings. On the male side, Frank Möller finished with 0:22:27 and was ranked on position 2208 of 9954.

Congratulations to this great success and many thanks to the German Center for Diabetes Research e.V. (DZD) and the Helmholtz Centre Munich (HMGU) for their financial and material support and of course also to all who have participated!

by Dana Krüger

Prime Minister of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich visited the Diabetes Unit at CRTD

On May 25th, 2016, Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich visited the CRTD to receive a first-hand update, amongst others, on the progress in diabetes research. The PLID group leaders Prof. Ezio Bonifacio, Prof. Stefan Bornstein and PD Dr. Barbara Ludwig presented him, as well as leading representatives of the TU Dresden, the promising progress in diabetes research and discussed its relevance for future therapies.

by Dana Krüger

Price lecture of Prof. Patrik Rorsman, the British winner of the Feldberg Award 2016

On occasion of its “dies academicus 2016” the Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TUD together with the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University Hospital and School of Medicine TU Dresden was honored to host the 2016 prize lecture of this year Feldberg award winner Prof. Patrik Rorsman. Dr. Rorsman chairs the Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Oxford. In his Feldberg lecture entitled “The pancreatic alpha-cell: the sadly neglected neighbour of the famous beta-cell” on June 1st, 2016, he focused on the glucagon producing pancreatic alpha-cells and showed that the loss of insulin secretion in diabetes is accompanied by defects in the release of the other islet hormones, such as glucagon. Therefore, type-2 diabetes is best described as a multihormonal disorder.

by Dana Krüger

DZD Diabetes Research School 2016 in Munich

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) is inviting young scientists from all over the world to the 4th Diabetes Research School in Munich on September 11-12, 2016. The School will take place right before the start of the EASD Annual Meeting.

The renowned experts Francesco Beguinot (Italy), Christian Boitard (France), Michael Czech (USA), Sadaf Farooqi (United Kingdom), Ruth Gimeno (USA) und Andrew Hattersley (United Kingdom) will discuss current questions of diabetes research with the young students. Some of the selected applicants will get the chance to present a poster.

Participation at the DZD Diabetes Research School as well as accommodation and food is free.


Application until June 15 via:

by Dana Krüger

Prestigious Award Notification: 3 year Postdoctoral fellowship from JDRF International to Dr. Yannick Fuchs

The fellowship will support Dr. Yannick Fuchs for the next 3 years and therefore allows him to focus on research on CD8+ T cells in type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the development of assays for their characterization. “I am excited and feel honored to receive this prestigious fellowship. Additionally, I am very happy that it gives me the opportunity to plan longer term and to follow my research interests”, says Dr. Yannick Fuchs.

Postdoctoral fellowships from the JDRF (formally known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research, are designed to attract qualified, promising scientists entering their professional career in the type 1 diabetes research field. The application is based on a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM) or the equivalent from an accredited institution and applicants are required to work with a sponsor who can provide an excellent training environment.

by Dana Krüger

TUD Young Investigator Status for Dr. Stephan Speier

Stephan Speier, research group leader at the DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) - Cluster of Excellence at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) and the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden (PLID) was appointed “TUD Young Investigator” by Prof. Dr. Hans Müller-Steinhagen, Rector of TU Dresden on February 16, 2016. With this newly introduced status, TU Dresden aims to strengthen the position of excellent independent junior research group leaders in Dresden's scientific community by integrating them more closely into the faculties and offering them qualifications tailored to their specific needs. “To me, the major advantages of the TUD Young Investigator are the defined status within the faculty and that I can now function as reviewer and examiner of PhD projects conducted under my supervision. Thereby, this new status depicts a step forward to more independence of research group leaders towards professorship”, says Stephan Speier.


General information:


Contact TUD: Dr. Katrin Jordan, Projektkoordinatorin Zukunftskonzept Forschungsförderung

Tel.: 0351 463-37539, E-Mail:

by Carola Mehnert

New study on healthy aging published by Prof. Birkenfeld: Knockdown of the Indy/CeNac2 gene extends Caenorhabditis elegans life span by inducing AMPK/aak-2

Dresden, September 2015


Scientists of the group of Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld, University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, were  able to shed a new light on the controversial data on life span extension in C. elegans.

It has been known for quite some time that reduced expression of the Indy (“I am Not Dead Yet”) gene in Drosophila melanogaster promotes longevity. The responsible mechanisms were linked to caloric restriction: reduction in body fat, insulin like proteins and increased mitochondrial biogenesis amongst others. The group of Prof. Birkenfeld had previously shown that the deletion of the Indy homolog mIndy in mice protected the animals from high fat diet and ageing induced obesity as well as insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The data on studies of the Indy homolog CeNAC2 in C. elegans however showed contradictory results.

Now, Prof. Birkenfeld and his team could show that the knockdown of Indy/CeNAC2 using a specific siRNA extended the life span of C. elegans along with the activation of the intracellular energy sensor AMP-activated protein Kinase A (AMPK). In their study, mean life span was extended by 22±3 % upon knockdown of Indy/CeNAC2, while  whole body fat content was reduced by nearly 50%. AMPK had previously been shown to mediate life span extension in C. elegans upon glucose restriction. Here, the activation of AMPK was shown to occur via AMP. In studies with mice with deleted mIndy, a shift of the ATP/AMP ratio towards AMP had been demonstrated before, thus linking AMP, AMPK and mIndy in mammals. The study of Birkenfeld can now show in detail that also in C. elegans, AMPK is indispensable for Indy/CeNAC2 to mediate life span extension. It also provides a rationale for the molecular mechanisms mediating longevity when Indy/CeNAC2 is reduced. This new study further supports the activation of AMPK and inactivation of Indy are attractive targets to promote healthy ageing and, possibly, to extend life span also in higher eukaryotes.


The publication can be found here.

by Carola Mehnert

Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld, clinical diabetologist at the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, was awarded with the Ferdinand-Bertram-Award 2015

The oldest and most renowned award of the German Diabetes Society was awarded to Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden and the Medical Clinic III of the University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus in 2015. The award amounts to 20.000 € and is thus one of the highest-endowed awards in diabetes research.

Prof. Birkenfeld was honored with the Ferdinand-Bertram-Award of the German Diabetes Society in the middle of May in the course of the German Diabetes Congress 2015. He was chosen for the award based on his outstanding work on the regulation of metabolism and the development of Type-2-diabetes. His main interest at the moment is a gene called “INDY”, which plays a role in the development of Type-2-diabetes and obesity as well as in aging. Before joining the international diabetes research community in Dresden in 2014, Prof. Birkenfeld worked at Yale University (USA) and the Charité Berlin.

by Carola Mehnert

The first step towards an insulin-vaccination has been successfully taken

Scientists of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden/Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden together with scientists from the Institute for Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Center Munich, as well as scientists from Vienna, Bristol and Denver (USA) have taken the first step towards the development of a preventive vaccination against Type-1-Diabetes.

They published the first results of the international Pre-POINT study in the renowned journal JAMA in April that could show a positive immune reaction in high risk individuals for Type-1-Diabetes upon administration of an oral dose of insulin. Children from Germany, Austria, the United States and Great Britain with a high risk for Type-1-Diabetes were treated with oral insulin for half a year on average. The control group was treated with a placebo, whereas the insulin group received insulin in three different dosages that were constantly elevated over the duration of the study. The desired immune reaction was achieved with the maximum dosage (67.5 mg) of insulin. There were no unwanted side effects of the treatment as the insulin powder is already cleaved in the stomach and the immune reaction is likely to happen already in the mouth. Furthermore, the orally applied insulin has no effect on blood sugar levels. The head of the study Prof. Ezio Bonifacio and Prof. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler point out that with this new strategy, insulin can be prophylactically applied at a very early stage before children even develop autoimmunity. Further follow up studies will address the safety and efficiency of oral insulin.

You can find the original publication here.

by Carola Mehnert

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michele Solimena, professor for Molecular Diabetology at the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, was elected as a new member of the DZD Board

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michele Solimena was elected as a new member of the DZD board by the general meeting of the German Center for Diabetes Research DZD e.V. in Berlin on the 27th of April 2015. He takes over the position of Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Häring (University of Tübingen). The DZD board consists of a representative of the Helmholtz Association, at the moment Prof. Martin Hrabé de Angelis, a representative of the Leibniz Association, at the moment Prof. Dr. Michael Roden, and a representative of the universities, now Prof. Dr. Dr. Michele Solimena, thus bundling the leading scientific institutions in Germany. The German Ministry for Education and Science supports the DZD with 177 Million € in the funding period 2015-2019.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michele Solimena has been the speaker of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden since 2009 and is a professor for Molecular Diabetology at the Faculty of Medicine of TU Dresden. His research focus is on pancreatic beta cells, especially their protection and regeneration, and on the mechanisms which regulate and drive insulin secretion. 

by Carola Mehnert

New findings on the mobility of secretory insulin granula published in PNAS by Dr. Peter Hoboth and Prof. Solimena, PLID

Independent lines of evidence suggest that newly generated insulin secretory granules (SGs) are preferentially secreted and more mobile than their older counterparts. However, mechanisms governing differential mobility and propensity to undergo exocytosis of age-distinct SGs were unknown. In our paper we show that aged SGs display reduced competence for glucose-stimulated microtubule-mediated transport and are disposed within actin-positive multigranular bodies. Our data highlight the link between SG age and mobility and thus are relevant for better understanding insulin secretion in health and diabetes.

Please find the publication here.

by Carola Mehnert

Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden officially new Helmholtz Zentrum München satellite institute

On December 5th, the new satellite institute status of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden finally became official: from January 1st 2015, the diabetes research institute in Dresden will belong to the Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health. Find the complete press release here:

Read more …

by Carola Mehnert

World Diabetes Day 14.11.2014

The World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2014 marks the first Diabetes Day in the new three years campaign of the International Diabetes Federation focusing on healthy living and diabetes. Diabetes Day 2014 addresses the topic of healthy eating and its impact on the prevention of type 2 diabetes and its importance in the effective management of diabetes and diabetes complications.

The key messages of the campaign are:

- Make healthy food the easy choice and learn to make the right choice

- Healthy eating begins with a healthy breakfast.

Learn more about the World Diabetes day on the homepage of the International Diabetes Federation.

by Carola Mehnert

New study on Type 1 Diabetes prediction by Prof. Bonifacio, PLID/CRTD Dresden

The study published by the group of Prof. Bonifacio in the journal Diabetologia in September 2014 describes a new weighted risk model with selected SNPs that play a role in the development of Type 1 Diabetes. With the model it will be possible to recruit especially susceptible infants into Type 1 Diabetes studies for the early prevention or monitoring of the disease. 

Winkler C, Krumsiek J, Buettner F, Angermüller C, Giannopoulou EZ, Theis FJ, Ziegler AG, Bonifacio EFeature ranking of type 1 diabetes susceptibility genes improves prediction of type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2014 Sep 4. (PubMed)