Concept and contents by Sonja Duggen and Cordula Klemm

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Imprint

The Helmholtz Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference was launched in 2013 together with the journal Nature Medicine. With top stars of the diabetes scene and representatives of renowned research groups, along with selected young researchers it has become a fixed date on the international conference calendar. It is special - for sure, because of the outstanding, unpublished data shared here. But also, because of the well-conceived concept: Watch what makes this conference unique!

Matthias Tschöp

"When you are forced to play together in the same rhythm, over many songs, over an hour of music – that really teaches you also something about scientific collaboration!"

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München, and head of the Department of Metabolic Diseases at Technischen Universität München, is scientific director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center.

Institute for Diabetes and Obesity

Science and music are based on the same characteristics leading to success: enthusiasm and passion, improvisation and organization – along with endurance and stamina. Both musicians and scientists are driven by the desire to explore a theme. They seek dialogue with others to exchange ideas and develop new approaches. 

Martin Hrabĕ de Angelis, director of the Institute of Experimental Genetics at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Technische Universität München, member of the board and speaker of the German Center for Diabetes Research.

Institute of Experimental Gentetics

Martin Hrabĕ de Angelis – Drums

"Matthias Tschöp and I are two drummers, and we had the idea of forming a conference band. We meet twice a year with bandmates from the German and international diabetes scene. We have great fun rehearsing the music for the conference."

Dr. Giles Yeo, Principal Research Associate, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge

Giles Yeo – Lead Singer

Dr. Carolin Daniel, Young Investigator Group Leader, Type 1 Diabetes Immuntological Tolerance, Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Type 1 Diabetes Immunological Tolerance

 

 

Carolin Daniel – Backgroundvocals

Michaela Bauer, PhD Student, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München

Institute for Diabetes and Obesity

Michaela Bauer – Backgroundvocals

Prof. Dr. Matthias von Herrath,  Division of Developmental Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Matthias von Herrath – Guitar

Prof. Dr. Michael Roden, Scientific Director and CEO, Deutsches Diabetes Zentrum, Director Clinic of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf

Michael Roden – Guitar

Prof. Dr. Ingo Bechmann, Director, Institute of Anatomy, Leipzig University

Ingo Bechmann – Guitar

Dr. Maciej Dawidowsky, Postdoc, Institute of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Institute of Structural Biology

Maciej Dawidowski – Bass

Prof. Dr. Matthias Blüher, head of the Obesity Outpatient Clinic, Clinic for Endocrinology and Nephrology, Medical Research Center, Leipzig University

Matthias Blüher – Keyboard

Prof. Dr. Günther Wess, CEO Helmholtz Zentrum München, Vice-President Health Helmholtz-Association

Günther Wess – Keyboard

Special Guest 2014

Prof. Dr. Michael Sattler, Director Institute of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Chair of Biomolecular NMR-Spectroscopy at Technische Universität München

Institute of Structural Biology

Michael Sattler – Saxophone

Special Guest 2015

 

Prof. Dr. Michael Schwartz, Robert H. Williams Endowed Chair, Director of the UW Medicine Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence and  Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) at the University of Washington

Michael Schwartz –

Vocals and Guitar

Special Guest 2015

Matthias Tschöp

"Our collegues from around the world decide every year to show unpublished, new data – and that's what makes this conference so exciting!"

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München, head of the Department of Metabolic Diseases at Technische Universität München, scientific director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center

Institute for Diabetes and Obesity

Bruce Spiegelman, Stanley J. Korsmeyer Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Awarding Top Researchers and Young Talents

The Helmholtz Diabetes Lifetime Award brings top scientists  to Munich. For years they have significantly shaped international diabetes research. As climax and conclusion of the conference, the Lifetime Award winners give the Helmholtz Diabetes Lecture: a one-hour overview on the highest level of the development and status of the respective special area.

Bruce Spiegelman, Stanley J. Korsmeyer Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston

Bruce Spiegelman

In 2015 the Helmholtz Diabetes Lifetime Award went to Bruce Spiegelman. He is considered to be the discoverer of beige adipose tissue, a new kind of adipose tissue. In his lecture Spiegelman presented the various control mechanisms of calorie burning ("thermogenesis") and outlined the probable function of the beige adipose tissue.

Jeffrey M. Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor, Rockefeller University, New York.

Jeffrey M. Friedman

In 2014 Jeffrey M. Friedman received the Helmholtz Diabetes Lifetime Award. Friedman discovered the fat cell hormone leptin and explored its effects on the metabolism. In his Helmholtz Diabetes Lecture Friedman illuminated the current state of research on the chemical messenger that is substantially involved in the regulation of appetite and food intake.

Young Talents Take the International Stage of Diabetes Research

The Novo Nordisk-Helmholtz Young Investigator in Diabetes Award opens up the international stage of diabetes research for young, outstandingly talented scientists. Connected with the nomination is a brief presentation in the conference plenary session. A high-profile, independant, scientific jury selects the award winner on the basis of the results presented.

Matthew Rodeheffer, Assistant Professor for Comparative Medicine and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University

Matthew Rodeheffer

Matthew Rodeheffer from Yale University is the 2015 winner of the Novo Nordisk-Helmholtz Young Investigator in Diabetes Award (HeIDi) for Young Scientists. Rodeheffer focuses on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of adipose tissue. The Novo Nordisk-Helmholtz Young Investigator in Diabetes Award helps young, outstandingly talented scientists attain more visibility in the Science Community. Connected with the nomination is a brief presentation in the conference plenary session. In 2015 excellent young scientists – "rising stars" – from nine different countries presented their latest research results to the conference.
  • Brian Finan, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München
  • Shingo Kajimura, Department of Cell and Tissue Biology of the University of California, San Francisco

Brian Finan and Shingo Kajimura

In 2014 Brian Finan of Helmholtz Zentrum München and Shingo Kajimura of the University of California, San Francisco, received awards. Finan is exploring drug therapy strategies against diabetes and obesity. A multihormone molecule he co-developed combines the positive properties of several metabolic hormones and thus lowers blood glucose levels and reduces body weight. Kajimura seeks to develop pharmacological approaches in adipose tissue, in order to promote the development of the brown or beige adipose tissue – which is responsible for energy production by burning fat.

Top Scientists Meet Talented Young Researchers at the Scientific Round Table

The Scientific Round Table Session brings young scientists together with top stars in their field. Young researchers from around the world get the opportunity to present their current work to experienced experts and to brainstorm for solutions. Talented young researchers apply to participate in a Scientific Round Table with a short presentation of their research topic.

Brennan Smith, young scientist

Brennan Smith

“It is incredibly rewarding to sit across from an expert and to exchange questions. One really learns so much. I could have read many articles and textbooks and still not received so many suggestions as now within a few minutes.”

Sharma Yadhu, young scientist

Sharma Yadhu

 "The Round Table discussion is more effective than a poster session. One meets leading scientists and gets new ideas and future perspectives for one's own research."

Matthias von Herrath, Professor and Director, Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Matthias von Herrath

"The Round Table Sessions are always very inspiring. Each time I learn a lot from the young scientists about molecular mechanisms while we are discussing the big picture. I'm looking forward to the next time."

Carolin Daniel, Young Investigator Group Leader, Type 1 Diabetes Immuntological Tolerance, Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Type 1 Diabetes Immunological Tolerance

Carolin Daniel

 “The discussions were very intensive and ranged from basic research to the clinical application stage. The young people bring a lot of interesting new ideas.”

Exchange and Interaction are Sources of Inspiration for Research

Through social events a special conference spirit arises. Contacts evolve into collaborations, and from conversations, ideas are developed about how research approaches can be improved. Due to the relaxed atmosphere of the Helmholtz Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference, a lively scientific exchange takes place with the goal of together developing solutions and strategies against all forms of the diabetes mellitus.

Developing Strategies against Diabetes Together

The Helmholtz Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference covers all major areas of diabetes research. The special atmosphere promotes scientific exchange across institute boundaries. On the periphery of the conference lectures and discussions, new collaborations are initiated for the common goal: to create a future without diabetes. The conference is organized by the Helmholtz Diabetes Center together with the journal Nature Medicine. Conference organizer Matthias Tschöp appreciates the concept of changing co-organizers.

 

Through Stephan Herzig in 2015 leading experts on the role of metabolic diseases in tumor development could be attracted.

In 2014 Anette Ziegler brought the most important aspects regarding type 1 diabetes and the immune system.

Matthias Tschöp's special thanks goes to Randy Levinson from Nature Medicine – with his experience and intuition this fantastic program becomes possible – and to Günther Wess who made it possible to establish the conference in 2013.