About us

The Institute of Diabetes Research

The Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF) focuses on the understanding of the natural history of type 1 diabetes, on the identification of mechanisms and predictive markers of the disease, and the translation of findings into trials to prevent type 1 diabetes in man.

In particular, the institute's aim is to develop an immune tolerance using antigen-based therapy. The IDF conducts long-term studies to examine the link between genes, environmental factors and the immune system for the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Findings of the BABYDIAB study, which was established in 1989 as the world's first prospective birth cohort study, identified the first two years of life as being most susceptible for the initiation of type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity.

The Fr1da study is the first population-based approach for early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes associated autoimmunity in childhood. The study (2015-2019) based on 90,632 screened children suggests that these screenings can reduce the progression from pre-symptomatic type 1 diabetes to life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis. It provides the basis for drafting new guidelines for future diagnosis and for discussing a recommendation towards the inclusion of screenings in standard care services.

The IDF is part of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC), the International Helmholtz Research School for Diabetes (HRD) and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD). We work closely together with the Diabetes Information Service of Helmholtz Zentrum München. Since 2010, Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler is the Director of the IDF. She also holds the Chair of Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes at the university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2011 and is head of the Diabetes Research Group at the Technical University of Munich.

Institute of Diabetes Research in Heidemannstrasse 1
© Helmholtz Zentrum München