The Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC)

The Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC) is a member of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and a partner in the joint Heidelberg-IDC Translational Diabetes Program. The Institute for Diabetes and Cancer is tightly integrated into the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and into the special research area "Reactive Metabolites and Diabetic Complications" at the Heidelberg University Medical School.

The IDC conducts research on the molecular basis of severe metabolic disorders, including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, as well as their roles in tumor initiation and progression.

The main causes of these metabolic disorders are believed to be malfunctions in the activity of genes regulating our metabolism. By analyzing the signal-dependent activity of such genes in response to hormonal, nutritional and inflammatory cues, we aim to define disease-causing malfunctions in glucose, fat and protein metabolism, ultimately aiming at the identification of genes, gene products and associated signaling pathways which increase the susceptibility to metabolic diseases.

Subsequently, identified gene defects are tested for their potential to serve as molecular connections between metabolic and tumor diseases and as novel drug targets within these disease entities.

By using a translational research approach in collaboration with an extensive academic, clinical and pharmaceutical partner network, we anticipate unravelling clinically significant molecular determinants in the pathogenesis of the Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes that are directly coupled to increased cancer risk.

The IDC divisions and junior groups will focus on four main areas:

1. Molecular metabolic mechanisms contributing to diabetic complications
2. Molecular and cellular determinants of adipose tissue function
3. Systemic and cellular mechanisms controlling tumor metabolism
4. Cellular trafficking and metabolic control
5. Neuroendocrinology