Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European Rising Star award for Freiburg diabetes researcher

01.10.2013
J. Andrew Pospisilik receives a young talent award for new concept about emergence of diabetes

Almost every sixth human worldwide suffers from diabetes, obesity or both. Interestingly, genetic differences can only explain a proportion of cases. A second, more enigmatic regulatory system seems to play a central role in the development of the disease: so-called ‘epi’genetic regulation.

PhD student Tess Lu and the Freiburg scientist J. Andrew Pospisilik from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics found evidence that type-2 diabetes may result in part from insulin cells that lose their epigenetic memory, and thus, their function. For upcoming studies, Pospisilik was awarded with a Rising Star award at the conference of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona.

Epigenetic regulation determines gene activity in different cell types and acts as a kind of cell-type specific memory. This epigenetic memory can be modified by external factors such as diet and stress. At the same time it can remain conserved throughout many cell divisions and even generations.

In 2012, researchers unraveled a long overseen mechanism for how we develop type-2 diabetes. Rather than dying, or shutting down function, insulin producing beta-cells seemed to be “forgetting” their fate and reverting towards a more stem cell like identity. Although this idea is new, the Pospisilik group was able to recreate this unique disease pathology by controlling epigenetic state. This finding will help enable researchers around the world to investigate the new diabetes form in great detail.

The Freiburg researchers switched off the gene for an epigenetic regulator previously shown to control entire programs of cellular identity. Animals with this modification were first healthy and developed normal insulin producing cells. But at around middle-age, the cells forgot their function and the animals could not control their blood sugar anymore. The researchers did not find any hints for inflammations, cell death or cell proliferation, leaving behind ‘ghost-like’ cells with no clear markers of their former selves.

With the “rising star” award, Pospisilik aims to investigate the epigenetic profile of individual cells and find out, which epigenetic alterations in detail are involved in diabetes development. The research group will combine cellular, biochemical and analytic methods and the new data will be easily accessible for other researchers through an open access platform.

“These studies will give the diabetes community some first insights into how epigenetic profiles remain stable and why insulin producing cells forget their function,” says Pospisilik. “The research is suited to make an important contribution to fundamental concepts such as stem cell differentiation. At the same time, the research will lead to a deeper understanding of a disease that affects millions of people. It may even open new therapeutic strategies.”

J. Andrew Pospisilik was born in 1976 in Vancouver. Since 2010, he leads his own laboratory at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg.

Contact:
J. Andrew Pospisilik
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg
Phone: +49 7615 108-757
Email: pospisilik@­immunbio.mpg.de
Johannes Faber
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 5108-368
Email: presse@­ie-freiburg.mpg.de

Dr Harald Rösch | idw
Further information:
http://www.­immunbio.mpg.de

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht LandKlif: Changing Ecosystems
06.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht “Future of Composites in Transportation 2018”, JEC Innovation Award for hybrid roof bow
29.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>