Head: Maria F. Gomez
Diabetes mellitus is a lifelong, incapacitating disease affecting multiple organs. Worldwide prevalence figures estimate that there will be 380 million diabetic patients in 2025. Presently, diabetes can neither be prevented nor cured and the disease is associated with devastating chronic complications including coronary heart disease and stroke (macrovascular disease) as well as microvascular disorders leading to damage of the small blood vessels of the kidney (nephropathy), eye (retinopathy) and peripheral nerves (neuropathy). These complications impose an immense burden on the quality of life of the patients and account for more than 10% of health care costs in Europe. Therefore, novel means to prevent these devastating diabetic complications are needed.
Major research areas
"Vascular complications of diabetes: Studies on NFAT (Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells) as a novel target for the treatment of atherosclerosis and vascular dysfunction in diabetes" (read more)
"Role of the incretin hormone GIP in the development of diabetic vascular complications - good or bad?" (read more)
"Novel animal models of diabetes" (read more)
a. Phase contrast image showing atherosclerotic plaque formation (white dense area) at the bifurcation of a cerebral artery from ApoE KO mouse.
b. Confocal image of the same artery showing expression of vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1, in red). Nuclei are stained with Sytox Green.
c. Higher magnification of the same region, showing very high levels of VCAM-1 and adhesion of immune cells (arrows) at the plaque edges, also areas of turbulent blood flow.