Working as doctor in the past Matthias von Herrath knows exactly about the disastrous consequences of chronical diseases upon the immune system. These experiences lead von Herrath to his current research area: he searches to understand the histopathology of the humane Type 1 Diabetes und hopes to find new therapeutical approaches.
He is professor and head of the Diabetes Center at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in the USA.
Study of Biomarkers in human type 1 and 2 diabetes
"An intricate interplay of immune and metabolism factors causes type 1 and 2 diabetes - while some of these factors and the genetic basis for them is known, large unknowns concern the contribution of the environment to both forms of diabetes and thus, for example, the unexplained raise of diabetes in the past several decades.
It is therefore, that we have to devote intensive effort to define better biomarkers that can tell us, how fast and why the disease develops, whether the causes and course varies between individuals and whether complications such as cardiovascular diseases can be more precisely predicted.
We hope that such discoveries will be a strong step towards more individualized medicine and better understanding for diabetes - for example, while it has been postulated for decades that only type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, we now see also anti-self (auto-)immune reactions in type 2 diabetes. In addition, polarization of certain cells of the immune system such as macrophages seems to play a role not only in both forms of diabetes, but also in obesity-related inflammations. Ultimately better understanding will also form the basis for new therapeutic approaches. This project will be performed in collaboration with Novo Nordisk."
This page will not be updated after the end of the fellowship.