Physical modeling of non-equilibrium processes in biological systems

Funding period 2017-2020

                                                            Public Outreach Article in "Scientia"


Pre-conference workshop / Status Seminar SFB 1027

Tue, 08/10/2019 - 08:45 to 18:00
Campus Saarbrücken, Geb. E2 5 (Mathematik), HS III

For the program clicke here

Cell Physics 2019

Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:00 to Fri, 11/10/2019 - 17:00
Campus Saarbrücken, E2 2 (Informatik HS-Geb), Hotz-HS

SFB Seminar

Tue, 15/10/2019 - 11:00
Campus Homburg, CIPMM, Auditorium (EG)

Prof. Dr. Michael Roden
Host: Dr. Bin Qu
Direktor, Institut für Klinische Diabetologie, Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum, Düsseldorf

Mechanisms of insulin resistance in humans

Our group studies metabolic pathways in various human tissues and organs. The main focus is the role of energy metabolism in insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus.

We aim to explore:

  • the impact of nutritive factors on insulin signaling and energy metabolism
  • the regulation of the function of mitochondria, the cells' powerplants, in muscle and liver of healthy humans as well as in people at increased risk and those with overt diabetes
  • the role of the liver and the non-alcoholic-fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) in insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome
  • new methods for the non-invasive investigation of metabolism

We describe the regulation of the glucose transport/phosphorylation, glycogen synthesis, glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in healthy humans and patients with diabetes. Previously, we examined the mechanisms of insulin resistance initiated by dietary factors via infusion of lipid or amino acid rich infusions. Our recent publications showed that mitochondrial function as assessed from in vivo ATP synthesis is impaired in patients with diabetes mellitus and those at risk. The extent of mitochondrial impairment is predicted by plasma free fatty acids, the degree of the insulin resistance and body mass but in contrast to prior publications occurs independently of glucose transport/phosphorylation and lipid deposition earlier.

A new method for extensive phenotyping is offered by non-invasive, multi-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy which is used to determine intracellular metabolites, metabolic flux rates (ATP synthesis, glycogen synthesis, glucose transport/phosphorylation) in liver, muscle and the human brain.

Our aims are:

the identification and characterization of environmental and genetic triggers of mitochondrial abnormalities and their contribution to the development of insulin resistance and onset of diabetes. These results could offer new therapeutic options for the prevention of diabetes and its complications.