Sig­nif­i­cance and Innovation

Our project is highly inno­v­a­tive and com­bines three research fields (i.e. immunol­ogy, virol­ogy and dia­betol­ogy) in a sin­gle study. The role of VAT-​inflammation in the devel­op­ment of glu­cose resis­tance was only recently estab­lished and the spe­cific role of var­i­ous immune cell sub­sets in dis­ease pro­gres­sion is still incom­pletely char­ac­ter­ized. Whether and how infec­tion may impact the bal­ance between pro– and anti-​inflammatory cells in abdom­i­nal fat is com­pletely unknown.

We con­sider our work of high sig­nif­i­cance because of its impor­tant clin­i­cal impli­ca­tions. Obesity-​induced DM2 is one of the most press­ing health issues of our time. Timely treat­ment of (pre-​) dia­betes is able to pre­vent or delay the onset of DM2-​associated mor­bidi­ties. How­ever, unnec­es­sary treat­ment increases risk of adverse effects and need­lessly increases health costs. There­fore, it is impor­tant to char­ac­ter­ize risk fac­tors asso­ci­ated with DM2 disease-​progression.

To accom­plish our goals we apply well-​established infra­struc­tures. Our col­lab­o­ra­tion com­bines four groups, spe­cial­ized on virol­ogy (RSM), immunol­ogy (RSM & LRI) and dia­betol­ogy (MPI & CHC). Indi­vid­u­ally, these groups do not need to develop many new meth­ods and tech­niques. Tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion comes from the appli­ca­tion of our spe­cial­ized tech­niques in a new field. Thus, by cross­ing the bor­ders of our dis­ci­plines, we will advance dia­betes research to a degree that mono-​disciplinary groups cannot.