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Heavyweight of the University of Leipzig: 13 million euros for obesity research

The interdisciplinary research network investigates the complex mechanisms of the development and effects of obesity based on three central research questions: What role does the central nervous system play in the development of obesity? What changes in adipose tissue contribute to the complications of obesity? Which signals from adipose tissue lead to type 2 diabetes and other cardiometabolic diseases? The prevalence of obesity, i.e. severe overweight, has increased dramatically worldwide in recent years. In Germany, the proportion is around 24 percent of adults and represents a major challenge for the healthcare system and society.

The SFB 1052 is based on a strongly interdisciplinary approach in which numerous university institutions and external research groups are involved. "The extension of the Collaborative Research Center is an important signal for the university, because the topic of civilization diseases is the focus of one of our profile areas in research. I would like to thank all the scientists involved for their immense commitment. We will now consistently pursue the path we have taken and continue to increase Leipzig's visibility as a center of obesity research nationally and internationally," emphasizes Rector Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking.

Obesity is one of the serious diseases of civilization that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, depression and some types of cancer. The aim of the SFB 1052 is to further research the causal mechanisms of obesity and subsequent diseases and to develop new therapies. The research results of the last eight successful years form the basis for establishing the new findings in practice in the last funding period. For example, the scientists have identified a central neuropeptide receptor, which is now to be specifically investigated as a therapeutic strategy for modulating food intake. Another success from the last few years of research is the discovery that bacteria have an influence on the inflammation in fat tissue cells in overweight people.

“We are very pleased that we can continue and intensify our research. We want to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of obesity in order to be able to offer those affected tailor-made therapies in the future. In our SFB, excellent basic researchers and clinicians work very closely together,” says university doctor Prof. Matthias Blüher, spokesman for the SFB. "The promotion and training of young scientists, who are involved in the research projects through an integrated graduate school, is particularly important to us," explains the obesity researcher.

With the Collaborative Research Centers, the DFG promotes long-term and innovative research institutions at universities with the aim of creating focal points. In addition, it supports the promotion of young scientists, as well as scientific and interdisciplinary cooperation.

Scientific contact:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Blueher
Spokesman of the CRC "Mechanisms of Obesity"
Phone: +49 341 97-13829

Source: Press release University of Leipzig from April 25.05.2021th, XNUMX

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