Within one week Prof. Dr. Jens C. Brüning was awarded with two prestigious prizes to honor his outstanding and excellent scientific contributions.
Prof. Dr. Jens C. Brüning is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne and Director oft he Clinic für Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine at the University Hospital Cologne. Furthermore he is Principal Investigtor at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) and the Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research (CECAD) and is participating in and/or has initiated many research activities and consortiums at the University of Cologne.
Over the past two decades, Jens C. Brüning has been a leader in using modern mouse genetics to unravel some of the most interesting and complex aspects of contemporary metabolism research. Having developed the first mouse model of polygenic type 2 diabetes, he was first to apply conditional gene targeting to the problems of diabetes and metabolism. His studies revealed that insulin resistance in muscle has a surprisingly mild effect on glucose metabolism but that insulin action has very strong effect in non-classical insulin target tissues, such as the pancreas and brain, in controlling glucose homeostasis.
This was a breakthrough in thinking and has totally changed the field. In a series of recent elegant studies, using state-of-the-art technologies in neurocircuitry mapping, his group has identified a novel obesity-associated regulator of Agouti-related peptide neurons, defined the neurocircuitry and peripheral effector mechanisms through which Agouti-related peptide neurons acutely control peripheral insulin sensitivity, defined obesity-associated impairment of brain glucose uptake as a causal factor in promoting obesity-associated systemic inflammation and unravelled the mechanism and physiological role for food perception–dependent regulation of melanocortin neurons. Finally, his group has specifically identified ceramide synthase-6-derived ceramides as a cause of obesity-induced insulin resistance and has now identified how specifically certain ceramide species contribute to lipotoxicity-induced deterioration of mitochondrial function, thus identifying new mechanistic targets for intervention in obesity-induced diabetes mellitus. His recent work has focused on the role of lipid signalling in mitochondria.
Jens C. Brüning and his team have made unique and outstanding contributions, opening new insights into the physiology of insulin action and its consequences on body glucose metabolism and obesity-associated insulin resistance. The work presents truly cutting-edge science highlighting the control of metabolism dependent on the central nervous system and its consequences in obesity. His discoveries represent breakthroughs towards opening up new avenues for understanding obesity, and there seems to be more to come. Jens C. Brüning belongs to the rarest breed of truly translational scientists who can study disease mechanisms in depth at both the cellular and animal model levels with major implementation for humans. His projects have been innovative, bold, pioneering, truly translational and successful in recognizing the challenges.Please visit following link: the broschure provided by the EASD – Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence “Professor Jens C. Brüning”
CMMC News Release = modified Press Relases from the University Hospital Cologne
Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher (debora.grosskopf-kroiher[at]uni-koeln.de)