Welcome Note

Welcome Message from the Coordinators

The Helmholtz Alliance ICEMEDImaging and Curing Environmental Metabolic Diseases – is a network of synergistic excellence representing a worldwide unique research consortium of biomedical research scientists, clinicians and cutting edge metabolic imaging experts in Germany with the goal to improve our understanding of the brain in metabolic diseases. Our Alliance consists of more than 30 leading German diabetes and obesity research teams and research centers enhanced by cooperative alliances with Sanofi Aventis Pharmaceuticals and leading internationally renowned diabetes and obesity research centers at Cambridge and Yale University.

ICEMED is pursuing an ambitious goal: the overarching intent of our Alliance is to embrace the sustainable theme of finding new medicines and treatment approaches to cure obesity and type 2 Diabetes over the next five years. To that end, the alliance will focus on identifying, visualizing, dissecting and targeting central nervous system pathways (in both central control circuits and brain-periphery crosstalk) that regulate systems metabolism. This aspect of the Alliance is synergistically enhanced by the integration of comprehensive neuroimaging expertise using and further improving cutting edge, in vivo metabolic imaging techniques like positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in animal models and humans.

The Alliance has chosen an innovative strategy with an interdisciplinary team – leading the way for personalized therapy. Our Alliance connects multi-disciplinary basic research with clinical application. We believe that together we can succeed in stemming the spreading pandemic of diabetes and obesity and hopefully reverse it. With translation being the central perspective of this Alliance, ICEMED has also assembled clinical and pharmacological experience, including several university hospital directors with leading reputation in the field of metabolic research (Prof. H.-U. Häring, Prof. J. Spranger, Prof. J. Brüning, Prof. H. Lehnert, Prof. M. Stumvoll). This ensures the efficient implementation of scientific insights in everyday medical practice.
Finally, we are extremely fortunate, to have the unique opportunity to work as physicians, pharmacologists and biologists side by side with outstanding physicists led by our ICEMED co-coordinator, Professor Jon Shah (Helmholtz Forschungszentrum Jülich), who in recent years has developed new technologies for the simultaneous imaging of multiple metabolic processes in the human brain. Almost all leading German ultra-high field MRI institutions are part of this Alliance and contribute a huge amount of unrivalled expertise.
The unique ICEMED Alliance is thus perfectly positioned to lead the way for alliances for metabolic research throughout the world: national science resources are used synergistically and can thus be implemented in personalized, effective treatment strategies. We invite our neuroscience, imaging and metabolism research colleagues from around the world to contact us in order to overcome one of the preeminent challenges of our time together: the metabolic syndrome epidemic.

Matthias Tschöp, Jon Shah, Mathias Treier

Scientific Coordinators, Helmholtz Alliance Icemed

Welcome Note by Helmholtz Association Leadership Berlin

The Helmholtz Alliances offer participating scholars and scientists the opportunity to explore new research areas with the necessary critical mass or to further develop current research topics in innovative ways. Together with several universities and other external partners, the Alliances are organized in associations with international visibility. They are designed as self-managed networks, performing internationally acclaimed research. The Alliances promote young talents and pursue strategic appointment procedures while operating on the basis of an equal opportunity policy.

The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving grand challenges which face society, science and industry by performing top-rate research in strategic programmes in the fields of Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Aeronautics, Space and Transport.

The Helmholtz Association researches systems of great complexity, with large-scale facilities and scientific infrastructures, cooperating closely with national and international partners. It contributes to shaping our future by combining research and technology development with perspectives for innovative applications and provisions for tomorrow’s world.

Andreas Schulze

Head, Helmholtz Alliances