IN2D stands for International Network on Diabetes and Depression.
Our network project is based on a grant by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The network focuses on exchange between our partner institutions for the purpose of academic benefits, research advancement and cultural understanding. We offer help with both organization and funding of exchange activities for students, PhD candidates, investigators and university staff:
Our network consists of four partner universities, with strong support of associated non-university partner institutions. The collaboration of our institutions ensures high standard opportunities for students on academic and research level.
The TU Dresden is the largest university in Saxony, Germany with approximately 37,000 students, 4,400 publicly funded staff members (among them over 500 professors) and approximately 3,500 externally funded staff members. Since June 2012 the TU Dresden is one of eleven German Universities of Excellence.Read more...
King's College London as one of the world's top 20 universities was founded in 1829 as a university college in the tradition of the Church of England. It`s the fourth oldest university in England. Today, it has nearly 26,000 students from 140 countries around the world and over 7,000 employees.Read more...
Flinders University was established in 1966 and has nearly 25,000 students, among them more than 4,000 international students. It is one of the founding members of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) aiming to strengthen health and medical research capacity in South Australia.Read more...
The University of Hong-Kong was established in 1911. There are currently nearly 28,000 students enrolled at HKU, among them more than 4,000 students of Medicine. Within The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014-2015, HKU reached position 43.Read more...
Offering humanities and social sciences as well as medicine, the TU Dresden is a multi-discipline university. The Carl Gustav Carus Medical Faculty is on a biomedical / biotech campus with the Carl Gustav Carus University public hospital, which is providing maximum care.
This campus also has a number of biomedical institutes, including the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the Centre for Regenerative Therapies. The medical school is affiliated with TU Dresden, but is on a separate campus.
The Department of Internal Medicine III, led by Professor Stefan Bornstein, has specific expertise in the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes and hosts the only active islet transplantation centre in Germany. The department follows a novel individualized approach by creating lipidomic profiles of blood in patients with metabolic diseases in order to identify early lipid biomarkers indicating decreased insulin sensitivity. Moreover, for more than 10 years Stefan Bornstein’s research group has had a strong focus on the dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a key player in linking glycemic control and depression.
The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine was created as a result of the merger of elements of the School of Biomedical Sciences with the School of Medicine. King's College London offers world-leading research at its five Medical Research Council (MRC) centres: MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, MRC Social, Genetic and Development Psychiatry Centre and the MRC Centre for Transplantation.
King's College London is the leading centre for hypoglycemia world-wide. Represented in the IN2D by Professor Stephanie Amiel, head of Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division, the partner provides outstanding expertise in hypoglycemia in diabetes, metabolic neuroimaging, brain insulin sensitivity/resistance, and central responses to eating.
The Diabetes and Mental Health programme includes community based studies, including interventions, on the impact of depression on diabetes outcomes and the potential for psychologically based therapies to improve such outcomes. The Islet Biology Group investigate the function, growth and development of islets and the potential for new therapies based on greater understanding in these areas, working closely with the King’s islet transplantation programme.
The School of Medicine is organised around five academic units: Flinders Health Care and Workforce Innovation; Flinders Medical Science and Technology; Flinders Northern Territory; Flinders Southern Adelaide Clinical School and Flinders University Rural Clinical School.
Flinders School of Medicine has international reputation for integration and innovation in patient care, education and research, for example in the area of Neurosciences. Moreover Flinders University is one of the founding members of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in partnership with the Government of South Australia, The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
SAHMRI aims to strengthen health and medical research capacity in South Australia, attract world- class researchers to the state and support research collaborations to deliver health outcomes and community impact.
Flinders University is represented by the research groups of Professor Julio Licinio and Professor Ma-Li Wong, holding world-leading expertise in the field of obesity and depression and their interactions.
Julio Licinio, is Deputy Director, Translation Strategy and Process and Head, Mind and Brain Theme at SAHMRI and Strategic Professor of Psychiatry, Flinders University. He is Chief Editor of three Nature Publishing Group journals, Molecular Psychiatry (ImpactFactor: 15.147, number 1 worldwide), The Pharmacogenomics Journal (IF 5.51) and Translational Psychiatry (IF 4.36). In his research Julio Licinio focuses on pharmacogenomic analyses (creation of individual pharmacogenomic profiles of distinct alleles), where genetic variants are analysed that have an influence of the metabolism of drugs which are related to depression or influence the impact of anti-depressants. His contributions cover three important and related areas: (1) leptin biology, (2) depression, and (3) cytokines and the brain. Licinio and his team discovered leptin pulsatility and conducted landmark studies on the role of leptin in human biology, including the novel concept that leptin drives human endocrine function across various axes, regulating minute-to-minute fluctuations of most hormones.
Flinders University is one of the founding members of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in partnership with the Government of South Australia, The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia. SAHMRI aims to strengthen health and medical research capacity in South Australia, attract world- class researchers to the state and support research collaborations to deliver health outcomes and community impact.
As a new entity, SAHMRI will significantly increase the nation’s capacity for leading scientific research by: A team of more than 600 outstanding researchers will work together in the search for better treatments and cures for some of the world’s most challenging diseases Creating a world-class precinct of medical research and clinical application, with state of the art laboratories and equipment in a purpose-built, iconic, 25,000 square-metre facility, adjacent to the site of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (new RAH).
The HKU is a multi-discipline university with faculties of Architecture, Arts, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Science and Social Sciences, Dentistry and Medicine.
Founded as the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese in 1887 by London Missionary Society, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, as it is named today, has reputation as an international centre of excellence. The Faculty is comprised of 14 departments: School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Chinese Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Public Health and a number of research centres focusing on various strengths of research.
Within the context of diabetes and depression the Hong Kong University represented by the research group of Professor Aimin Xu concentrates on the role of adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity, diabetes and its complications. His team reported the hepato-protective, vasculo-protective and neuroprotective effects of adiponectin, and also discovered the circulating form of adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) as a pro-inflammatory adipokine in both rodents and humans.
Their aim is to develop adipokine-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for obesityrelated cardio-metabolic complications. The team has successfully developed a large number of adipokine-based immunoassays for clinical diagnosis, which are now being used widely in China. Aimin Xu is the deputy chair of Biochemical Journal (IF=4.8), Editor of Clinical Science (IF 5.6) and PLOS One (IF 3.5), the director of State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and pursues a strong translation approach in his work.
Diabetes and depression are two major global epidemic challenges of our modern societies. According to the WHO, 347 million people are currently suffering from diabetes and about the same number from depression. Studies have shown that diabetic patients, both type 1 and type 2, are more likely to develop psychological disorders and to show alterations in their mental functioning. High rates of co-morbidity of depression and diabetes have been reported. The prevalence rate of depression is more than three-times higher in people with type 1 diabetes and nearly twice as high in people with type 2 diabetes compared to those without. Diabetic individuals with depressive symptoms have a severely lower diabetes specific quality of life. The mechanisms for this well established interdependence are yet not fully understood.
Studies have also shown a clear link between depression and the development of diabetes, proving that patients with depression have a 60% greater risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Of great importance for effective treatment, depression affects a patient's capacity to deal with their diabetes, including managing blood glucose levels appropriately and therefore metabolic and glycemic discrepancies occur, which then further intensifying the symptoms of depression, leading to a downward spiral. It has been well documented that the association of depression and type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced adherence to medication and self-care management, poor glycemic control, increased health care utilization, increased costs and elevated risk of complications, as well as mortality. Depression is associated with an almost 1.5-fold increased risk of mortality in people with diabetes. Elucidation of the underlying biological mechanisms would provide new opportunities for translation of research into improved clinical outcomes of diabetic patients.