The Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU; German Research Centre for Environmental Health) is a research institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the largest scientific organisation in Germany. The centre investigates chronic and complex diseases and one main focus of HMGU is research on diabetes mellitus. The Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF) within HMGU focuses on the research of type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The aim of IDF is to identify factors, mechanisms and genetic-environmental interactions that lead to initiation and progression of disease, to uncover new markers for early diagnosis and to develop strategies for the prevention, personalised treatment and potentially the cure for diabetes.


Since 1989 the Institute of Diabetes Research has been conducting prospective cohort studies focusing on the pathogenesis and prevention of human type 1 diabetes, obesity in offspring of women with GDM, and the prevention of type 2 diabetes after GDM. These studies have contributed essentially to the characterisation of early stages of disease and the examination of genetic and environmental influences on the development of ß-cell autoimmunity and obesity during the life-course. As a result of the findings and experiences of these pioneer studies, follow-up studies were initiated in newborns and children at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, including the The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young’ (TEDDY) multicentre study, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the dietary intervention BABYDIET study, and the TEENDIAB study. Additional studies addressing pathogenesis and prevention of obesity in offspring of mothers with GDM (POGO-study) and type 2 diabetes in mothers with preceding GDM were initiated (POGO-study, PINGUIN-study).

Our team

Dr Sandra Hummel

Group Leader 'Gestational Diabetes' and DynaHEALTH Lead Investigator

Sandra is Group Leader at the Institute of Diabetes Research. She has extensive experience in performing prospective birth cohort studies, focusing on the role of in-utero exposure to diabetes and infant feeding on postpartum outcomes in mother and offspring. She is principal investigator in the European network Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity (DEDIPAC) Knowledge Hub (KH), and co-investigator in the TEDDY study.

Dr Nadine Hummel

Nadine is a data scientist at IDF with expertise in performing clinical studies, profound knowledge in statistical programming and expertise in the analysis of clinical data, including metabolomics and epigenetic data.  

Professor Dr Anette-G. Ziegler

Anette is Director of IDF; Chair in Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München;  Chairman of the board of directors, Forschergruppe Diabetes e.V; Speaker, Competence Network Diabetes Mellitus. She is the principal investigator of several cohort studies and a leading partner in international and national diabetes networks (TEDDY, EU-DIAPREPP, TrialNet, GPPAD etc.)

Professor Dr Jerzy Adamski

Head of the Genome Analysis Centre (GAC) at the HMGU, which offers state-of-the-art technologies in several high throughput platforms including genotyping, DNA sequencing, epigenetics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics. He is work package leader in several IMI EU-projects including DIRECT and StemBANCC. His interests are in the molecular mechanisms and biomarkers of human metabolic diseases.

Role in this project

The Institute of Diabetes Research is responsible for research tasks in Work Package 1.