On November 16th, 1964, Prof. Dr. Karl Oberdisse initiated the founding of an Association for the Promotion of Research on Diabetes mellitus (Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Erforschung der Zuckerkrankheit e.V.) and, in 1965, the establishment of the Diabetes Research Institute (Diabetes-Forschungsinstitut, DFI). Since then, the main goal of the institute has been to study the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and its comorbidities aiming to improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of this disease.
The DFI building was financed by the state North Rhine-Westphalia and the Volkswagen Foundation and opened in 1973. The Federal and state government agreed on a joint funding of the institute in 1977, which first became part of the so-called “blue list” (Blaue Liste) and subsequently member of the Leibniz Association. In 1992, the institute was extended by a second building. The DFI was first renamed as German Diabetes Research Institute (Deutsches Diabetes-Forschungsinstitut, DDFI) in 1999 and finally as the German Diabetes Center (Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum, DDZ) in 2004.
From 1973 to 1997, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Arnold Gries served as the director of the Clinical Department and also held a Chair of Internal Medicine (Diabetology) at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU). Thereafter, Prof. Dr. Werner Scherbaum led the Clinical Department, renamed as German Diabetes Clinics, until 2007.
Since 2008, Prof. Dr. Michael Roden, the spokesman of Executive Board of the German Diabetes Research Association (Deutsche Diabetes Forschungsgesellschaft, DDFG), has been the scientific director of DDZ and director of the Institute of Clinical Diabetology. He simultaneously serves as the Chair of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders of HHU and Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology at the University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD).
Starting with 1973, Prof. Dr. Hans Reinauer first and then Prof. Dr. Dirk Müller-Wieland led the Institute for Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry. Since 2011, Prof. Dr. Hadi Al-Hasani has been the Director of this institute and holds a chair at HHU.
The Institute for Biometrics and Epidemiology was headed by Priv.-Doz. Dr. Rainer Knußmann from 1969 to 1970, who was succeeded by Dr. Eberhard Greiser, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Max Peter Baur and Prof. Dr. Guido Giani. Since 2013, Prof. Dr. Oliver Kuß has been the Director of this institute and professor at HHU.
Subsequently, the DDZ was extended by two new institutes. In 2013, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert established the Institute for Beta Cell Biology, which was expanded into the Institute for Vascular and Islet Cell Biology in 2018. Since 2017, Prof. Dr. Dr. Andrea Icks is heading the Institute for Health Services Research and Health Economics. Both directors are also full professors and chairs at HHU.
The initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) for establishing German Centers for Health Research (Deutsche Zentren der Gesundheitsforschung, DZG) led to the foundation of the German Center for Diabetes Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung, DZD e.V.) in 2009 by 5 partners, including the DDZ. The DZD e.V. is committed to a translational research approach, which contributes e.g. via multicenter studies to innovative precision medicine of diabetes.
Directors of the German Diabetes Center
|Karl Oberdisse (1903-2002) Dr. med., Prof.||1964-1973|
|Hans Reinauer (*1933) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1973-1987|
|Friedrich Arnold Gries (*1929) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1988-1989|
|Hans Reinauer (*1933) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1990-1991|
|Friedrich Arnold Gries (*1929) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1992-1993|
|Hans Reinauer (*1933) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1994-1996|
|Guido Giani (*1948) Dr. rer. nat., Univ.-Prof.||1997-1998|
|Werner Scherbaum (*1947) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||1999-2001|
|Dirk Müller-Wieland (*1959) Dr. med., Univ.-Prof.||2002-2004|
|Guido Giani (*1948) Dr. rer. nat., Univ.-Prof.||2004-2008|
|Michael Roden (*1961) Dr. med. univ., Univ.-Prof.||since Juli 2008|