26.09.17 - Professor Johan Auwerx has won the 2017 Helmholtz Diabetes Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the field of diabetes research.

The Helmholtz Diabetes Award is given annually at the Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference, an international event organized jointly by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the journal Nature Medicine. The 5th Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference (17-19 September 2017, Munich) brought together top scientists in the field of diabetes from around the world with the aim to facilitate the identification and addressing of “the preeminent scientific challenges facing the prevention and treatment of type-2 diabetes.”

Professor Johan Auwerx directs the Laboratory of Integrative Systems Physiology at EPFL, which uses systems approaches to map the signalling networks that govern mitochondrial function and as such regulate organismal metabolism in health, aging and diseases, such as type-2 diabetes.

Professor Auwerx’s work has focused on understanding how diet, exercise and hormones control metabolism by altering the activity of transcription factors and their associated cofactors to change gene expression. His research has laid the foundation for the development of nuclear receptor agonist drugs, now used to treat high blood lipid levels, fatty liver, and type-2 diabetes.

As the 2017 recipient of the Award, Professor Auwerx joins the ranks of the four previous prestigious awardee’s: Jeff Friedman, Ron Kahn, Bruce Spiegelman, and Stephen O’Rahilly. As part of the Award, he also delivered the Helmholtz Diabetes lecture, given “in recognition of the lifetime achievements of a senior leader in the field.”


Professor Johan Auwerx delivering the Helmholtz Diabetes Lecture at the 5th Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference (© Helmholtz Zentrum München)