About the lab

Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases

Dioscuri (Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence) is a programme initiated by the Max Planck Society, jointly managed with the National Science Centre in Poland, and mutually funded by the Polish Ministry of Education and Science (MEiN) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Our Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases focuses on the elucidation of signaling pathways that play a role in metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes or cancer associated cachexia.

Mission of the lab

Our lab focuses on the elucidation of signalling pathways that play a role in metabolic diseases. 

Perturbations in signaling cascades regulating basic metabolic processes of adipose tissue, intestine and liver often result in metabolic diseases. Excessive absorption of lipids in intestines promotes adiposity. Elevated lipogenesis and lipolysis in combination with reduced energy dissipation are the hallmarks of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Increased lipogenesis also contributes to the development of liver steatosis. Conversely, induction of negative energy balance during cancer-associated cachexia (CAC) is partially caused by increased metabolic activity of adipocytes. In my research group we aim at understanding of the complex signaling network regulating the above-mentioned basic metabolic processes. For this purpose we combine cell biology, biochemical and omics approaches with mouse genetics. Using high throughput siRNA-based screening we identified a number of novel kinases regulating lipolysis, including ERK3. Targeted mouse genetics approach let us to establish members of Protein kinase D family as central regulators of adipocytes, enterocytes and hepatocytes metabolism. We plan to further investigate the identified pathways and, in parallel, to utilize screening approaches to find other, noncanonical signaling modules (components of the ubiquitin system) regulating metabolism. By determining essential signaling networks this project will contribute to more targeted pharmacological strategies for treatment of metabolic diseases such as obesity, T2D and CAC.

Selected publications