Marc Y. Donath is Head of the Clinic for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, and Professor for Endocrinology at the University of Basel. His main scientific contribution is the description of an inflammatory process underlying beta cell failure and apoptosis in Type 2 diabetes, with a central role for IL-1beta. On the basis of this he initiated a pioneering clinical trial in patients with Type 2 diabetes that vindicates his hypothesis and opens the way for a causative treatment and prevention of diabetes. These studies have now entered the phase 3 of clinical trials. Beyond his special focus on the beta cell he has shown that elevated IL-6 mediates a cross talk between insulin sensitive tissues, L cells and pancreatic islets to adapt to changes in insulin. Finally, recently Dr. Donath has uncovered the first monogenic form of type 1 diabetes. Overall this research has contributed to the concept that the innate immune system is part of the regulation of metabolism.
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