Professor Dr. Ingrid Fleming from the Center for Molecular Medicine at Goethe University Frankfurt receives the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2022 for her research into the molecular causes of vascular diseases in connection with diabetes as well as circulatory diseases. She shares the prize equally with the Heidelberg based virologist Professor Dr Ralf Bartenschlager. The Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine is one of the highest endowed medical awards in Europe (currently EUR 300,000).
Diabetes mellitus is very often associated with blood vessel diseases. This affects both large arteries, such as leg arteries, and the smallest veins in the heart, brain, or eyes. This can ultimately lead to foot amputations due to leg vessel occlusion or other serious consequences such as heart attacks and blindness. But how are these secondary diseases triggered and what causes them to progress? Professor Ingrid Fleming investigates the mechanisms responsible for disease development at the molecular level and provides approaches for transferring the findings to medical practice. For example, she succeeded in identifying a messenger substance, a specific lipid mediator. This is responsible for so-called diabetic retinopathy, an eye change that develops as a result of diabetes mellitus. Additionally, she investigated how it could be treated with drugs using innovative methods.