One of IDF Europe's main activities is policy and advocacy at the regional and national level.
At regional level, the main targets of IDF Europe are the EU Institutions (European Parliament and European Commission), the Council of Europe and the World Health Organization European Region.
At national level, the Federation acts as a bridge for its Members by informing them on the latest policy developments Europe-wide. This way, national members can perform their policy and advocay activities at national level, using regional activities as a reference.
What has been the impact of the IDF Europe Prize on your research career?
The IDF Europe award was of exceptional significance for our whole group and personally a wonderful acknowledgement of the daily work in this field.
Which charity benefited from your €10,000 prize donation? Why did you choice this one? Do you know what your donation helped achieve?
The prize was donated to the Zuckerstachel E.V. an organization located in Dresden, Germany, that does great work for children with type 1 diabetes. When I first told them about the prize and my intention to donate to their organization, they were speechless. For me personally, it was a quite overwhelming experience to be able to give such joy to great people.
Type 1 diabetes is not only a serious and lifelong burden for these young patients but for the whole family. Besides aiming for the most optimal treatment and medical support of these patients, the social and psychological support of families is of critical importance. This organization is a charitable society, led by diabetologists, diabetes nurses, nutritionists, and other enthusiastic people that strive for enabling a safe, "normal", and happy life for children with diabetes. One of the highlights in their activities is the organization of a yearly summer camp in the mountains of Saxony for almost fifty "Sugar-Kids" for two weeks. It is often the first time for these children to be away from their parents and a wonderful and adventurous experience.
The Prize was used to sponsor this summer camp in 2016. 45 kids participated and enjoyed a gorgeous 2 weeks camp. And parents greatly appreciate knowing the kids are professionally taken care of and seeing their kids becoming self-dependent and responsible.
How is your research progressing since the Prize?
My particular research is focusing on beta cell replacement therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes. Lately we saw great progress in this field and it seems realistic that within the next years we will see a significant extension of therapeutic options. These shall bring us at least a bit closer to the vision of functionally curing diabetes.