The Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy to Bridge Interest Gaps and Borders

Posted on 31.03.2023

Despite many similarities between diabetes and other endocrine conditions, the research field of classical endocrinology is far behind research into diabetes. And despite the fact that collaboration improves research quality, it is often left out of the process. Professor Gudmundur Johannsson from the University of Gothenburg hopes that the establishment of the Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy (DDEA) will increase interest in the field of classical endocrinology and promote international collaboration.

When Professor Gudmundur Johannsson spoke at the first DDEA PhD course ‘Bridging Endocrinology with Metabolism’, we asked him what he thinks the DDEA can contribute with to the field of classical endocrinology. Below are Gudmundur Johannsson’s thoughts on the topic.

The DDEA to bridge the gap between researchers across borders

International collaboration improves research quality, and many researchers are interested in collaborating. However, international collaboration is harder and slows down the process when compared to conducting research on your own, which is why, I think, this aspect of research is often left out. I think the DDEA will be able to bridge the current gap between researchers and help promote international collaboration.

The DDEA can heighten interest into classical endocrinology

Compared to research within the field of diabetes, the field of classical endocrinology is far behind. And this is despite the fact that there are similar qualities between and prevalence of diabetic and endocrine conditions. There are many similarities between diabetes type 1 and Addison’s disease, for example: You lack a hormone, and if you do not get it, you will die. Another very common endocrine disorder are thyroid disorders which affects around 5 – 10 per cent of the population, just like the diabetic population.

However, the interest into researching the management of the diseases has evolved very differently throughout the last 10 – 20 years. The scientific interest in developing new therapeutic options for diabetes has exploded, whereas the development of management of Addison’s and many other endocrine disease is very limited: Nothing has happened therapeutically for many years.

An organization such as the DDEA, which has been a part of the development of the management of diabetes for many years as the Danish Diabetes Academy, can use its experience on methodology to improve the development of other endocrine disorders.

New ways to manage endocrine conditions

I think it will heighten the interest in the field of classical endocrinology. Today, the club of experts within this field is small, especially when compared to the large scientific society that researches diabetes. However, at the DDEA PhD course ‘Bridging Metabolism with Endocrinology’, we saw early-career researchers come together with experts to present data on hormones and rare endocrine diseases. I think this will generate new interest in data and in the end to finding new ways to manage endocrine diseases and new therapeutic options.

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