Prof. Dr. Paul T. Pfluger


Neurobiology of Diabetes

Academic Career and Research Areas

Dr. Pfluger’s academic research is directed towards elucidating molecular mechanisms that regulate the CNS control of energy and glucose homeostasis. His most recent work focuses on exploring the epigenetic control of weight cycling and the enigma that is leptin resistance.

He earned his Master in Human and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Konstanz, Germany, subsequently graduated in Biochemistry of Micronutrients at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Potsdam, Germany, and continued his education as postdoctoral fellow at the Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati. In summer 2009, he was awarded a faculty position as Research Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, OH. In October 2011 he returned to Europe to serve as Associate Director of the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the Helmholtz Centre Munich, Germany. In April 2015, he was appointed head of the Research Unit NeuroBiology of Diabetes at the Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany. Since July 2019, he is an Associate Professor at the TUM School of Medicine.


    • Helmholtz Young Investigator Diabetes (HelDi) Award Nominee (2016)
    • Member of the expert panel on diabetes, obesity and metabolism for the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) (2017)
    • Young Investigator Award, Society for Free Radical Research Europe (2002)

    Schriever SC, Kabra DG, Pfuhlmann K, Baumann P, Baumgart EV, Nagler J, Seebacher F, Harrison L, Irmler M, Kullmann S, Corrêa-da-Silva F, Giesert F, Jain R, Schug H, Castel J, Martinez S, Wu M, Häring HU, de Angelis MH, Beckers J, Müller TD, Stemmer K, Wurst W, Rozman J, Nogueiras R, De Angelis M, Molkentin JD, Krahmer N, Yi CX, Schmidt MV, Luquet S, Heni M, Tschöp MH, Pfluger PT: “Type 2 diabetes risk gene Dusp8 regulates hypothalamic Jnk signaling and insulin sensitivity”. J Clin Invest. 2020 Oct 12; 136363.


    Harrison L, Schriever SC, Feuchtinger A, Kyriakou E, Baumann P, Pfuhlmann K, Messias AC, Walch A, Tschöp MH, Pfluger PT: "Fluorescent blood brain barrier tracing shows intact leptin transport in obese mice". International Journal of Obesity. 2019; 43(6): 1305-1318.


    Pfuhlmann K, Schriever SC, Baumann P, Kabra DG, Harrison L, Mazibuko-Mbeje SE, Contreras RE, Kyriakou E, Simonds SE, Tiganis T, Cowley MA, Woods SC, Jastroch M, Clemmensen C, De Angelis M, Schramm KW, Sattler M, Messias AC, Tschöp MH, Pfluger PT: "Celastrol Induced Weight Loss is Driven by Hypophagia and Independent From UCP1." Diabetes. 2018; 67(11): 2456-2465.


    Kabra DG, Pfuhlmann K, García-Cáceres C, Schriever SC, Casquero García V, Kebede AF, Fuente-Martin E, Trivedi C, Heppner K, Uhlenhaut NH, Legutko B, Kabra UD, Gao Y, Yi CX, Quarta C, Clemmensen C, Finan B, Müller TD, Meyer CW, Paez-Pereda M, Stemmer K, Woods SC, Perez-Tilve D, Schneider R, Olson EN, Tschöp MH, Pfluger PT: "Hypothalamic Leptin Action is Mediated by Histone Deacetylase 5". Nature Communications. 2016; 7.


    Pfluger PT, Kabra DG, Aichler M, Schriever SC, Pfuhlmann K, García VC, Lehti M, Weber J, Kutschke M, Rozman J, Elrod JW, Hevener AL, Feuchtinger A, Hrabě de Angelis M, Walch A, Rollmann SM, Aronow BJ, Müller TD, Perez-Tilve D, Jastroch M, De Luca M, Molkentin JD, Tschöp MH: "Calcineurin Links Mitochondrial Elongation with Energy Metabolism". Cell Metabolism. 2015; 22 (5): 838-850.