Adipokines are messenger molecules, produced by fat cells and other cells of the adipose tissue, particularly infiltrating inflammatory cells (i.e. macrophages). Adipokines mediate the interaction between adipose tissue and the immune system and the crosstalk of adipose tissue inflammation to other tissues and organs. Adipokines are hence crucial for the development of metabolic disorders.
Diabete mellitus - often simply referred to as diabetes -is a condition in which a person has a high blood sugar (glucose) level, because the body doesn't produce enough insulin and/or because body cells don't properly respond to the insulin that is produced.
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. Body mass index (BMI) defines people as overweight (pre-obese) when their BMI is between 25 kg/m2 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.

The Project

Daily work at the bench

The research project TOBI focuses on the identification of molecules that can be used as targets for new drugs against obesity-related disorders such as diabetes.


Seven academic research institutions together with 3 small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) combine their expertise and efforts for reaching this aim.


The project is coordinated by Prof. Thomas Stulnig at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and is endowed with EUR 2.98 million of EU funding.


TOBI pays particular attention to the adipokines.


The Partners

The TOBI-consortium is formed by 10 partners from 5 different countries, including 3 SMEs and 7 universities. This consortium combines scientific and technical expertise of following partners: Medical University of Vienna (AT), biolution GmbH (AT), University of Cologne (DE), University of Ancona (IT), Genfit SA (FR), pharm-analyt GmbH (AT), University of Durham (UK), Institute Pasteur de Lille (FR), University of Edinburgh (UK) and the University of Graz (AT). more information

TOBI Toolbox

Analysis of cell samples

For optimizing their collaboration, the TOBI-partners established a TOBI Toolbox. This TOBI Toolbox consists of the TOBI Standards and the TOBI Biobank. TOBI Standards are standard operating procedures (SOPs) – detailed written working instructions - that guarantee uniform operating methods in clinical trials, animal and in vitro experiments of all consortium partners. The TOBI Biobank is a collection of human samples including standardised characterisation of donors that is made available to all TOBI-partners.