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Acknowledgments

I thank my family for their great support and understanding for my work, my husband Kristof for his love and constant support with his valuable knowledge in medical research. I stopped counting how many times he saved me when I was desperate with my computer. I owe my children Maya and Niels a lot since they had to tolerate their Mom’s frequent physical and mental absence. But I was puzzled to realize how much their life was imprinted by their parent’s work. 5 year old Maya told me with a very serious facial expression that there was no time for cleaning up since she urgently had to finish slides for her next presentation.

I highly appreciate that my beloved parents provided me with a substantial education that enabled a great start into my professional career. Their believing in my own strengths and success helped to clear of many hurdles in my life. I am specially grateful to my mother who still supports us in so many ways, not only as an extraordinary stand-by babysitter for our children when ever our child care system breaks down.

Professor Klaus Vetter was my mentor for many years and he always tried to pave the way for my scientific ambitions and career that was not always easy in an institution outside the University. I remember very well the times when we sat in his office and he taught me how to write a scientific paper. I thank him for his patience and constant support.

With his help, I was able to leave Berlin and to work as a research fellow with Tom Buchanan and Siri Kjos at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I have to express my special gratitude for their great engagement to share their knowledge with me. I gained an incredible amount of experience as well in clinical research as in prenatal care of women with diabetes. Siri is not only still my long time partner in research projects but she and her family became very close friends for us.

My special thanks to Professor Joachim Dudenhausen, who might not be aware of that he set the grounds for my interest in diabetes and pregnancy. Right after the wall came down, he got me a position at Oskar-Ziethen-Hospital in the former East Berlin - a hospital that served as a center for diabetic pregnancies at that time. Many years later, he supported my application for a research grant of the Charité and became my mentor for my research fellowship at his department.

Last not least, I would like to thank all my colleagues, specially Dr. Angela Pandura and the midwifes who run with me the Diabetes Prenatal Care Clinic of Vivantes Medical Center Neukoelln for their pleasant and flexible cooperation and all my doctorates who joined part of my way.

All these individual people had been important and essential to accomplish my research.


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