Age-related changes of the cardiovascular system lay the basis for an increased cardiovascular disease risk. Ventricular-vascular stiffness and impaired relaxation are resulting, lead to clinical vascular and cardiac diseases and are causal for increased morbidity in the elderly. We focus on unraveling the mechanistic, molecular and cellular basis of the age-related changes of the cardiovascular system.
PD Dr. med. Christos Rammos
Ischemia/Reperfusion injury results from the first minutes of reperfusion. A key pathologic event in cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury is mitochondrial perturbation rendering the cardiomyocytes to necrotic or apoptotic cell death. We focus on the signaling pathways, which converge the death signals on mitochondria determining the cardiomyocytes fate.
PD Dr. rer. nat. Ulrike Hendgen-Cotta
Massive loss of cardiomyocytes in acute cardiac events overwhelms the limited regenerative capacity of the myocardium. We are studying the key signaling pathways of regulation of the inflammatory response in cardiac repair.
PD Dr. med. Matthias Totzeck
Diseases, such as atherosclerosis or myocardial infarction, feature well orchestrated inflammatory responses. Innate and adaptive immune cells are critically involved in the acute and chronic damage of heart and vasculature, but also carry out remodeling.
We are studying the control and contribution of monocyte/macrophage and lymphocyte subsets in cardiovascular disease.
Dr. med. Peter Lüdike
Dr. med. Martin Steinmetz
Cancer therapies can have deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system. These include myocardial dysfunction, arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, pulmonary hypertension, thrombo-embolic events, accelerated atherosclerosis, pericardial and valvular heart diseases. We are studying the underlying mechanisms of the toxicity.
Continuous contractile activity of the heart is essential and the required energy is mostly provided by fatty acid oxidation. Myocardial lipid accumulation can lead to pathological responses. We focus on the role of cardiac myoglobin in governing fatty acid metabolism to ensure the physiological energy production through β-oxidation and preventing myocardial lipid accumulation.