On June 16 and 17, 2016 I attended the 5th DZL International Symposium in Hamburg. The DZL is a very famous organization for lung research - this symposium was very special as all partners from the German Centre for Cardiovascular Disease (DZHK), the Cluster of Excellence “Inflammation at interfaces” and the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) came together to present their recent data and discuss collaborative projects.
The presenters of the DZHK session for heart & lung research have nicely demonstrated the strong interaction of cardio-pulmonary diseases at the population level. There is an existing epidemiological relevance of ischemic heart disease (IHD) and coronary heart disease (CAD) in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Prof. Stefan Blankenberg from the University Heart Center, Hamburg Clinic for General and Interventional Cardiology and Principal Investigator of the DZHK has highlighted high sensitivity troponin I (hs-Tn) as a cardiac specific biomarker which is also found in COPD patients and therefore serves as an interesting target for the prediction of respiratory outcome. Interestingly, CAD is one of the main causes of death in patients with COPD.
Therefore, it was not surprising that our poster about the CAD risk gene ADAMTS-7 and its smoke interaction evoked such a strong interest and had such a nice feedback. Our ADAMTS-7 research nicely combines both diseases, CAD as well as COPD. Moreover, smoking Drosophilas are always a big highlight, especially because we have obtained so much insight about cigarette-associated diseases from the smoke transcriptome analysis.
Last but not least, I am glad to have met Prof. Dr. Matthias Knopp from Lübeck (Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy) and Prof. Dr. Peter Zabel from Borstel with whom I had interesting discussions about co-operations for the near future.
Overall a very interesting, informative meeting which stands for a successful integration of pulmonary and cardiovascular research!