Hooray! Funding from BHF and DZHK!

Great news for our institute, the university, and the whole consortium!

We succeeded to get funded jointly by the BHF and DZHK. Great research will be done!

In 2018, for the first time, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and DZHK came together to create a partnership research funding scheme to encourage international collaboration between cardiovascular researchers in the UK and Germany.

The aim was to fund innovative cardiovascular research with the potential for improved clinical diagnosis, prevention or treatment.

Together with colleagues from Munich (Heri Schunkert, Christian Weber) and UK (Shu Ye, John Danesh) Hugh Watkins and I will work on "Genetic discovery-based targeting of the vascular interface in atherosclerosis".

In addition to our Institute , the Institute of Neuro-genetics (Director: Prof. Christine Klein) at our campus with the Platform for Applied Stem Cell Biology (led by Prof. Philip Seibler) is also involved in this project.
This collaborative project aims to help understand how our genes affect our risk of heart disease. Studies involving large groups of people with and without heart disease have identified changes in the DNA code that are more frequent in people with the disease.

We found many of these DNA changes are in genes involved in the wall of our blood vessels, an essential biological system in the development of heart disease. We will combine innovative computational and experimental methods to investigate these genes in great detail to understand how exactly they affect disease risk, and to translate this knowledge into new treatments.

The project is funded with a total of 2.2 million € over 4 years, half financed by BHF and DZHK.

We were very pleased to hear the funding decision. The project now funded builds on more than 10 years of very successful cooperation between Lübeck, Munich, Oxford and Leicester. The two EU consortia "Cardiogenics" and "CVgenes@target", which were coordinated by the University of Lübeck, laid the foundation for the project.”

The great opportunity for this consortium is the combination of state-of-the-art computer-aided methods and laboratory methods such as iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) and genome editing. This is also where the cooperation with the Institute of Neurogenetics within the project starts.

The "Applied Stem Cell Biology" section headed by Prof. Philip Seibler will supply us with induced pluripotent stem cells, which we will reprogram into cells lining the vessel wall and then functionally characterize. 

We hope that this will provide us with new insights into the role of the vascular wall in the development of myocardial infarction and thus new long-term therapeutic goals.

My latest video project can be viewed here. On Twitter it already hits more than 1.100 views (!).