Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin - Pädiatrische Kardiologie

Project 1: Regeneration of the embryonic heart

The postnatal mammalian heart is considered a terminally differentiated organ with little (if any) regenerative capacity. Consequently, the loss of cardiomyocytes due to various pathological stimuli (such as ischemia, toxins, drugs, viral infections or genetic alterations) inevitably results in reduced cardiac function and ultimately heart disease or failure. In contrast, the prenatal heart possesses an impressive growth plasticity in response to both endogenous as well as environmental or maternal conditions. Our recent findings have shown that the embryonic murine heart has a remarkable regenerative capacity...

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Project 2: Cardiac growth and organ size control

The heart is the first internal organ system that needs to be fully functional during mammalian embryonic development. Therefore, both the early patterning events of the embryonic heart as well as growth and maturation of the various cardiac compartments during embryonic, fetal and postnatal life are imperative for survival of the organism.

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Project 3: Fetal programming of heart disease in adulthood

Unfavorable intrauterine growth conditions have been shown to predispose the heart for cardiac disease later in life, a process referred to as fetal programming. Generally, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) often results in reduced heart size at birth characterized by a reduced complement of cardiomyocytes. We have recently shown in mice that neonatal cardiac hypoplasia alters postnatal cardiac growth pattern...

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Project 4: Cell death and stress response in embryonic versus adult cardiomyocytes

Besides different regenerative approaches to replace diseased cells with new cardiomyocytes and restore cardiac function after injury, another important strategy is to prevent cell loss in the first place and increase the stress tolerance and survival of cardiomyocytes upon the impact of unfavorable conditions, a process referred to as cardioprotection.

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Research projects (english)
Forschungsprojekte (deutsch)