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Mainz University Medical Center receives further DFG funding for cardiovascular research

Research projects focus on aspects of the development of high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has again approved funding for the Department of Internal Medicine II of the Mainz University Medical Center to promote cardiovascular research – for the second time within only a few weeks.

The aim of the project currently being sponsored is to investigate the relationships between free radicals and disorders of the cardiovascular system. The team, led by biologist Dr. Swenja Kröller-Schön and PD Dr. Eberhard Schulz, senior physician at the Department of Internal Medicine II of the Mainz University Medical Center, has a particular interest in how specific enzyme systems regulate vascular function.

These significantly influence the formation of free radicals, inflammatory reactions, and vascularization. It is thus hoped that the results of this theoretical research will make it possible to diagnose vascular diseases at an even earlier stage and to intervene with targeted treatment to prevent related complications, such as myocardial infarction. The researchers intend to spend the approximately EUR 210,000 funding granted over the next two years on human resources and consumables.

In this project, the research team will be studying to what extent molecules that control the energy consumption of cells also have a long-term effect on vascular function. "This correlation seems to make sense because when energy reserves decrease, cells need to be supplied with substrates in the blood stream and, for this purpose, adequate dilation of the blood vessels is necessary. However, the correlations between the mechanisms involved in this process have still not been sufficiently explained," stated Kröller-Schön and Schulz.

The successful acquisition of third-party funds is also attributable to the strategy adopted by the University Medical Center, namely that of establishing specialized research units. Within this context, the research team led by Dr. Swenja Kröller-Schön and PD Dr. Eberhard Schulz has managed to form partnerships that are important for the future of translational medicine. "We are pleased that the German Research Foundation has recognized our achievements and has decided to sponsor us. The work of the Research Unit Vascular Prevention and the establishment of the Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH) with the support of the Mainz Heart Foundation have created an environment in which applications have a greater chance of success," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Münzel, Coordinator of the Research Unit Vascular Prevention at Mainz University Medical Center.

Petra Giegerich | idw
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