Institute Physiologie und… Herz- und… Thomas Korff Forschung


Vascular research belongs to the most rapidly growing biomedical disciplines as the understanding of mechanisms supporting vascular health or promoting vascular damage are critical to cope with life-threatening cardiovascular diseases. Detrimental alterations of the vascular system are mainly driven by chronically exposing blood vessels to stressors such as hypertension (mechanical stress) or elevated cholesterol levels (metabolic stress). They trigger adaptive responses of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, which in turn evoke long-lasting phenotypic changes and remodeling of the vessel wall (e.g. arteriosclerosis).
The focus of our group is on the investigation of mechanisms controlling stress responses of vascular cells, which precede or directly cause (pathophysiological) vascular remodeling processes. We specifically addressing the question how environmental stress modifies the phenotype and interaction of endothelial and smooth muscle cells to promote structural alterations of blood vessels and the formation of arteriosclerotic lesions.