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Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine

Cover Story: Age-related changes of the intracardiac nervous system [02/2024]

Cover story by Sassu et al. published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology reveals age-related structural and functional changes of the intracardiac nervous system.

Special Issue: Recent advances in optogenetic tool design and application [12/2023]

A Special Issue on Recent advances in optogenetic tool design and application has been published in Pflügers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology. The article collection was co-edited by Franziska Schneider-Warme, head of the Cardiac Optogenetics Section at IEKM, and contains exciting articles covering both the development of novel optogenetic tools and optical technologies, as well as their use for illuminating cell signalling and physiological processes at tissue and whole-organ level.

Most Promising Technology prize for Enaam Chleilat [10/2023]

Congratulations to Enaam Chleilat for being awarded the Most Promising Technology prize at the MedFIT 2023 event in Strasbourg. This spotlight was for a newly patented, innovative dual-balloon & dual-flow catheter to prevent fatal arrhythmias in post-ischaemia reperfusion. This is a smarter, safer and versatile reperfusion approach compared to existing strategies. MedFIT is a leading medical technology European partnering event, that provides the ideal environment to help industry players to source early-stage assets, to facilitate the emergence of collaborative projects between big players, public research institutions, start-ups and SMEs, to increase licensing opportunities, to obtain funding and to facilitate market access. We wish Enaam and team (Callum Zgierski-Johnston and Peter Kohl) much success going from discovery to market. [Press release] [Press release MedFIT]

IUPS Fellows 2023: Ursula Ravens and Peter Kohl [06/2023]

Congratulations! Ursula Ravens, guest professor at the Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine (IEKM), and Peter Kohl, director of IEKM and speaker of CRC1425, have been appointed Fellows by the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS). The IUPS is a global umbrella organisation representing more than 60 physiological societies worldwide. It promotes and links biophysiological research on a national and international level. Each year, up to 30 new Fellows are appointed who have made exceptional contributions to the physiological sciences.

New Master’s programme starting in winter term 2023/2024 [02/2023]

In the coming winter semester the new Master of Science programme Medical Sciences - Cardiovascular Research developed by the IEKM will open its doors.

The course prepares basic scientists for a PhD in the field of cardiovascular science. The one-year curriculum is divided into two parts: the first consisting of a taught course to develop breadth and depth of understanding in the subject matter and the second dedicated to project-related research. The English-language course has been designed to offer a broad knowledge base of structure and function of the cardiovascular system: all taught modules contain learning content from pre-clinical and clinical cardiovascular medicine, with a strong focus on hands-on training. Students benefit from the international and interdisciplinary character of the programme as well as from the student-centric organization in small cohorts of only six students.

Applications can be submitted via HisInOne from 1st of March 2023.

Rising Star Talk Award for Hannah Kappler (11/2022)

At the 4th Research Day of Paediatrics in Freiburg, Hannah Kappler, paediatric cardiologist and scientist in the IEKM section 4D Imaging/Cardiac NanoDynamics, received an award for the best talk.
In her presentation, entitled "Disease severity and fibrosis are associated with distinct action potential shape in right ventricular myocardium of patients with congenital heart defects", Hannah reported on possible pro-arrhythmogenic factors in the myocardium of patients with congenital heart defects in relation to electrophysiological and structural remodelling as well as clinical phenotype.
The Rising Star Talk Award was endowed with 1000 €. Congratulations!

Novel light-gated K+ channel enables efficient silencing of excitable cell activity (11/2022)

Published in Science Advances in November 2022, Vierock and coworkers provide a detailed insight into the molecular mechanism underlying K+ selectivity in Kalium Channelrhodopsins and discover WiChR, a potent candidate for optogenetic silencing. IEKM-based researchers show that WiChR-based currents reversibly inhibit the electromechanical activity of stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes.

[direct link to article]

2021 TOP 3 original research publication on JMCC: Nano-scale morphology of cardiomyocyte T-Tubule/sarcoplasmic reticulum junctions revealed by ultra-rapid high pressure freezing and electron tomography (01/2022)

In this recently published story by Eva Rog-Zielinska and colleagues that made it to the top-3 original research papers of 2021 on JMCC, they demonstrate thanks to recent developments in ‘near-native’ sample preparation techniques that the dyadic cleft looks different to what has been widely assumed to date, with dramatic qualitative and quantitative differences in the sarcoplasmic reticulum morphology.

[direct link to article]

Freiburg ranked TOP3 in "Lonely Planets Best in Travel 2022" (10/2021)

The new book "Lonely Planets Best in Travel 2022" ranks Freiburg TOP3 for its "enviable quality of life", behind  Auckland (NZ) and Taipei (TWN)!

[press article]

Call for a National Cardiovascular Strategy (10/2021)

In a recently published position paper, the German Society of Cardiology - Cardiovascular Research (DGK), the German Heart Foundation (DHS) and other cardiac societies call for a national cardiovascular strategy:
As the No.1 cause of death - with an upward trend - innovative research and treatments for cardiovascular diseases must be better supported.

[Official press release]

Walter Benjamin Fellowship for Dr Enaam Chleilat (07/2021)

Congratulations to Dr Enaam Chleilat, who has been awarded a DFG-funded Walter Benjamin Fellowship to investigate ischaemia-reperfusion arrhythmias where Enaam and colleagues have discovered a potential novel mechanism.

The intracardiac nervous system makes the cover of the current issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (JMCC, 04/2021)

In the story published online in February 2021, Luis Hortells and his colleagues from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital show the different developmental origins of the intracardiac nervous system cell populations. Additionally, they describe a subpopulation of periostin-expressing Schwann cells and endonurial cardiac fibroblasts that is required for normal sympathetic cardiac innervation and heart rhythm control.

[direct link to article]

Now also published in print: Cover story gives novel insight into cardiac T-tubule homeostasis (Circulation Research 01/2021)

In the recently published cover story, Eva Rog-Zielinska and colleagues showed, that cardiac T-tubules cyclically deform during each heartbeat, leading to ‘pumping’ of content, and providing a novel insight into T-tubule homeostasis in health and disease.

[direct link to article]