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Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg - Bad KrozingenUniversitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg - Bad Krozingen


Virtual seminar at the University of Cincinnati: Franziska Schneider-Warme

Franziska Schneider-Warme will give an exciting seminar within the series “Rising stars in cardiovascular research”, organised by the Early Career Cardiovascular Researchers at CCHMC/University of Cincinnati: 07 December 2020 at 4pm CET. Register here for the virtual seminar.

BBC Travel article about Freiburg (07/2020)

Have you ever wondered what life is like in Freiburg? Here is a great BBC travel article.

New Collaborative Research Centre approved

The Collaborative Research Centre 1425 on "The heterocellular nature of cardiac lesions: Identities, interactions, implications" will be funded by the DFG with 11 million euros for four years starting on 1st July 2020.
The CRC 1425 brings together 26 scientists from the University Heart Centre Freiburg - Bad Krozingen, the University Hospital Freiburg, the Medical, Biological and Technical Faculties of the University of Freiburg, the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, as well as from the universities of Heidelberg, Bonn and Frankfurt. [Official Press Release]

Cardiac Mechano-Electric Coupling: Acute Effects of Mechanical Stimulation on Heart Rate and Rhythm (Physiological Reviews, 05/2020)

A review article by Alexander Quinn and Peter Kohl, recently published in the journal Physiological Reviews, discusses the latest findings on the effects of mechano-electrical coupling on heart rate and on arrhythmia for- mation and termination. [direct link to article]

Novel mechanisms for control of nuclear stability (Nature Cell Biology 10/2019)

Nuclear nano-structure and -mechanics are important determinants of cell behaviour such as proliferation and migration. This publication describes the role of histone acetyltransferase MOF in acetylating nuclear lamin, and thus exerting control of the structural and mechanical integrity of the nucleus. MOF-deficient cells display pronounced nuclear abnormal- ities such as fuzzy lamina and disrupted heterochromatin domains (assessed by        Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska using electron microscopy), and decreased nuclear stiffness and in consequence proneness to rupture (investigated by Dr Rémi Peyronnet using nano-indentation). The overall work describes novel mechanisms for control of nuclear stability, with important implications for the processes such as ageing and cancer growth, and has been jointly conducted with the laboratory of Dr Asifa Akhtar at the MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg. [direct link to article]

Genetic trigger discovered for mitral valve prolapse (Science Translational Medicine 05/2019)

Although mitral valve prolapse is one of the most common heart diseases, the cause was completely unknown. Until today.
An international team of researchers led by  Russel A Norris, Professor at the renowned Medical University of South Carolina, has now been able to show that genetic defects in the primary cilia of the heart valve cells during embryonic development are the triggers of this heart disease. If these cilia - cellular antennas receiving signals from their environment - are defective or even non-existent, the cells lose their ability to grow correctly. As a result, the normal structure of the valve changes and over time leads to mitral valve insufficiency.
The IEKM team around Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska provided the irrefutable proof that the structures observed are indeed primary cilia. This required 3D electron microscopic reconstructions of the nano-structure at a resolution of 1nm3. [direct link to article]

Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms 2019

The recent GRC on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms and it's associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) was a great success to IEKM.

We had 2 invited lectures at GRS (Enaam Chleilat and Ramona Emig), one poster selected talk
(Marbely Calderón-Fernández) and one invited lecture (Eva Rog-Zielinska) at GRC.
Enaam Chleilat was awarded the best GRS talk, and was therefore invited to present at GRC. Ana Simón Chica was awarded the first poster prize. CONGRATULATIONS!

Best Manuscript Award (Circulation Research 11/2018)

The paper by Kensuke Tsushima et al has been awarded one of five Best Manuscript Awards by the Editors of Circulation Research. Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska from IEKM contributed 3D electron microscopic reconstructions, which revealed snake-like remodelling of mitochondria in diseased heart that would have been mis-interpreted as an accumulation of many small mitochondria in 2D sections. This image was previously selected for a Biomedical Picture of the day. [press release] [direct link to article]

Emmy Noether Fellowship for Dr Franziska Schneider-Warme (11/2018)

The DFG has awarded Dr Franziska Schneider-Warme as an excellent scientist with an Emmy Noether Fellowship. As head of a junior research group, she and her team will focus on the topic of "Optical steering of cellular biophysics in native myocardium: illuminating interstitial and myeloid cell contributions to cardiac electrophysiology". [official press release]

New Light-Switch to Inhibit Cells (Nature Communications, 11/2018)

Optogenetics is a dynamic research field wherein cell biological questions are assessed using light. A newly developed optogenetic system enables the targeted suppression of electrical impulses and their conduction upon illumination by short blue-light flashes. [official press release] [direct link to article]

Emmy Noether Fellowship for Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska (06/2018)

The DFG has awarded Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska as an excellent scientist with an Emmy Noether Fellowship. As head of a junior research group, she and her team will focus on the topic of "Dynamic mapping of heart cell 3D ultrastructure and function ". [official press release]

3D electron tomography of mitochondria in heart cells (Biomedical Picture of the Day, 02/2018)

3D electron microscopic reconstructions, conducted by Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska from IEKM, revealed snake-like remodelling of mitochondria in diseased heart that would have been mis-interpreted as an accumulation of many small mitochondria in 2D sections. [Biomedical Picture of the Day] [direct link to article]

A hard blow to the chest may cause sudden cardiac death (Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 08/2017)

Recently published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology - A hard blow to the chest may release a dangerous excitation of the heart / Sudden cardiac death in sports. [official press release] [direct link to article]

Immune cells conduct electricity in the heart (Cell, 04/2017)

Recently published in Cell - Electrical coupling of muscle cells and macrophages in the heart / Findings may lead to new therapeutic approaches for treating cardiac infarction and arrhythmias. [official press release] [direct link to article]

The spark of life (PNAS, 12/2016)

As just published in PNAS - finger-like contact between an active, action potential generating, muscle cell (surface-rendered in blue) and a passive non-muscle cell (green). The contact is thought to electrify the non-myocyte, inducing action potential-like fluctuations in electrical parameters that may be passed on to other cells in the tissue, forming a basis for passive conduction across scars in the heart. [official press release] [direct link to article]

Targeting cardiac fibrosis (Nat Rev Drug Disc, 06/2016)

Our understanding of the functions of cardiac fibroblasts has moved beyond their roles in heart structure. [direct link to article]