Zelluläre Biophysik und Translationale Kardiologie
Research Unit for Cellular Biophysics and Translational Cardiology
A major focus of our group are molecular and spatial mechanisms of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and changes in heart disease. In particular, we investigate calcium transport proteins in the context of native subcellular signaling nanodomains. An important example is the ryanodine receptor, an essential intracellular calcium release channel for heart and brain function. Ryanodine receptor dysfunction contributes to a spectrum of diseases including arrhythmias, heart failure, malignant hyperthermia, muscular dystrophy, and epilepsy. In electrically excitable cells like cardiac myocytes, ryanodine receptors are thought to contribute to point-like sources of intracellular calcium signals for highly localized control of subcellular signaling. In addition, ryanodine receptors form complex protein networks with sensory functions which may integrate stress signaling with calcium release. Current disease models predict that ryanodine receptor dysfunction contributes to cardiac arrhythmias and a loss of contractile function. Therefore, small drug compounds have been developed and are investigated for their potential to treat electrical or contractile cardiac dysfunction.
We employ a variety of research techniques including molecular biology, lipid bilayer single-channel measurements, cell biology, confocal and 2-photon microscopy, STED nanoscopy, patch-clamp, in vivo electrophysiology, and voltage imaging in intact tissue. Transgenic models of causative disease mutations or molecular targeting of signaling mechanisms are studied comprehensively from the molecule to organ levels. Much of our research is "translational" aiming to contribute to better understanding of the molecular basis of disease mechanisms. Additionally, novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies are developed.
We collaborate with outstanding scientists nationally and internationally in major research programs. This includes the Collaborative Research Unit SFB 1002, the Clinical Research Unit KFO 155, and the large-scale FP7 consortium EUTrigTreat (coordinated by Prof. Lehnart). We work closely with the Biochemistry institutes (Prof. Schwappach), with the Biomedical Physics group of the Max-Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (Prof. Luther, Prof. Bodenschatz), and with the Dept. of NanoBiophotonics of the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Prof. Hell). Together with other investigators of the Heart Research Center Goettingen we contribute to several projects of the National Genome Research Network (NGFN+) and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).
Arbeitsgruppenleiter und SFB1002-Teilprojektleiter
Sekretariat Prof. Lehnart
PhD Student - IRTG 1816
Arbeitsgruppenleiter Kardiale Sheddomik, Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, TU Dresden
Novartis Pharma GmbH