The Institute of Pharmacology is concerned with studying the mechanisms behind cardiac insufficiency and discovering ways to help regenerate an insufficiently performing heart.

Cell-Based Reparation of Heart Muscle Defects

Damaged heart muscle tissue cannot simple repair itself following an event. The result is myocardial insufficiency, meaning the pumping function of the heart becomes limited. Myocardial insufficiency is a prevalent condition in both in adults and children and is difficult to treat. The Institute for Pharmacology is concerned with developing methods to (re)construct heart cells from stem cells to replace the damaged ones in individual cases and to test the therapeutic usefulness of this method.

Improvement of Drug Safety

Besides their desired, positive effects all drugs also have undesired side effects. Even with the prescribed “normal” dosage in some cases such side effects can become life-threatening. The therapeutic active principle of a substance sometimes does not reveal the reason behind such phenomena. The Institute for Pharmacology is also concerned with developing artificial tissue systems – for example, of the heart muscle, skeletal muscles, neuronal networks and liver tissue – which are then employed to test and hopefully better predict any undesired effects of drugs before they are used in clinical settings. This serves to ensure better overall drug safety.

Heart Development, Heart Muscle Cell Maturation and Heart Regeneration

The staff at the Institute for Pharmacology are also devoted to studying the processes that naturally occur during heart development. It is hoped that this method will eventually lead to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of heart diseases and provides hints at possible new therapeutic approaches for the biological reparation of heart tissue. It is especially interesting to observe the role of physical stimuli as well as their transmission into biological signals and signals for endogenous regeneration of the heart. In the end the goal is to develop not only innovative pharmacological, biophysical, genetically engineered and cell-biologically based approaches to protecting the heart, but also to find ways to activate natural regenerative processes.

Drug-Therapy Counseling

The Institute for Pharmacology also offers doctors in private practice as well as doctors working in clinics and hospitals a counseling service to answer special questions surrounding drug therapy and drug safety.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann
Prof. Dr. med. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann
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