07. June 2022

Marfan Research Prize 2020/2021 Marfan Research Prize

Working group awarded

The Marfan Research Prize 2020/2021 goes to the Experimental Cardiology working group of Clinic III for Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Cologne and the Medical Faculty.

Dr. Dennis Mehrkens, Dr. Felix Nettersheim and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Matti Adam got this research award for the project "Importance of necrotic cell death in the development of Marfan syndrome (MFS)-associated aortic aneurysms".
Marfan syndrome is an incurable genetic disease of the connective tissue. It commonly affects the eyes, heart, blood vessels, and skeleton. Decisive for the prognosis of the disease is the often occurring enlargement of the main artery (aortic aneurysm), which can be fatal if left untreated.
Currently, there are only limited drug therapy options, which is why many of those affected have to undergo surgery at a young age. The scientists of the Cologne working group discovered that so-called necroptosis, a special form of programmed cell death, occurs more frequently in Marfan aortas. In the present project, it is now to be investigated whether necroptosis is a critical event in the development of the aortic aneurysm. For this purpose, the exact interaction between necroptosis and remodeling processes of the vessel wall is to be broken down in cell culture experiments. Furthermore, in the animal model of Marfan syndrome, it is investigated whether and how a genetic and pharmacological deactivation of necroptosis affects the development of aneurysms.
In this experiment, it is hypothesized that the aorta has a smaller diameter when necroptosis is genetically disabled. If this is confirmed, an attempt will be made to transfer this experiment to humans. In perspective, this work could contribute to identifying mediators of necroptotic cell death as target structures of preventive drug therapies, which could avoid surgery and improve the prognosis of those affected.

(c) https://webstatic.uk-koeln.de/im/news/240497/lightbox/Priv.-Doz.%20Dr.%20Matti%20Adam,%20Dr.%20Felix%20Nettersheim%20und%20Dr.%20Dennis%20Mehrkens%20(v.l.),%20Fotos:%20Michael%20Wodak.png

picture: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Matti Adam, Dr. Felix Nettersheim und Dr. Dennis Mehrkens (v.l.), Photos: Michael Wodak

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