TRR259 - Aortic Disease
University of Bonn
TRR259 - Aortic Disease
University of Cologne
TRR259 - Aortic Disease
University of Düsseldorf
TRR259 - Aortic Disease
TRR259 - Aortic Disease
TRR259 - Aortic Disease


The research program is divided into four main research areas. Area A investigates the resident and Area B non-resident molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic disease. Area C focuses on preclinical and clinical translational research. Area D contains the central projects. 

A particular focus has been set on aortic valve stenosis, aortic aneurysm, and aortic dissection.

project overview.png
© Sebastian Zimmer
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Sebastian Zimmer


The projects were selected for this consortium to collaboratively address the following fundamental questions:

  • Which danger signals, mediators, and cytokines govern the pathological interaction in-between circulating cells and between non-resident and resident cells?
    What are the key cellular players in the innate and adaptive immune processes that are involved in aortic disease?
  • How do red blood cells, platelets, and perivascular adipocytes contribute to aortic disease?
  • What is the role of endothelial cell specificity, redox homeostasis, mechanotransduction, and extracellular vesicle release for the initiation and progression of aortic disease?
  • Which specific signaling pathways in interstitial smooth muscle cells drive aortic disease?
  • How do resident cell death pathways influence aortic wall inflammation and extracellular matrix composition?
  • What are the detailed mechanisms and consequences of modification of the extracellular matrix in the aorta?
  • Which are the underlying genes involved in human aortic disease and how can we translate animal models to the human diseases?


Research Area A - Non-resident mechanisms of aortic and aortic valve disease

© COLOURBOX_cb_29075120

The Research area A (systemic, non-resident mechanisms) comprises factors, signals, and cells (such as leukocytes, red blood cells, platelets, and adipocytes) and their respective messengers, that are not originating from or residing in aortic tissue. We have divided this area into an inflammatory (A01-A03, A05, A09) and a non-inflammatory (A07-A08) section.




Project leaders  


PhD Students in the iRTG

Research Area C - Preclinical and clinical translation

© Cristian Storto Fotografia

The ultimate goal of the consortium is to improve prevention, detection and treatment of aortic disease. For this, translation of preclinical findings to patient care is essential and requires primary cells, cell organoids, small and large animal models, as well as human studies in order to holistically perform disease modelling, disease phenotyping, diagnostics, risk stratification and therapeutic interventions. Projects in research area C are dedicated to this translational focus. 

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