The major goal
of the research group is to uncover the mechanisms of progressive fibrosis and
based on such new knowledge develop novel pharmacologic treatment that may halt
further fibrosis. Fibrosis is the increased generation of connective tissue and
deposition of collagen in organs affected by chronic disease. Fibrosis itself
is an important contributing factor to organ failure in several diseases, e.g.
heart failure, chronic kidney disease and interstitial lung diseases. Fibrosis
may also reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy of certain types of cancer. Cardiac
fibrosis is an important cause of arrhythmias and may contribute to both
systolic dysfunction (e.g. ischemic heart disease) and diastolic dysfunction
(e.g. hypertensive heart disease or myocardial dysfunction associated with
metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus). The current major focus of
the research group is the matricellular CCN proteins, a family of secreted
proteins involved in tissue repair mechanisms. Several CCN family members are
verified disease targets in the mechanisms of fibrosis. Yet, our knowledge on
how CCN proteins work on cells and orchestrate intracellular signal mechanisms
is still poorly understood.
research group consists of an interdisciplinary team of molecular biologists,
cell biologists, and medical doctors. The research is covering a wide spectrum
from biochemistry, cell biology, to physiologic and pathophysiologic studies of
genetically engineered laboratory animals.