Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Research

Henning Morawietz, PhD, Professor & Chief, FAHA

mora.jpgEndothelium and cardiovascular diseases

Clinical importance and main research focus

Cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of mortality in the industrial countries. Arteriosclerosis is considered to play a key role in this process, because the progression of this disease increases the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke The endothelial cells form the inner layer of the blood vessels and play an important in the development and progression of arteriosclerosis.

Local differences in hemodynamic forces acting by the flowing blood on the cells of the vessel wall have been postulated as a putative mechanism for the localization of arteriosclerotic plaques. One major focus of our research is therefore the identification of molecular changes in response to different hemodynamic forces in human endothelial cells. A second research focus is the investigation of putative proarteriosclerotic mechanisms like increased oxidative stress or augmented uptake of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) by the vasoactive peptides endothelin-1, angiotensin II and aldosterone in endothelial cells. In addition, we are interested in the mechanisms of arteriovenous differentiation of endothelial cells. We extend our in vitro studies subsequently in experimental and clinical studies in vivo and analyze the putative antiarteriosclerotic potential of pharmacological intervention in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system or lipid-lowering drugs.

We try to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the role of endothelial dysfunction in the development of cardiovascular diseases?
  2. Is the increased formation of reactive oxygen species and oxidized lipoproteins involved in these processes?
  3. How differentiate endothelial cells into an arterial or venous phenotype?
  4. Can medications improve vascular function and reduce arteriosclerosis?

Curriculum Vitae

1982 - 87
Studies in Biology (Genetics), Martin Luther University (MLU) Halle-Wittenberg
1987
Diploma Thesis in Biology (Genetics)
1987 - 90
Ph.D. Student, Institute of Genetics, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
1988 - 89
Biological Research Center Szeged
1990
Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.)
1990 - 94
Research Associate (Post doc), Institute of Genetics, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Additional Studies at Universities Cologne (1991), Geneva (1993)
1994 - 2003
Research Associate (Post doc)/Head of Working Group, Institute of Pathophysiology, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
1995 - 96
Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco
2001
Habilitation, Mathematical-Life Science-Technical Faculty, MLU Halle-Wittenberg (Venia legendi in Genetics)
2002
Extended Habilitation and Venia legendi in Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical Faculty, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
2002 - 03
Oberassistent (Assistent Prof.), Institute of Pathophysiology, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
seit Mai 2003
Professor & Chief of Division of Vascular Endothelium and Microcirculation, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden

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