Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Aims of the Clinical Research Unit

We aim to establish an Adrenal KFO that will bring together a multidisciplinary team of clinical and basic investigators to promote and conduct cutting-edge bidirectional bedside-to-bench-to-bedside translational research on hyper- and hypo-functional adrenal disorders. Our primary focus will be on adrenal hormone regulation, biology of adrenal tumours (phaeochromocytomas, cortisol-producing tumours and aldosteronomas) and adrenal insufficiency (complete, relative) in the context of genes and environment.

The research unit has several specific aims under two broad objectives.

(A) Objective 1: Elucidate the mechanisms of adrenal hyperfunction and especially of adrenal tumour formation in the context of the adrenal microenvironment

Specific aims:

  • Define the role of chromaffin progenitor cells in the gland’s response to external and internal stressors and in the development of adrenal neoplasias such as phaeochromocytoma.
  • Characterise the roles of hypoxia-angiogenic and mitochondrial-energy pathways in chromaffin cell tumourigenesis, as associated with distinct phenotypic features and variable origins from chromaffin cell progenitors.
  • Identify novel diagnostic biomarkers of excessive aldosterone secretion in patients with aldosteronomas and hypertension.
  • Define the roles of hedgehog signalling and G protein-dependent signalling in adrenal steroidogenesis and tumour formation, in relationship to metabolic disease.

(B) Objective 2: Examine the mechanisms of adrenal hypofunction and regeneration in the context of the adrenal microenvironment

Specific aims:

  • Characterise the mechanisms of genetic adrenal hypofunction in the triple A syndrome and the role of ALADIN protein in adrenal function.
  • Address the role of two major systems of innate immunity, the pattern recognition receptors and leukocyte-endothelial interactions, for adrenal dysfunction in the course of inflammatory conditions and sepsis.
  • Explore the unique adrenal microenvironment for endocrine organ regeneration and novel therapeutic applications.