As a heart surgeon Professor Claudia Schmidtke is particularly interested in cardiovascular diseases, one of the research areas at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC): "We need to focus more on cardiovascular diseases – one of the number one widespread diseases. Of course, this also applies to research in this area," said Schmidtke during her visit. Professor Thomas Sommer, Scientific Director at the MDC (interim) and Professor Heike Graßmann, Administrative Director, welcomed this intention. Thomas Sommer added: "We need ways and means to expand cardiovascular research even more effectively in the future".
Several heads of MDC labs presented their latest results from cardiovascular basic research to the patient representative. At the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ), a joint facility of MDC and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, efforts are made to quickly apply some of these findings in everyday clinical practice. At the Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F), Schmidtke visited a 7 Tesla magnetic resonance (MR) scanner, one of five devices used for cardiovascular imaging worldwide. Here also around 6,000 people take part in magnetic resonance imaging examinations for the nationwide NAKO health study. At MDC the study aims to investigate for example the influence of overweight on type 2 diabetes.