cardiac MP, nerve, EC

Integrative Biomedicine

Topic 3 of the MDC research program "Systems Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases"

Integrative Biomedicine uses a systems-wide, transdisciplinary approach to gain a novel mechanistic understanding of common physiologic and pathophysiologic processes such as inflammation, endothelial (dys-)function, metabolic syndrome, neuronal circuit homeostasis or microbiome-host interactions.


Today, the greatest challenges with respect to health, life expectancy and quality of life are associated with the progressive or acute failure of cardiovascular, neuronal and immune functions, and the emergence and uncontrolled spread of malignancies. A proper understanding of these pathologies, and their risk and protective factors calls for a systems-wide, transdisciplinary approach.

The image depicts cardiac-resident macrophages (green) localizing in close proximity to the vasculature (orange) and the nerve (red). DAPI staining is shown in blue. Here, we aim to understand the influence of microenvironmental niche on heterogeneous phenotypes and functionalities of cardiac macrophages. The Niche characterized here highlights cellular interactions among the nervous, vascular, and immune systems. Signaling crosstalk underlying communications among these organ systems during regenerative repair of the heart following myocardial infarction is under investigation.


Integrative Biomedicine faces these challenges by breaking the mould of traditional disciplines and connecting diverse research areas. We ask mechanistic and etiologic questions and develop methods to uncover and modulate systems-wide principles of homeostasis to understand and predict how physiological adaptations can turn into pathologies.

Research groups


Scientific Manager

Dr. Tanja Florin