Vascular Biomedicine

Focus area together with the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

Malfunctions of the vascular system play a central role in many diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, cancer and metastasis - these pathomechanisms account for the majority of morbidity and mortality factors worldwide. Within vascular dysfunctions, the primary focus has traditionally been on diseases of the large vessels, especially the arteries (arteriosclerosis). In recent decades, great progress has been made in this area in terms of prevention, intervention and medication.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that essential pathologies and diseases are based on pathomechanisms in smaller vessels in terminal vessel beds and microcirculation. Examples are vascular dementia, tumor growth and metastasis, diastolic heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and angina pectoris with normal coronary arteries (cardiac syndrome X, microvascular angina MVA). For MVA, clinical studies have shown a prevalence of up to 40% in patients* with angina symptoms. Recent findings also show the importance of (micro)vascular mechanisms for numerous other diseases caused by insufficient or defective blood flow (e.g. chronic kidney disease) as well as for systemic reactions in immune response and inflammation. Thus, vascular biomedicine is a typical cross-sectional area with high systemic medical relevance and of great importance for health policy and society.

The BIH and the MDC will address the obvious deficit of mechanistic-translational approaches in this field by focusing on 'vascular biomedicine'. The focus area pursues the goal of bundling translational research activities in this field in Berlin and expanding them through targeted recruitment in order to develop new approaches for prevention, diagnosis and therapy across organs and systems (cardiology, neurology, oncology and immunology) on the basis of new pathophysiological insights.

Steering Committee



Deputy Speaker

Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Eckardt
Director, Dept. Nephrology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Dr. Michela Di Virgilio
Group Leader, “Genome Diversification & Integrity”, MDC, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Prof. Dr. Norbert Hübner
Group Leader, “Genetics and Genomics of Cardiovascular Diseases”, MDC

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kübler
Director, Institute of Physiolgy, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Prof. Dr. Ulf Landmesser
Director, Dept. Cardiology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Prof. Dr. Dominik N. Müller
Group Leader, “Hypertension-Mediated End-Organ Damage”, Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ) & MDC

Prof. Dr. Tobias Pischon
Group Leader, “Molecular Epidemiology”, MDC