Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


When Clinicians and Researchers Look Outside the Box - 1st ECRC “Franz-Volhard” Symposium at the MDC

What does the immune system have to do with blood pressure, and what does the hypertension enzyme ACE have to do with the immune system and cancer?
These are questions researchers and clinicians from various disciplines will discuss at the 1st ECRC Franz Volhard Symposium in the Max Delbrück Communications Center (MDC.C) in Berlin-Buch on September 7-8, 2012. The dinner speaker will be Professor Francis Schwarze, a materials scientist at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) in St. Gallen, Switzerland). He has developed a method that makes a new violin sound almost like a Stradivarius.

Professor Annette Grüters-Kieslich, dean of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, highlighted the importance of linking basic research with clinical research at the beginning of the symposium. “The aim of this close collaboration is to provide a fast track for using the insights gained from basic research for diagnosis and therapy in patients.“

“Interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and clinicians has been the guiding principle of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch since its founding 20 years ago,” said Professor Walter Rosenthal, chairman of the board of directors and scientific director of the MDC. He also stressed the importance of the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) for clinical research. The MDC and Charité – Universitätsmedizin have operated the ECRC jointly on Campus Berlin-Buch since 2007, and each contributes six million euros annually to fund the ECRC. Remarking on the planned closer institutional links between the MDC and the Charité, Professor Grüters-Kieslich and Professor Rosenthal added, “We want to continue to expand in the future what we have successfully begun here on a small scale.”

The organizers of the symposium, Professor Friedrich Luft, director of the ECRC, and Professor Dominik Müller (ECRC) seek to demonstrate that researchers and clinicians can gain surprising new insights, e.g. into the pathogenesis of serious diseases, when they look outside the box of their own fields. Current research has shown that the immune system is not only responsible for the defense against diseases, but can also affect the body’s salt and fluid balance as well as blood pressure. A report on this topic will be given by Professor Jens Titze (University of Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee, USA and the University of Erlangen), one of the leading experts in this field, at the Berlin symposium.

Professor Ken Bernstein (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA) will present new insights on an enzyme (ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme), which among other functions also regulates the fluid balance of the body. New findings suggest that ACE also affects the immune system and helps inhibit the growth of tumors.

Another focus of the symposium will be on a group of factors (VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor), which the body produces to regulate the growth of blood and lymphatic vessels. But also some tumors produce VEGF to secure their blood supply. One approach to tumor therapy is thus to block VEGF, an approach which is partly based on the research of Professor Kari Alitalo (Biomedicum Helsinki, Finland). However, the inhibition of VEGF triggers high blood pressure. Professor Alitalo will give an overview of the numerous application fields of growth factors in cardiovascular and cancer research.

A subset of these growth factors also plays an important role in high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia), one of the most dangerous complications for mother and child. A lecture on this disease, which is very difficult to treat with drugs, will be given by Professor Ananth Karumanchi (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA), who discovered the importance of growth factors for preeclampsia.

In his lecture at the symposium, the immunologist and Nobel laureate Professor Zinkernagel (University of Zurich, Switzerland) will give an overview of the immune system. According to his opinion, “immunological memory” plays a rather subordinate role in the protection against disease, because its development is too slow and too ineffective. Instead, the immune system must always be confronted anew with the respective pathogens to preserve a sufficient amount of antibodies and pre-activated T cells. In his view, this understanding is important to be able to maintain protective immunity in the population against old and newly occurring infectious diseases.

The two-day symposium brings together approximately 220 participants from the U.S., Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. It is named after Franz Volhard (1872 – 1950), a German specialist in internal medicine who founded nephrology as an independent discipline. His research focused on renal function, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. He was the first scientist to recognize that kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure. His research is considered groundbreaking, and many of his findings are still valid today.

Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10; 13125 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:

More articles from Event News:

nachricht #IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017
14.10.2016 | GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften

nachricht Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus
14.10.2016 | Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Transformationsökonomien (IAMO)

All articles from Event News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>