“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.
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.
Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
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