International Research Training Group 1902

Welcome to the pages of the International Research Training Group 1902

The International Research Training Group (IRTG1902) “Intra- and interorgan communication of the cardiovascular system” is a research alliance of the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA, dedicated to promote international training of doctoral researchers. Over the last decades it became evident that cardiovascular function is not only the result of a signaling among typical cardiovascular cells such as cardiomyocytes, endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Rather an extensive crosstalk with adjacent parenchymal cells as well as inflammatory cells, erythrocytes, and platelets occurs.

Moreover, the vasculature provides a major communication route for hormones and other humoral factors released by many tissues enabling long distance communication of remote organs. For example, adipokines and myokines, released from adipose tissue and skeletal muscle, may affect cardiovascular
function in health and disease. Otherwise, the failing heart releases many cytokines and growth factors, which affect remote organs (e.g. muscle, adipose tissue, etc.). Thus, extensive intra- and interorgan communication of the cardiovascular system provides the basis for control of organ physiology and pathology on a systemic level.

IRTG1902 adress three key research areas:

  • ATP-pannexin1 mediated communication of blood vessels, erythrocytes, platelets, and fibroblasts, and its function in lung injury and heart and kidney fibrosis.
  • Inflammatory mechanisms in the crosstalk of heart and blood vessels with skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and inflammatory cells in heart failure and atherosclerosis.
  • cardiovascular remodeling including lymph angiogenesis, cardiac hypertrophy, and aortic aneurysm formation.

The educational program of the IRTG provides doctoral researchers with a profound knowledge in the field of integrative cardiovascular biology at the interface of basic research and clinical science.

Our newest doctor: Lisa Kalfhues!

Lisa has been an active member of the IRTG 1902 over the last 4 years, who has won prizes, supervised graduate students, and represented the IRTG 1902 doctoral students as PhD speaker on the path to her doctoral degree. 

On September 8, 2020 Lisa cleared the last hurdle of her PhD studies and successfully defended her thesis "p38 MAPKa is a Key Regulator of Cardiac Metabolism". Her doctoral work was completed in the laboratory of Prof....

Spokesman Germany

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Axel Gödecke

Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Phone +49 211 81-12670
Fax +49 211 81-12672

Scientific Coordinator

Dr. rer. nat. Sandra Berger

Institut für Herz-Kreislaufphysiologie
Universitätsstr. 1
Building: 22.03.
Floor/Room: Ebene 02.R10
Phone +49 211 81-12673
Fax +49 211 81-12672
Responsible for the content: E-MailIRTG 1902