Sofia Urner (IRTG 1902 - Alumni) wins Edens Price 2020

The winner of this year’s Eden’s Prize is Dr. rer. nat. Sofia Urner.  Sofia was awarded this prize in recognition for her exceptional scientific work in the field of circulation research.  She investigated how lymphatic vessel growth is regulated. The lymphatic vasculature is an import part of the circulatory system responsible for establishment of the body’s fluid homeostasis, immune response and uptake of lipids. Her work contributes to a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms that are involved in limiting an uncontrolled, excessive growth of lymphatic vessels, which is often associated with pathological developments and diseases. Her work “Identification of ILK as a critical regulator of VEGFR3 signaling and lymphatic vascular growth” was published in “The EMBO Journal” in 2019.

Sofia completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. E. Lammert (Institute of Metabolic Physiology) within the International Research Training Group 1902 (IRTG 1902) in 2018.  She is now working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ).  The Eden’s Prize has been set up to support young scientists at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. It carries a...


Jana Nemmer and Mark Zurek successfully defended their theses!!!

On June 11th, 2020 our graduate students Jana Nemmer (Goedecke Lab) and Mark Zurek (Haendeler Lab) both successfully defended their doctoral theses at the Heinrich Heine University.

Jana’s thesis is entitled „Alterations in liver metabolism and inflammation due to heart failure in cardiac p38 MAP Kinase KO mice“ and Mark’s „Regulation der kardialen Myofibroblastendifferenzierung - Rolle von Thioredoxin-1“.

Congratulations on the successful conclusion of your doctoral research!


Mina Yakoub awarded “Start Up” funding grant from IRTG 1902

Mina Yakoub has two good reasons to celebrate.  He submitted his PhD Thesis in April and has been awarded an IRTG 1902 Postdoc Start Up Funding grant, which he started at the beginning of May.  His PhD research investigating the effect of different diet components on the cardiovascular health was supervised by Dr. Johannes Stegbauer, Department of Experimental Nephrology, University Hospital of Düsseldorf. Short chain fatty acids, table salt (sodium intake) and dietary potassium were among the dietary components investigated in relation to their beneficial or detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, new potential immune cell candidates, which take part in the salt mediated pathogenesis of aortic abdominal aneurysm, were identified.

The exchange phase of his IRTG 1902 doctoral research was spent in the Laboratory of Prof. Dr. Gorav Ailawadi, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Institute, University of Virginia, USA. This exchange enabled Mina to determine differences in the extent of the development of aortic aneurysms between different mouse strains.

In the next year Mina aims to confirm the pro-inflammatory effect of salt pretreatment on immune cell phenotype and vascular...


Congrats to Dr. Vici Oenarto!

Vici Oenarto has sucessfully defended her thesis entitled "Interorgan Crosstalk between the heart and adipose tissue during heart failure establishment" on February, 4th 2020! Vici has been a member of the Goedecke Lab since January 2016. We congratulate her on completion of her doctoral studies. We wish her the very best for the future as Dr. Oenarto!


Who is new (12/2019)

A new IRTG 1902 cohort of doctoral researchers has begun. Christoph Wittich started in October in the Ahmadian lab (P6). Olesia Omelchenko started in November in the Gödecke lab (P8). We also have three new medical doctoral researchers: Julia Rosen (P2), Nils Rollersbroich (P8) and Alexandra Zimmerhofer (P8). Welcome!



Claire is a Pharmacology degree candidate in the lab of Brant Isakson at the University of Virginia. She is studying the spatial distributions of microdomains within small resistance arteries and is currently in Düsseldorf for a 3 months (October - December 2019) exchange in Axel Gödecke’s lab.

During her stay she has also enjoyed getting to know German culture and travelling around Europe. She says she will miss the beautiful parks, shopping, and Christmas markets when she is back in the US.


EXCHANGE EXPERIENCES: Mina Yakoub & Christoph Owenier

Mina Yakoub, May - December 2019

My stay in Charlottesville was a stunning adventure. I got to know new people, work in a new lab and experience a new culture. I learned a new model at Dr. Ailawadi’s lab which I will transfer to my lab in Düsseldorf. I believe the exchange phase was quite beneficial for my future career. Travelling to the states has broadened my horizon.

Christoph Owenier, September - December 2019

My stay in Charlottesville is coming to an end and I have to say that the opportunity to work in such an inspiring environment was an amazing experience. The Isakson lab has welcomed me with open arms and offered me access to different techniques and instruments to make my research stay here in Charlottesville a success! Working as a graduate student in a foreign country is a challenging task but at the same time is an ideal opportunity for professional and personal development. My time at the UVA helped me to become a better scientist and I am very thankful for being a part of the IRTG 1902.


Research visits to the partner institution

The IRTG 1902 exchange phase has never been so busy.

This year six HHU doctoral researchers visited their partner labs at UVA:

Lisa Kalfhues, Mina Yakoub, Marcel Buchholzer, Christoph Owenier, Angelina Misiou  Felicia Hartmann.

Felicia even went twice to Gary Owens lab to finish her work. Angelina completed her work during her second visit in 2019.

A special thanks to Paul Orange for the fantastic organization!!!!

The other way round, the UVA researchers

Katelyn Ahern Clint Upchurch Claire Ruddiman

came for an internship to Düsseldorf.


Rise Students 2019

The IRTG 1902 welcomed two undergraduate students from the USA over the summer:

Vikram Gupta from UVA, Charlottesville visited the lab of Johannes Stegbauer Amanda Pellegrino from Duquesne University, Pittsburg worked in the lab of Axel Gödecke.

Displaying results 1 to 10 out of 44

go to Archive ->
Responsible for the content: E-MailIRTG 1902