The Institute for Vascular Signalling (Director Prof. Dr. Ingrid Fleming) is a research institute that studies the biology of the vascular wall, heart and the factors that influence them during disease development. There is a particularly strong focus on the endothelial cells that are the inner most lining of the blood vessel and directly exposed to the flowing blood. We study substances generated by the endothelial cells themselves such as nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide and mediators generated from polyunsaturated fatty acids by the sequential action of cytochrome P450 enzymes and the soluble epoxide hydrolase. A further series of projects addresses the impact of platelets and platelet-derived products as well as monocytes on the vascular wall and the heart and in the cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes. All of the projects have a translational biomedicine emphasis with the aim of improving on current cardiovascular disease therapy.
Projects housed at the Institute for Vascular Signalling belong to three different collaborative research centres (CRCs) including CRC 1531 Damage control by the stroma-vascular compartment, CRC 1039 Disease-relevant signal transduction by fatty acid derivatives and sphingolipids, CRC 1366 Vascular control of organ function. The institute also belongs to the Cardio Pulmonary Institute (a German Research Foundation funded Excellence Cluster) and the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).