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ERC Advanced Grant

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Professor Christian Weber (Director of the Institute for Prophylaxis and Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases and Chair of Preventive Vascular Medicine) has just received an Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Weber’s ERC project begins in January 2011. The generously endowed ERC Advanced Grants are intended to give European researchers who have already produced outstanding work the freedom to undertake imaginative and unconventional new projects.

 

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Western societies. The most common cause is atherosclerosis, popularly known as ”hardening of the arteries.“ Indeed, the medical term refers to the progressive thickening of the walls of the arteries due to the accumulation of fatty deposits or “plaques”. This results in chronic inflammation that exacerbates plaque growth, ultimately leading to obstruction of bloodflow, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Professor Christian Weber was the first to show that a molecular complex formed by two small signal proteins, called chemokines, regulates the migration of immune cells into the inflamed tissue and so facilitates the growth of atherosclerotic plaques.

In his “Atheroprotect“ project, for which the ERC will provide some 2.5 million Euros, Professor Weber plans to analyse further the biological significance of such interactions between chemokines for the fine tuning of the inflammation process in mice. He also hopes to develop new strategies to prevent or reverse the formation of chemokine complexes – once again using the mouse as a model. “The development of specific inhibitors of chemokine action could provide new opportunities for targeted therapy of the obstructive lesions in the vasculature“, says Weber. “This would provide a entirely new basis for the treatment of atherosclerosis, but also of other inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis.“

Professor Christian Weber (b. 1967) studied medicine at LMU, obtaining his MD degree in 1994. He went on to do research at Harvard University in Boston (USA) and completed his Habilitation at LMU, before taking up a professorship in Maastricht (Netherlands). In 2005 he was appointed Chairman and Director of the Institute of Molecular Cardiovascular Research (IMCAR) at the RWTH in Aachen. He was named Director of the Institute for Prophylaxis and Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases at LMU Munich University Hospital in November 2010. Weber has received several prizes for his research work, among them an Outstanding Achievement Award from the European Society of Cardiology and the Galen of Pergamon Prize.

 

ERC Advanced Investigator Grants

ERC Advanced Investigator Grants are designed to support highly innovative research, which has the potential to extend significantly the frontiers of existing fields and pioneer the investigation of new areas. Projects are assessed solely on the basis of the scientific stature of their authors and the originality and quality of the proposed research program.

 

Contact:

Prof. Dr. med. Christian Weber

Direktor des Instituts für Prophylaxe und Epidemiologie der Kreislaufkrankheiten und Lehrstuhl für Präventive Vaskuläre Medizin (August-Lenz-Stiftung) am Klinikum der Universität München

Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 5160-4350

kreislaufinstitut@med.uni-muenchen.de

 

 

 
 
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Direktor: Prof. Dr. med. Christian Weber

Institut für Prophylaxe und Epidemiologie der Kreislaufkrankheiten (IPEK)

 

Pettenkoferstraße 8a & 9

80336 München

 

Tel.: 089-4400-54351

Fax: 089-4400-54352

Mail: Kreislaufinstitut@med.uni-muenchen.de

 

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