Physiological Reviews Podcasts

Genetic research, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS), plays an increasingly crucial role in studying the physiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. Deputy Editor Dr. Carol Ann Remme conducts an interview with authors Prof. Jeanette Erdmann (University of Lübeck, Germany) and Prof. Connie Bezzina (Amsterdam University Medical Center, Netherlands) about their latest Review published in Physiological Reviews by Walsh et al. GWAS focus on identifying genetic variations associated with specific traits, and it is imperative to investigate these variations to comprehend an individual’s susceptibility to particular diseases. Unraveling the genetic foundation of a disease can facilitate the discovery of therapeutic targets for clinical interventions. The experts delve into the application of GWAS in studying rare disorders like Brugada Syndrome, as well as common disorders such as myocardial infarction. The potential applications of GWAS are extensive, ranging from unveiling novel insights into the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease to potentially developing clinically applicable polygenic risk scores in the future. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of these topics., a prominent academic platform for researchers, has recently published the 2023 Edition of their Ranking of Best Scientists in Genetics. We are thrilled to have been informed that Jeanette Erdmann has been ranked #397 in the world ranking and #21 in Germany. Additionally, she has been awarded the Genetics Leader Award for 2023. The ranking is based on the D-index metric, which considers only papers and citation values for the examined discipline. The ranking includes only leading scientists with a D-index of at least 40 for academic publications in Genetics. Congratulations!

A Look Back at the 10-Year Anniversary Event of the Institute for Cardiogenetics

On May 5 and 6, 2023, the Institute for Cardiogenetics (ICG) celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a special event held at the University of Lübeck [1]. The two-day event took place at the CBBM and BMF Building in Marie-Curie-Straße, 23562 Lübeck [3].

The 10-year anniversary event was a momentous occasion, looking back at the progress made in cardiovascular research over the past decade and discussing the future of the field. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to various speakers, engage in discussions, and network with fellow professionals and researchers.

Some highlights of the event included presentations by renowned experts in the field of cardiogenetics, panel discussions on the latest developments and research findings, and a showcase of the institute’s achievements over the past ten years.

We got quite positive feedback that the event was well-organized and attended by a diverse group of professionals, academics, and students in the field of cardiogenetics. The atmosphere was one of collaboration and a shared passion for advancing cardiovascular research.

All in all, we feel that the 10-year anniversary event of the Institute for Cardiogenetics was a resounding success. It provided a platform for professionals and researchers in the field to come together, share their knowledge, and discuss the future of cardiogenetics. We did not only celebrate the past achievements of the institute but also set the stage for further advancements in cardiovascular research.

A new MD in town – unfortunately not in Lübeck

On June 24, 2022 Svenja Vishnolia has very successfully defended her MD thesis “Allele-specific RNA-targeted therapy as a treatment strategy for Col6-CMD”. Svenja is the first to complete her doctoral thesis on Collagen-6. She did a fantastic job. 
It was a wonderful talk and an impressive Q&A session. Congratulations!

Congrats from CureCMD

A special pleasure was the congratulations from CureCMD.

Cure CMD was founded in 2008 by three parents whose children were affected by Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. Through close collaboration with researchers, clinicians, families, and generous supporters, Cure CMD has achieved significant impact in its first decade as a nonprofit organization:

  • Launched two clinical trials 

  • Completed a five year natural history study with the NIH to identify clinical trial endpoints

  • Grew the Congenital Muscle Disease International Registry (CMDIR) to more than 3,000 registrants worldwide

  • Co-Funded over $3 million in research grants

Jeanette Erdmann is a new member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina unites researchers with special expertise in their respective fields. The criterion for admission is outstanding scientific achievement.

Among scientists, admission to the ranks of Leopoldina members is considered one of the highest honours – Prof. Jeanette Erdmann has received it. The biologist is the only professor at the University of Lübeck who is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Her path into the world of research led Jeanette Erdmann to the Institute of Human Genetics in Bonn after completing her studies at the University of Cologne, where she wrote her doctoral thesis. After her doctorate, she worked as a research group leader in Berlin and Regensburg. Jeanette Erdmann completed her habilitation at the University of Regensburg. She has worked at the University of Lübeck since 2003.

In 2012 she was appointed W3 Professor for Life in Lübeck and subsequently DZHK Professor by the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research. Since 2013, she has successfully led the newly founded Institute of Cardiogenetics, which aims to better understand the genetic factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases, e.g. atherosclerosis and heart attacks, in order to develop new therapies. “Since the beginning of my PhD, I have been working on the inheritance of common, so-called complex diseases, first with schizophrenia and depression and for 15 years now with cardiovascular diseases. For a few years now, however, I have expanded my field of research and we are currently also developing a therapy for a rare neuromuscular disease that I diagnosed myself with a few years ago,” reports Prof. Jeanette Erdmann.

With her expertise, the director of the Institute of Cardiogenetics at the University of Lübeck now strengthens the Leopoldina, which is a classic learned society with its approximately 1,600 members from almost all scientific fields. The proportion of female scientists among its members has risen from seven to 15 per cent in the past ten years. “Being accepted into the Leopoldina is a success and a great honour for me in two ways,” explains Prof. Erdmann. “On the one hand, I am pleased that my scientific work has been recognised by the Academy. Here I would like to thank my staff in particular, as well as the national and international cooperation partners of the past 15 years, without whom this success would not have been possible. On the other hand, admission to the Leopoldina rewards the efforts of the past years and perhaps strengthens more young women and people with physical limitations to embark on the fulfilling, but sometimes also rocky path of an academic career. I would be extremely pleased about that.”

The Academy’s tasks include representing German science abroad and advising politicians and the public. The Leopoldina unites researchers with special expertise in their respective fields. The approximately 1,600 Academy members come from over 30 countries. Every year, about 50 scientists are elected to the Academy for life in a multi-stage selection process. Admission follows a nomination by Academy members, which is followed by a multi-stage selection process by the Section, the Class and the Presidium.

Since the Academy was founded in 1652, more than 7,000 personalities have been admitted to its ranks. These have included Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, Justus von Liebig and Max Planck.

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