The Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology carries out research on the mechanisms involved in heart failure and on methods for regeneration in the insufficiently performing heart.

Cell-Based Repair of Myocardinal Defects

Heart muscle tissue cannot regenerate itself when it is damaged.This results in in myocardial insufficiency with a reduction in the pumping function of the heart. Myocardial insufficiency is a widespread disorder both in adults and in children, and is difficult to treat. At the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, we have developed a method to produce replacement tissue generated from stem cells, which could be used for individualized heart tissue repair in cases of myocardial insufficiency. We are testing this for its possible therapeutic implementation.

Improvement of Drug Safety

Besides their intended therapeutic effects, drugs also often have undesired side effects. Even in “normal” doses, these side effects can sometimes be life-threatening. The therapeutic mechanism of action of a substance often does not provide sufficient explanation for this. To better predict possible undesired effects of a drug and thus considerably improve drug safety as a whole, our institute is developing and implementing artificial tissue systems, for example of heart muscle, skeletal muscle, neuronal networks and the liver.

Heart Development, Heart Muscle Cell Maturation and Heart Regeneration

Our staff also researches the processes that naturally regulate heart development. Our findings here have contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in heart diseases and the therapeutic approaches to biological heart repair. We observed in particular the role of physical stimuli and their transmission into biological signals and signals of endogenous regeneration of the heart. Through innovative pharmacological, biophysical, genetically engineered and cell biological approaches we aim not only to protect the heart but also find ways to activate regenerative processes.

Drug-Therapy Counseling

The Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology offers physicians both in private practice and in clinics specialist counseling services to answer questions pertaining to drug therapy and drug safety.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann
Prof. Dr. med. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann
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