The Center for Translational Vascular Biology (CTVB) is one of three key research centers of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The main objective of the research center is to support interdisciplinary networking of scientists who are active in the field of vascular research as well as to improve the international visibility and scientific excellence of their work. Moreover, the CTVB coordinates and supports interdisciplinary projects, raises cooperative external funds and promotes postgraduates and young researchers. With the participation of leading scientists from different insititutions of the University Medical Center, a close cooperation has been established within the CTVB.
Most of the diseases in the cardiovascular area have a multi-causal background. For the translation of new findings into daily medical routine, this requires a multidisciplinary approach and interactive systematic medicine to understand the complex mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis and development of medical conditions. The high inter-individual variability in the development and progression of diseases requires individualized solutions for the particular individual to achieve further progress in medicine.
Within the CTVB a close collaboration has been established involving the leading scientists of the Center of Cardiology, the Department of Dermatology, the Department of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, the Institute of Pharmacology and the Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI).
The core project of the CTVB is the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) – one of the largest prospective cohort trials – includes 15,000 healthy subjects who are examined over a period of 5 years in order to identify pathogenetic risk markers for the development of myocardial infarction, deat to myocardial infarction but also tumor genesis. The epidemiological clinical and proteomic-genomic research results gathered will help develop both new therapeutic targets as well as markers for early diagnosis and for evaluating the efficiency of new therapies. Publications in high ranking scientific magazines (NEJM, JAMA, Nature Genetics) show the impact of the GHS and the CTVB strategy to enhance research in the field of cardiovascular biology at the UMCM. In addition, large amounts of academic and industrial funding have been acquired to support the fast growing research portfolio of the CTVB and the institutions/structures involved.
The second structural project in the area of the CTVB is the CTH. The CTVB support allowed the fast build-up of an excellent infrastructure (method platforms) to enhance research in the field of thrombosis and hemostasis but also cardiovascular biology. The CTH was able to not only further establish excellent new groups (the four remaining CTH professorships attracted high profile PIs and were fully established with the support of the CTVB). Many joint projects with institutions of the CTH and the CTVB demonstrate the excellent potential of this strategy. The CTH received a broad range of additional third party projects, including a Humboldt-professorship (granted in 2013) and large industry funded clinical studies (u.a. HotPE, granted 2013).
The CTVB also supports the establishment of the DZHK to allow a good integration of the UMCM into this important scientific network which is intended by its funding body (BMBF) to become a permanent national platform for outstanding collaborative research in the field of cardiovascular biology and clinics in the next years. As funding for the DZHK structures is intended to be permanent (from 2015; after re-evaluation in 2014) it is of special importance to the CTVB to support a successful development of the DZHK and its structures/projects at the UMCM.