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Challenge #26

Understanding the role of damaged blood vessels as a cause of various diseases.

When blood vessels no longer function properly, various diseases can result. We are researching the human organism in order to decipher these relationships.

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Those who suffer from kidney failure or a stroke are treated by doctors of nephrology or neurology. However, the cause for both conditions may be one in the same: a malfunction in the lining of the blood vessels. Because of this, focusing on one organ or organ system to treat either problem falls short.

Blood vessels form a network of arteries, veins and capillaries that supply the body with nutrients and oxygen, everywhere forming a maze of tubes that can be as thick as a thumb or finer than a hair. When they sprout in unusual places, atrophy, or become inflamed, they can fuel cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or dementia. The situation is similar with COVID-19. The disease not only damages the lungs, but also triggers domino effects in the immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. In order to understand such diseases and to treat them precisely, we analyze the human organism from the most elementary building blocks to cross-organ mechanisms.

(Header: MDC/AG Gerhardt)

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