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Thrombo-inflammation in cardiovascular disease

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TICARDIO (Thrombo-inflammation in cardiovascular disease)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2021-03-31

Despite medical advances, age remains the major risk for cardiovascular diseases with arteries being at risk of inflammation and thrombosis. To date most pathological processes of CVD including myocardial infarction, stroke, inflammation and thrombosis have been investigated well. However, the interplay of these processes are often neglected. This project is looking at the interactions between the inflammation of the vessel walls and the coagulation of blood and how interactions of these events lead to CVD processes – namely Thrombo-Inflammation in CARDIOvascular disease (TICARDIO). TICARDIO is bringing together experts in basic, clinical and industry research thus providing not only a unique training environment for young researchers, but also the expertise to unravel unknown interactions leading to CVD. Understanding these interactions will contribute to concepts of viable clinical strategies beneficial for patients at risk of suffering from stroke, myocardial infarction, or venous thromboembolism.
The TICARDIO program started successfully with the kick-off meeting on April 3-4, 2019, which included the forming of the supervisory board (SB) and its first meeting. Early Stage Researchers were recruited shortly thereafter with 13 out of 15 starting their projects by the beginning of 2020. Two employments were delayed due to the pandemic. Despite major pandemic-related lockdowns all Early Stage Researchers have made substantial progress in their scientific projects. Literature reviews were performed, main techniques established and first preliminary results achieved. This resulted in first publications (3 Research Papers, 3 Review Papers). Further, a first network conference and a first training week was organized, and Early Stage Researchers meet on a monthly basis to discuss their progress on a peer-level. Further training is scheduled for 2021, the next network conference will take place in March 2022.
Within this project, we are expecting to identify new pathways, interactions and nodal points in the crosstalk between vessel wall- and blood-driven inflammation and thrombotic processes. Further, we are expecting to develop and apply new innovative detection methods and systems to test coagulation and vascular function. With these new findings we are envisaging to identify specific diagnostic biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets for CVD which in the long-term will be a major benefit for society’s health care systems.
The impact of TICARIDO’s research (unraveling mechanisms involved in thrombo-inflammation in cardiovascular disease) and TICARDIO’s long-term goal to contribute to clinical strategies for patients at risk of or suffering from cardiovascular disease is highly relevant to our ever-aging population. More so, the clinical relevance became even more important with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020: thrombotic complications are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with COVID-19, in particular in patients with pre-existing chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the overall impact of TICARDIO to the science community is of highest value.
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