Systems Medicine of Atrial Fibrillation

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BiomarCaRE researchers Tanja Zeller, Renate Schnabel (both UKE Hamburg) and Arne Schillert (IMBS Lübeck), together with Matthias Heinig (MPIMG Berlin) have been awarded a 3-year, 1.44M Euro grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under their "Junior e:Med" initiative.

symAtrial (Systems Medicine of Atrial Fibrillation)

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia with high comorbidity, mortality and significant public health impact. Little is known about risk indicators beyond a handful of established classical risk factors recently incorporated in a risk algorithm. Therefore, i) innovative approaches to enhance AF risk assessment are urgently needed and ii) a molecular understanding of the disease biology promises novel ways for risk assessment. Within our symAtrial consortium, we will take an interdisciplinary systems medicine approach integrating knowledge from AF epidemiology, bioinformatics, statistics and molecular biology. We will make maximum use of existing clinical and population-based cohorts and large-scale data of distinct AF phenotypes, omics data, biobanks including genetic material and cardiac tissue from the same individuals, and animal models. Our network of junior researchers is intended to 1) explore the molecular pathophysiology of AF in a comprehensive view, 2) pave the way for affordable tools to identify individuals at high-risk of AF, i.e., develop and improve a risk prediction algorithm, and 3) identify interventional targets at the population level and in high-risk individuals. We propose innovative and interrelated systems-based subprojects that aim at identifying novel, molecular risk factors of AF by creating central data integration and systems medicine platforms.

- The UKE Press Release (in German)
- Article "Mit Biomarkern gegen das Infarkt Risiko" in Die Welt (German)