Welcome to our

molecular and translational vascular medicine
Research group


Uwe Raaz’s research group at the Heart Research Center Göttingen focuses on the role of biomechanics and (epi-) genetics in the vascular aging process and in the development of cardiovascular diseases (such as heart failure, hypertension, stroke, or aneurysm formation). The group employs a wide interdisciplinary approach at the interface of molecular biology, medicine, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and bioinformatics. The ultimate goal of our research is to identify novel therapeutic targets and treatment options that are critically needed to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.


Arterial stiffness

a major player driving cardiovascular disease

Arterial stiffness has long been recognized as a feature of arterial aging. Recently, arterial stiffness has received increasing attention in cardiovascular medicine, emerging as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Additionally, patients with highly prevalent metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus, feature a dramatically increased cardiovascular risk coming along with accelerated arterial stiffening. As such, the group’s major interests are to delineate the molecular mechanisms leading to increased arterial stiffness and to better understand the pathomechanistic role of arterial stiffness in specific cardiovascular
diseases (such as atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm/dissection, heart failure and stroke). As a result, we seek to define novel pharmaceutical targets to prevent arterial stiffening processes as well as develop strategies to reduce biomechanical stress arising from adverse vascular remodeling. As part of our functional studies we are employing in vivo vascular ultrasound methods, ex vivo material testing (pressure myography) as well as computer-based finite elements analysis (FEA).

Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs )

promising therapeutical targets and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease

Non-coding RNAs (such as microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs) have recently attracted much attention not only as a novel class of gene and disease regulators but also as attractive targets for pharmaceutical intervention. In various projects the group is addressing the role of ncRNAs as mechanosensitive regulators of distinct vascular pathologies (such as aortic aneurysms, atherosclerosis, or age-related arterial stiffness).
Employing a comprehensive approach using human biobank materials as well as in vitro, in vivo and bioinformatical models we identify ncRNAs potentially involved in disease pathophysiology, taking advantage of latest profiling technologies (such as RNAseq). Subsequently, selected ncRNAs are subjected to rigorous mechanistic studies in vitro as well as in vivo to validate their utility as therapeutic targets.


Molecular and Translational Vascular Medicine
Department of Cardiology and Pneumology
Heart Center at the University Medical Center Göttingen
Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany