Dr. Heidi Noels from the Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research at RWTH Aachen University together with Dr. Yvonne Döring from the Institute for Prophylaxis and Epidemiology of Circulatory Diseases at LMU Munich together received the DGAF W.H. Hauss Award 2018 from the German Society for Atherosclerosis Research (DGAF) during the 32nd Annual Meeting of the DGAF in Rauischholzhausen, Germany. They were awarded for their publication "Vascular CXCR4 Limits Atherosclerosis by Maintaining Arterial Integrity: Evidence from Mouse and Human Studies." (Circulation. 2017; 136: 388-403). In this work it could be shown that vascular CXCR4 has an atheroprotective function by maintaining the arterial integrity and preserving the endothelial barrier function. In addition, CXCR4 stabilizes a contractile smooth muscle cell phenotype. Targeted enhancement of these CXCR4-mediated protective functions could open up novel therapeutic options in the treatment of atherosclerosis.
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