PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology, Heidelberg University, Germany

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Division of Cardiovascular Physiology (Prof. Dr. M. Hecker)
The Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology of Heidelberg University, Division of Cardiovascular Physiology (Prof. Dr. Markus Hecker) offers a PhD position to work on zyxin control of stretch-induced arterial remodelling.

The focal adhesion molecule zyxin specifically translocates to the nucleus of vascular cells in response to stretch or hypertension. In the nucleus, the protein orchestrates expression of a majority of stretch-/pressure-induced genes, among which mRNAs encoding for matrix proteins and ECM modifying enzymes are prominent. Aged zyxin-deficient mice show a reorientation of the arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in response to hypertension, associated with a more pronounced pressure-induced passive distension and a failure to up-regulate blood pressure. It appears that adult zyxin-deficient mice develop a severe deficit in arterial contractility due to a marked alteration in matrix composition and that the stretch-sensitive transcription factor zyxin has a major impact on the control of vascular SMC phenotype. The project will investigate the role of zyxin-controlled ECM proteins and matrix-modifying enzymes in pressure-induced vascular remodeling both in vitro and in vivo.

The project includes several weeks of training with our collaborators in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Münster within the framework of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “SmArteR”.


  • Cattaruzza M et al., Hypertension. 2004;43(4):726-30.
  • Wójtowicz A et al., Circ Res. 2010;107(7):898-902.
  • Babu SS et al., Sci Signal. 2012;5(254):ra91.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently.

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One comment on “PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology, Heidelberg University, Germany

  1. I am very interested in this scholarship but I was still in high school. How can I get the scholarship ?


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