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Johannes Backs receives American Heart Association Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award

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Prof. Johannes Backs from the DZHK partner site Heidelberg-Mannheim received the Outstanding Investigator Award of the Basic Cardiovascular Science Council of the American Heart Association (AHA) in New Orleans last week for his translational research work on the interaction between the epigenetic factor HDAC4 and the protein kinase CaMKII.

Prof. Backs‘ research group generated a genetically engineered mouse model in which they were able to show that interaction between HDAC4 and CaMKII contributes to the development of heart failure. On the basis of that data, Prof. Backs’ group, together with the Department of Nuclear Medicine in Heidelberg and EMBL Heidelberg, developed not only CaMKII-HDAC4 inhibitory peptides but also chemical substances which can inhibit the interaction of both of these molecules in cell models. With this approach, the DZHK scientists hope to be able to develop a novel therapeutic method to combat heart failure.