Cardiovascular research

Head of the working group: Dr. rer. nat. Khurrum Shahzad

Research interests

​Diabetic patients have a greater risk of developing vascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral cardiovascular disease). Risk factors for cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes include malfunctioned metabolic control and lipid abnormalities. Furthermore, loss of endothelial thrombomodulin expression and lower blood levels of activated protein C (aPC) have been repeatedly demonstrated in atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus. Recently inflammsome-associated sterile inflammation has been linked with vascular diseases as well. However, the relevance of these findings for vascular diseases in diabetes mellitus remains largely unknown. Our work focuses on understanding the role of coagulation regulator and sterile inflammation in myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis so that these complications can be treated or prevented.

Our work is, or has been, funded by the German Research Council (DFG), Research Training Groups (RTG), Foundation for Pathobiochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics (SPMD), and University of Leipzig.

Five most representative publications

  1. Nazir S, Gadi I, Al-Dabet MM, Elwakiel A, Kohli S, Ghosh S, Manoharan J, Ranjan S, Bock F, Braun-Dullaeus RC, Esmon CT, Huber TB, Camerer E, Dockendorff C, Griffin JH, Isermann B, Shahzad K. Cytoprotective activated protein C averts Nlrp3 inflammasome-induced ischemia-reperfusion injury via mTORC1 inhibition. Blood. 2017 Dec 14;130(24):2664-2677
  2. Shahzad K, Gadi, Nazir S, Al-Dabet MM, Kohli S, Bock F, Breitenstein L, Ranjan S, Fuchs T, Halloul Z, Nawroth PP, Pelicci PG, Braun-Dullaeus RC, Camerer E, Esmon CT, Isermann B. Activated protein C reverses epigenetically sustained p66Shc expression in plaque-associated macrophages in diabetes. Commun Biol. 2018 Aug 6;1:104
  3. Shahzad K, Kashif M, Vinnikov IA, Schiller M, Wang H, Madhusudhan T, Eckstein V, Bierhaus A, Bea F, Blessing E, Weiler H, Frommhold D, Nawroth PP, Isermann B. Hypercoagulability inhibits monocyte transendothelial migration through protease-activated receptor-1-, phospholipase-Cbeta-, phosphoinositide 3-kinase-, and nitric oxide-dependent signaling in monocytes and promotes plaque stability. Circulation 2009 Sep 1;120(9):774-84
  4. Seehaus S, Shahzad K, Thati M, Wang H, Kashif M, Wolter J, Ranjan S, He T, Zhou Q, Blessing E, Bierhaus A, Nawroth PP, Isermann B. Minocycline reduces plaque size in diet induced atherosclerosis via p27(Kip1). Atherosclerosis. 2011 Nov;219(1):74-83
  5. Shahzad K, Bock F, Al-Dabet MM, Gadi I, Kohli S, Nazir S, Ghosh S, Ranjan S, Wang H, Madhusudhan T, Nawroth PP, Isermann B. Caspase-1, but Not Caspase-3, Promotes Diabetic Nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Aug;27(8):2270-5.


​​Dr. rer. nat. Khurrum Shahzad
Head of the group

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Ihsan Gadi
PhD student

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Sameen Fatima
PhD student

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Saira Ambreen
PhD student

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Hamzah Khawaja
PhD student

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Thesis or practical work in our research group

​Students interested in completing their thesis or practical work in our research group should please contact Dr. rer. nat. Khurrum Shahzad.

Paul-List-Str. 13-15, Haus T
04103 Leipzig
0341 - 97 22200
Leitstelle (24h):
0341 - 97 22222
0341 - 97 22209