News & Events

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology


Ringvorlesung 2023/24: „Herz und Hirn gemeinsam im Fokus“

„Herz und Hirn gemeinsam im Fokus“ (Heart and Brain Together in Focus) is the title of the public lecture series of the University of Göttingen and the Lower Saxony Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen in the winter semester 2023/2024. In this series, Göttingen Cluster of Excellence "Multiscale Bioimaging" (MBExC) scientists give comprehensive insights into the unique research approach of the Cluster.

On Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2023, Wolfram Zimmermann spoke on "Herzpflaster: Hilfe für ein schwaches Herz".

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, Niels Voigt gave a talk on "Herzbeben - Wenn das Herz außer Takt gerät...".

Programm of the "Ringvorlesung":

The talks will take place at 18:15 pm at the Aula, Wilhlemsplatz 1. The recordings of the lectures will be broadcast one week later on Wednesdays at 12 noon on StadtRadio Göttingen (107.1 MHz). In addition, they will be available in the long term as a video recording on the University’s YouTube channel as well as on the YouTube channel of the MBExC.

On the MBExC:

"Herzpflaster: Hilfe für ein schwaches Herz"
Prof. Dr. Niels Voigt: "Herzbeben - Wenn das Herz außer Takt gerät..."

Heart patch in clinical trial: dose finding completed

Different dosages of heart patches: Schematic illustration reaching from one heart tissue consisting of 40 million heart cells to 2 layers of 10 overlapping heart tissues with a total of 800 million heart cells. Source: Wolfram Hubertus Zimmermann

The world's only clinical trial in patients with heart failure to implant artificial heart tissue to permanently strengthen the heart muscle has reached the first important milestone: The determination of the maximum safe dose has been completed after treatment of 10 patients.

The clinical trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of iPSC -derived engineered human myocardium (EHM) as Biological Ventricular Assist Tissue (BioVAT) in Advanced Heart Failure (NCT04396899). The determination of the maximum safe dose is now completed after treating 10 patients. A total of 35 patients will from now on be treated with artificial heart tissue from 800 million heart cells in order to gain insights into the efficacy of the heart patches. The study is preceded by 25 years of preclinical development. The completion of BioVAT-HF with 35 patients treated with the safe maximal dose is expected in 2025. The BioVAT-HF-DZHK20 study is being conducted at the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Lübeck Campus, and is funded by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) and Repairon GmbH.

To the UMG Press Release (in German)

To the DZHK Press Release (in German)

To the Repairon Press Release


University Medical Center Göttingen, University of Göttingen
Dep. of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Prof. Dr. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann
Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen
Telefon 0551 / 39-65781, Fax 0551 / 39-5699

Preclinical testing of gene therapies: researchers from Göttingen produce human skeletal muscles

Dr. rer. nat. Mina Shahriyari, (Photo: private) and Dr. med. Malte Tiburcy (Photo: SPförtner/UMG), Dep. of Pharmacologie and Toxicology (UMG)

Diseases of the skeletal muscles often lead to muscle weakness and, due to decreasing mobility, to severe limitations in the quality of life. Duchenne muscular dystrophy has a particularly severe course. The muscle weakness already appears in childhood and progresses rapidly. Patients become wheelchair dependent, have breathing problems and severely reduced life span. Current therapies can mitigate the progression, but do not provide a cure. Using cardiac and skeletal muscle models developed from stem cells at UMG's Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, researchers hope to develop precision therapeutics for the treatment of severe muscle diseases.

In a recently published paper, the authors report on how they produce skeletal muscle in the laboratory that can be used to simulate normal human muscle development, natural processes for muscle recovery (muscle regeneration), and disease processes of muscle disease.

 VIDEO | Durchbruch in der Gentherapie: Forscher aus Göttingen stellen menschliche Skelettmuskeln her - SAT.1 REGIONAL ( (21.02.2023,17:30, SAT.1 REGIONAL)

Link to the UMG Press release:

Original Publication: Shahriyari M, Islam MR, Sakib SM, Rinn M, Rika A, Krüger D, Kaurani L, Gisa V, Winterhoff M, Anandakumar H, Shomroni O, Schmidt M, Salinas G, Unger A, Linke WA, Zschüntzsch J, Schmidt J, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN, Fischer A, Zimmermann WH, Tiburcy M. Engineered skeletal muscle recapitulates human muscle development, regeneration and dystrophy. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Oct 18. doi: 10.1002/jcsm.13094. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36254806.


Dr. Malte Tiburcy
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Tel. 0551/ 39-20729
Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen

Research without animal testing: BMEL-Tierschutzforschungspreis (Animal Welfare Research Award) goes to UMG and IMES

Researchers from The University Medical Center Göttingen and Leibniz University Hannover were successful in the 41st call for entries for the Animal Welfare Research Award from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, BMEL).

The winners of the Animal Welfare Research Award 2022 are Dr. Tim Meyer from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Medical Center Göttingen and M.Sc. Leon Budde from the Institute of Mechatronic Systems (IMES) at Leibniz University Hannover.

By optimizing and automating Engineered Heart Muscles (EHM) developed under the leadership of Prof. Zimmermann, they are making this novel technology attractive for large scale academic and commercial drug development. EHM-based high-throughput methods help to identify new drugs with better efficacy and fewer side effects already at laboratory level, so they can be quickly brought into clinical application. The goal of performing preclinical development on human stem cell-derived EHM is to eliminate animal testing as much as possible.

The prize is endowed with 25,000 € and will be used to subject the automated tissue production in the patented multititer format to a "stress test" with reference substances.

The prize is being awarded by the German Federal Ministry of Health since 1980 and by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) since 2001 for the development of scientific alternative methods to animal experiments.

Dr. Tim Meyer, group leader at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Medical Center Göttingen, conducts research on Decentralized Laboratory Automation & Extrusion 3D Bioprinting of Human Heart Muscle.

Link to the Press release of the BMEL (in German): 

Link to the Press release of the UMG (in German):


Dr. Tim Meyer, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Göttingen
phone: +49 551 395879 mail: tim.meyer(at)

NIH DZHK Cardiovascular Bioengineering (CVBE) Symposium 2022

June 9th-June 11th

German Primate Centre, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen
Alte Mensa, Wilhelmsplatz 3, 37073 Göttingen
Aula, Wilhelmsplatz 1, 37073 Göttingen

Cardiovascular bioengineering is developing rapidly, aiming at offering solutions for heart failure repair. A fundamental understanding of disease mechanisms as well as the realization that heart failure is a multifaceted disease entity is key for the translation of innovative, individualized heart failure therapies.

Depending on underlying disease mechanisms and disease states, classical pharmacological approaches, biologicals, gene and cell therapy approaches or combined therapies may have to be considered for optimal outcomes. Safe and effective delivery of innovative therapeutics is a key challenge addressed by innovative bioengineering approaches. Early clinical studies are emerging to test preclinical innovations.

We are proud to have attracted the attention of world leaders in fundamental and translational heart failure research and at the same time provide a platform for Young Investigators to present their innovative research. We expect vibrant discussions as to the identification of novel therapeutic targets and strategies to advance the state-of-the-art experimental knowledge into clinical applications.

Organizers: Jay Zhang, Wolfram Zimmermann

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