Networks of heart disease: Systems medicine approach to improve heart health

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in western industrial nations. In Germany, about 40 % of all deaths are caused by diseases of the cardiovascular system. Rising life expectancy is expected to increase the appearance of cardiovascular disease.

The alliance "coNfirm" is part of the networking fonds promoted to intensify the interdisciplinary interactions between the five modules of the research and support concept "e:Med - Establishing systems medicine in Germany". coNfirm is working with conditions of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, myocardial infarct and atrial fibrillation. The project aims to identify disease-spanning features and mechanisms using systems medicine approaches to gain profound knowledge of cardiovascular diseases. This is essential for the development of personalized medicine, including diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures.

The "coNfirm" network brings together nine e:Med groups, which are combining and evaluating different experimental datasets and clinical information obtained from project partners. To facilitate an efficient data exchange, datasets are harmonized and experimental standards as well as legal requirements are created. The developed tools for combining and exchanging big datasets can be transferred to many different areas to gain more insight in this field. This knowledge will be passed on to the e:Med community in workshops.


Subproject 1: Multi-species and multi-level data resource

Subproject 2: Bioinformatic approaches to generate common signaling pathways of cardiac diseases

Subproject 3: Methods of data exchange within coNfirm: rules, procedures and trust


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Hawe, J. S., F. J. Theis and M. Heinig (2019). "Inferring Interaction Networks From Multi-Omics Data." Front Genet 10: 535. coNfirm

Heinig, M. (2018). "Using Gene Expression to Annotate Cardiovascular GWAS Loci." Front. Cardiovasc. Med 5. symAtrial & conFirm

Hussung, S., M. Follo, R. F. U. Klar, S. Michalczyk, K. Fritsch, F. Nollmann, J. Hipp, J. Duyster, F. Scherer, N. von Bubnoff, M. Boerries, U. Wittel and R. M. Fritsch (2020). "Development and clinical validation of discriminatory multi-target digital droplet PCR assays for the detection of hot spot KRAS and NRAS mutations in cell-free DNA." J Mol Diagn. coNfirm

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Kläsener, K., J. Jellusova, G. Andrieux, U. Salzer, C. Böhler, S. N. Steiner, J. B. Albinus, M. Cavallari, B. Süß, R. E. Voll, M. Boerries, B. Wollscheid and M. Reth (2021). "CD20 as a gatekeeper of the resting state of human B cells." Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A 118(7): e2021342118. coNfirm

Klett, H., L. Jürgensen, P. Most, M. Busch, F. Günther, G. Dobreva, F. Leuschner, D. Hassel, H. Busch and M. Boerries (2018). "Delineating the Dynamic Transcriptome Response of mRNA and microRNA during Zebrafish Heart Regeneration." Biomolecules 9(1). DeCaRe & coNfirm

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Lausser, L., L. M. Schäfer, S. D. Kühlwein, A. M. R. Kestler and H. A. Kestler (2020). "Detecting Ordinal Subcascades." Neural Process Lett 52(3): 2583–2605. coNfirm

Lausser, L., L. M. Schafer, L. R. Schirra, R. Szekely, F. Schmid and H. A. Kestler (2019). "Assessing phenotype order in molecular data." Sci Rep 9(1): 11746. coNfirm & SYMBOL-HF

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Lausser, L., R. Szekely, V. Kessler, F. Schwenker and H. A. Kestler (2018). Selecting Features from Foreign Classes, Springer International Publishing.

Lausser, L., R. Szekely and H. A. Kestler (2020). "Chained correlations for feature selection." Advances in Data Analysis and Classification: 1–14. coNfirm

Lausser, L., R. Szekely, A. Klimmek, F. Schmid and H. A. Kestler (2020). "Constraining classifiers in molecular analysis: invariance and robustness." Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17(163): 14. coNfirm

Maccari, M. E., S. Fuchs, P. Kury, G. Andrieux, S. Völkl, B. Bengsch, M. R. Lorenz, M. Heeg, J. Rohr, S. Jägle, C. N. Castro, M. Groß, U. Warthorst, C. König, I. Fuchs, C. Speckmann, J. Thalhammer, F. G. Kapp, M. G. Seidel, G. Dückers, S. Schönberger, C. Schütz, M. Führer, R. Kobbe, D. Holzinger, C. Klemann, P. Smisek, S. Owens, G. Horneff, R. Kolb, N. Naumann-Bartsch, M. Miano, J. Staniek, M. Rizzi, T. Kalina, P. Schneider, A. Erxleben, R. Backofen, A. Ekici, C. M. Niemeyer, K. Warnatz, B. Grimbacher, H. Eibel, A. Mackensen, A. P. Frei, K. Schwarz, M. Boerries, S. Ehl and A. Rensing-Ehl (2021). "A distinct CD38+CD45RA+ population of CD4+, CD8+, and double-negative T cells is controlled by FAS." J Exp Med 218(2). coNfirm

Marschner, D., M. Falk, N. R. Javorniczky, K. Hanke-Müller, J. Rawluk, A. Schmitt-Graeff, F. Simonetta, E. Haring, S. Dicks, M. Ku, S. Duquesne, K. Aumann, D. Rafei-Shamsabadi, F. Meiss, P. Marschner, M. Boerries, R. S. Negrin, J. Duyster, R. Zeiser and N. Köhler (2020). "MicroRNA-146a regulates immune-related adverse events caused by immune checkpoint inhibitors." JCI Insight 5(6). coNfirm

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