SBI – Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Rostock
Ulmenstrasse 69 | 18057 Rostock
+49 381 498-7571
Helmholtz Virtual Institute of Complex Molecular Systems in Environmental Health - HICE
Helmholtz Virtual Institute in Aerosol & Health Research is funded by the Helmholtz Association led by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Rostock in European cooperation with 8 academic partners and 6 associated partners. The project started in January 2012 as a five-year project.
Particulate matter (PM) is the biggest environmental risk for health. Exposure to particulate matter decreases the life expectancy of every person by an average of almost one year, mostly due to increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and lung cancer. In HICE we addresses the question: Which aerosol component or property is responsible for the observed health effects?
Main research goals include 1) Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms and agents in combustion aerosols relevant for the observed health effects, 2) Identification of biomarkers for exposure and health effects, and 3) Evaluation of the relative toxicological potential of different anthropogenic aerosol sources. We hypothesize that reactive chemical compounds in ambient aerosols, both in particulate and gaseous phase, are relevant for observed health effects and all the adverse health effects are related to synergistic mechanisms between compounds in gaseous and particulate phase.
We are investigating health effect mechanisms by exposing human lung cells at the Air-Liquid Interface (ALI) to freshly emitted aerosols. We strongly believe that simulating relevant primary effects by in-vitro exposure can replace animal tests. Biological responses combined with a comprehensive chemical and physical analysis of the aerosol and a joint statistical data analysis allows a deeper insight of health effects caused by combustion aerosols.
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