Institute of Experimental Cardiology

Dear visitors and colleagues,

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Heart failure is often the consequence of cardiovascular disease (e.g. myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, infections or hereditary cardiomyopathies) and is promoted by several comorbidities including diabetes, cancer or psychological diseases such as depression. Many pharmacological or interventional therapies help to reduce symptoms and in some cases the mortality of heart failure, but a restoration of cardiac function is not possible yet (except by heart transplantation). The incidence and prevalence of heart failure are constantly rising, and heart failure is expected to become a major health issue of our time.

Consequently, it is the mission of the new Institute of Experimental Cardiology to focus on molecular research to understand the fundamental mechanisms of heart disease and to translate the findings into novel diagnostic and therapeutic concepts. We are encouraged by recent paradigm-shifting research findings, highlighting that cardiac dysfunction is driven by coordinated changes in gene expression. We combine epigenetic, molecular, biochemical and cell biological methods with experimental and genetic models of heart disease to deeply understand the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression at the level of chromatin and RNA. Based on the gained knowledge, we develop new therapeutic and diagnostic principles, and we conduct proof-of-concept experiments in disease models. Close interactions with the clinical disciplines in the Center of Internal Medicine, other pre-clinical and clinical departments of the University Hospital Heidelberg, local (e.g. Heidelberg University, EMBL and DKFZ), national (e.g. DZHK partner sites) and international partners allow an interdisciplinary and patient-oriented approach and facilitate the translational process towards clinical application. 

We invite you to visit the pages of this website to learn more about our research and activities.


Johannes Backs


Portrait of Prof. Dr. med. Johannes Backs
Prof. Dr. med. Johannes Backs

+49 6221 56-7991
+49 6221 56-5573



Portrait von Prof. Dr. Ralf Gilsbach
Prof. Dr. Ralf Gilsbach

+49 6221 56-7476




Im Neuenheimer Feld 669
Level 02
69120 Heidelberg


How to find us