Yearbook 2008

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Pulmonary vascular remodeling of lung arteries plays an important role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This leads to an accumulation of cells in the vessel wall and to a reduced vascular lumen. New therapeutic approaches try to reduce the benign proliferation and attempt to reverse the remodeling of the pulmonary arteries using anti-cancer drugs. In the focus of our interest are inhibitors of tyrosine-kinases, which showed promising effects in preclinical models of pulmonary hypertension and first clinical studies. more
A project at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science studies the history and contemporary forms of the “cerebral subject“ – an anthropological figure according to which the brain is the only part of the body we need in order to be ourselves. Rooted in philosophical and scientific developments of the late 17th century, the cerebral subject has become since the mid-20th century a major form of thinking and practicing personhood in industrialized and highly medicalized societies. more
Empathy is a multidimensional construct entailing cognitive and emotional components. Despite a paucity of research, individuals on the autism spectrum are generally believed to lack empathy. In a study researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development used a new, photo-based measure, the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET), to assess empathy multidimensionally. Results suggested that while individuals with autism are impaired in cognitive empathy, they do not differ from control persons in emotional empathy. more
Teachers’ occupational stress is a subject of much discussion, both among the general public and in the scientific community. The COACTIV study of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development was the first to show that teachers’ experience of stress is associated with student ratings of instructional quality, with stressed teachers scoring much lower. Moreover, the data indicate that personal resources, e.g. adaptive self-regulation, are associated with lower experience of stress. more
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