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2012 Working Group Young Investigator Award price winner: Interview with Konstantin Stark

Konstantin Stark received a Young Investigator Award in recognition of his outstanding work : "Neutrophils contribute to DVT formation by forming procoagulant and prothrombotic neutrophil extracellular traps", during the ESC Congress 2012.
This award was sponsored by Biolegend.

Basic Sciences, Pharmacology, Genomics and Cardiovascular Pathology

Q1: Why did you decide to get into cardiovascular research?

Cardiovascular diseases are among the most common medical problems and have a high impact on morbidity and mortality. Surprisingly, their pathophysiology is in large parts poorly understood, which makes research in this field particularly interesting. In addition, cardiovascular research covers a lot of different topics from congenital malformations to degenerative diseases.
Q2: What led you to start this specific research project and/or lab?

In contrast to arterial thrombosis, only little is known about venous thrombogenesis, as the mechanisms seem to be far more complex. Also, there are a lot of different triggers for venous thrombosis, making it even more difficult to find out unifying concepts for all of them. Using an animal model, we wanted to analyze the early cellular events initiating thrombus formation in large veins. In the end, we were intrigued to see that innate immune cells and platelets are the essential components leading to clot formation.     

Q3: What do you think was the secret of your success as Young Investigator?

Besides an excellent lab and a certain amount of luck that is always needed in experimental research – a highly motivated team.

Q4: What did you most enjoy of your time in cardiovascular research?

I most enjoyed to work on “open-ended” projects that left room for unexpected findings which turned our attention in new directions. In addition, it is fascinating to see how over the course of a project a new concept evolves and – step by step – increases in its explanatory potential.

Q5 (if applicable): Will you stay in research or plan to go back to clinical activities?

I will continue doing research, but have also started my clinical training in cardiology.

Notes to editor

Konstantin Stark is from Steffen Massberg´s lab, German Heart Center Munich, Department of Experimental Cardiology, Munich, Germany.

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.