CARIM Newsletter October 2022

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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • Information ERC
  • CARIM Picture a Scientist event
  • MUMC+ Medal Prof. Frits Prinzen
  • Chahinda Ghossein-Doha Top Woman Limburg 2022
  • Stem Cell Research University Maastricht
  • Opening AMICARE
  • The battle on river Maas
  • Matisse to start next dose level M6229 in septic patients
  • Workshop 'Analysis of single cell sequencing data'
  • Paramount Papers
  • FEM open-call
  • Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht
  • Who's New?!
  • Academic Events
  • Lectures, symposia & events
  • Flow Cytometry Course

CARIM newsletter

Contributions for the newsletter (e.g. news of events and grants, important publications, societial impact related topics and research results related to CARIM's research) can be sent to Please submit the text in English and include a short title. The text should be max. 200 words. If applicable, include high resolution pictures and other documents.

Information ERC

ERC Starting
The ERC Starting 2023 candidates who apply on 25 October must provide a host institution letter, signed by the UM executive board. Please contact CARIM-office in case you are applying for an ERC Starting grant and have not informed us yet. 

ERC Consolidator
On Tuesday 4 October 2022 from 15.00-16.30, interested UM researchers are warmly invited to attend an online information session on the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant funding scheme. The 2023 call is set to open on 28 September 2022 with a 2 February 2023 deadline. If you are interested in attending the session, please register before 2 October at More information on the funding schemes can be found on the ERC’s official page:


CARIM Picture a Scientist event - 18 October 2022

When looking at portrayals of scientists – do you recognise yourself in these? How do you picture a scientist within CARIM? Is there a ‘standard’ and what does that mean for those that deviate from that standard?
CARIM is hosting the “Picture a Scientist” movie event at Lumière Cinema, where we invite you to discuss these questions after being inspired by the scientists in this  film. This is also the kick-off of CARIM’s working group on Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Safety.
Date: Tuesday 18 October 2022
Time: 13:45-17:30h
  • Welcome (starts at 14:00h)
  • Movie
  • Discussion, moderated by Constance Sommerey
  • Drinks & bites
This event is about you and about our CARIM community – so we are looking forward to hearing your voice! Please register before 9 October by sending an e-mail to
Looking forward to seeing and hearing you at Lumière!

MUMC+ Medal Prof. Frits Prinzen

Prof. Frits Prinzen (Dept. of Physiology) received the MUMC+ medal on 16 September at the end of his farewell speech due to his retirement from UM. This medal is awarded to officials who have had significant significance for Maastricht UMC+ or with special merits outside their own discipline. The 'Electromechanics of the Heart' professor was awarded the medal because of his scientific career, his contributions and dedication to teaching during 44 years of service at the university and his collegiality.

read the full article here ->

Chahinda Ghossein-Doha named Top Woman Limburg 2022


Dr Chahinda Ghossein-Doha (Dept. of Cardiology) has been named this year’s ‘Top Woman of Limburg province’. She received the title at a ceremony in Weert on 22 September organised by the Topvrouwen Limburg Foundation.

Chahinda is a cardiologist in training at Maastricht UMC+ and a researcher at CARIM and GROW. Her research focuses on cardiovascular diseases in women, particularly in relation to their pregnancy. She is committed to this women-specific issue through her work as a cardiologist and scientist, and through the Queen of Hearts foundation, which she has set up.

Chahinda says she aims to give the topic more exposure and to break existing taboos. She is the author of a book about the impact of pregnancy complications on women and she organises projects in which science, music and art come together.

Stem Cell Research University Maastricht (SCRUM)

Initiated by CARIM, in collaboration with FHML, SCRUM is the latest core facility of FHML that will provide service for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). In this new core facility, iPSC cells provide a solution for research with cells from hard-to-reach tissues such as heart, vascular tissue or brain tissue. These iPSC have the potential to grow into different types of somatic cells. 
This state-of-the-art technology will be applied within CARIM to study genetic disorders of heart and vessels, with the ultimate goal to develop new insights and novel therapeutics for cardiovascular disease. In addition, these iPSC derived cells provide an endless supply of cells from the same genetic origin, that can be used for testing pharmacological (drugs) and genetic (CRISPR/Cas9) therapeutic interventions. Further, research within SCRUM aims on possible therapeutic applications of these stem cells for regenerating tissues. In addition to research, SCRUM aims to offer training courses and seminars to stimulate iPSC research culture within Maastricht.
Interdisciplinary platforms will be developed within SCRUM in which clinical science and stem cell research will be connected. Within SCRUM, we want to stimulate iPSC research for both fundamental and translational applications between CARIM and HVC.

Click on the picture to view a video about SCRUM.

Opening of the 'Aachen-Maastricht Institute for CardioRenal Disease' (AMICARE)

Dear colleagues,

We are proud to announce the opening of the 'Aachen-Maastricht Institute for CardioRenal Disease' (AMICARE) and would be delighted to welcome you during the opening ceremony on Thursday 20 October 2022, starting at 15h30.

Speakers include international experts in the scientific field, representatives of the RWTH Aachen, the Maastricht University and their Medical Faculties, as well as the Ambassadors between Germany and the Netherlands. Also, we are highly honoured to welcome as special guest speaker Armin Laschet, Minister President ret. of North Rhine-Westphalia & Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Click here for the full programme.

The opening ceremony takes place at the Enterprise-Integration-Center (EICe), Campus-Boulevard 55 in Aachen. Parking place is available behind the building. After the ceremony, there will be the opportunity to visit the first AMICARE laboratories (Pauwelsstraße 17, 52074 Aachen).
We kindly ask to confirm your attendance to this event until 4 October to Mrs. Sandra Knarren by email (, phone (+49 241 80-80580) or by sending back the reply card..

Looking forward meeting you on this ceremony.
Yours sincerely,
In name of the AMICARE founders
Prof. Dr. Tilman Hackeng, Prof. Dr. Leon Schurgers, Prof. Dr. Erik Biessen (Maastricht University)
Prof. Dr. Joachim Jankowski, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Marx, Prof. Dr. Dirk Müller-Wieland, Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, PD. Dr. Heidi Noels, Dr. Emiel van der Vorst (RWTH Aachen University)

The battle on the river Maas

Sunday morning, 18 September, six courageous CARIM warriors meet up at the banks of the river Maas. Today they are going to beat the racing shells with the longboat ('sloep'). Team CARIM exists of Sandrine, Kelly, Sophie, Tilman, Elham, Cengiz, supported by Jan, Jos, and cox Boy. Muscles are warmed, bladders are emptied, final strategy is communicated. Then we are called to row to the startline for the first heat. At the start signal we pull the oars to a bend, the cox scourges the warriors, sweat gushes, muscles explodes. Our time is an amazing 2min42 for 500 meters. In heat two and three we can even beat our time to 2min33. And …we succeed in beating some of the racing shell teams. We make it to the finals, and the CARIM heroes win the cup for the 'sloep'.  (see:

Matisse to start next dose level M6229 in septic patients

We are excited to announce that an invention within the research of Division Blood of CARIM has achieved successfully a key milestone of its clinical development programme (see press release). Dr Gerry Nicolaes, Prof. Coenraad Hemker and Prof. Chris Reutelingsperger discovered that the low anticoagulant fraction of unfractionated heparin has life-saving potential for patients suffering from sepsis. The discovery was patented and exclusively licensed to Matisse Pharmaceuticals. The current achievement underscores the strength of translational research within CARIM from the bench-to-bedside perspective.

Workshop 'Analysis of single cell sequencing data' - 25 October 2022

In the first successful single cell sequencing workshop we showed participants how to prepare samples. In our second workshop, we will train you for the next step:

Bioinformatics analysis of single cell sequencing data.

Click here for the flyer and information on registration for this hands-on workshop organised in Maastricht on Oct 25 2022 from 9:00-17:00 (Universiteitssingel 50). 

CARIM acquired the 10x chromium platform for single cell/nuclear sequencing, which is open to use by all FHML scientists. Bioinformatics seems a big hurdle in the single cell pipeline, but  many wet lab scientists have been able master this already. So, no idea what feature plots or dot plots are, or how they are made? Did you just send your first prep off to be sequenced?  Then, join us for this user’s day for free to know more about practical steps in sequencing analysis.  Learn how to process your sequence file in the program “Cell ranger”, cluster similar cells together with “Seurat”, and identify differentially expressed genes.

Basic R/R Studio experience is required. Registration is free, but spaces are limited.

Register before Oct 11 

Hope to see you there,

Judith Sluimer, Professor of cardiovascular pathophysiology
Florian Caiment, Department of Toxicogenomics
Jana Hegenbarth, Department of Cardiology
Javier Perales-Paton, RWTH Aachen and Heidelberg University

Paramount Papers

Vitamin K1 and progression of cardiovascular calcifications in hemodialysis patients: the VitaVasK randomized controlled trial

Cardiovascular calcifications are prevented by matrix Gla protein (MGP), a vitamin K–dependent protein. Haemodialysis patients exhibit marked vitamin K deficiency. The randomized, prospective, open-label, multicentre VitaVasK trial analysed whether vitamin K1 supplementation reduces progression of coronary artery calcifications (CACs) and thoracic aortic calcifications (TACs).

Patients with pre-existing CACs were randomized to continue on standard care or to additionally receive 5 mg of vitamin K1 orally thrice weekly. Hierarchically ordered primary endpoints were progression of TAC and CAC in computed tomography scans at 18 months. Linear mixed effects models with repeated measures at baseline and 12 and 18 months assessed treatment effects after adjusting for study site.

Of 60 randomized patients, 20 dropped out for reasons unrelated to vitamin K1, resulting in 23 control and 17 vitamin K1 patients. The trial was stopped early due to slow recruitment. At 18 months, the average TAC progression was 56% lower in the vitamin K1 compared with the control group (p = .039). CAC significantly progressed within the control group, but not within the vitamin K1 group. Average progression at 18 months was 68% lower in the vitamin K1 compared to the control group (P = .072). Vitamin K1 reduced plasma levels of pro-calcific uncarboxylated MGP by 69% at 18 months. No treatment-related adverse events were noted.

Vitamin K1 intervention is a potent, safe and cost-effective approach to correct vitamin K deficiency and to potentially reduce cardiovascular calcification in this high-risk population.

Turgay Saritas, Sebastian Reinartz, Thilo Krüger, Markus Ketteler, Orfeas Liangos, Laura Labriola, Peter Stenvinkel, Christoph Kopp, Ralf Westenfeld, Pieter Evenepoel, Robert Siepmann, Stephanie Wied, Ralf-Dieter Hilgers, Leon Schurgers, Jürgen Floege, VitaVasK Investigators, Vitamin K1 and progression of cardiovascular calcifications in hemodialysis patients: the VitaVasK randomized controlled trial, Clinical Kidney Journal, 2022;, sfac184,

Click here for the full publication.

Left bundle branch area pacing outcomes: the multicentre European MELOS study

Aims: Permanent transseptal left bundle branch area pacing (LBBAP) is a promising new pacing method for both bradyarrhythmia and heart failure indications. However, data regarding safety, feasibility and capture type are limited to relatively small, usually single centre studies. In this large multicentre international collaboration, outcomes of LBBAP were evaluated.

Methods and results: This is a registry-based observational study that included patients in whom LBBAP device implantation was attempted at 14 European centres, for any indication. The study comprised 2533 patients (mean age 73.9 years, female 57.6%, heart failure 27.5%). LBBAP lead implantation success rate for bradyarrhythmia and heart failure indications was 92.4% and 82.2%, respectively. The learning curve was steepest for the initial 110 cases and plateaued after 250 cases. Independent predictors of LBBAP lead implantation failure were heart failure, broad baseline QRS and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter. The predominant LBBAP capture type was left bundle fascicular capture (69.5%), followed by left ventricular septal capture (21.5%) and proximal left bundle branch capture (9%). Capture threshold (0.77 V) and sensing (10.6 mV) were stable during mean follow-up of 6.4 months. The complication rate was 11.7%. Complications specific to the ventricular transseptal route of the pacing lead occurred in 209 patients (8.3%).

Conclusions: LBBAP is feasible as a primary pacing technique for both bradyarrhythmia and heart failure indications. Success rate in heart failure patients and safety need to be improved. For wider use of LBBAP, randomized trials are necessary to assess clinical outcomes.

Jastrzębski M, Kiełbasa G, Cano O, Curila K, Heckman L, De Pooter J, Chovanec M, Rademakers L, Huybrechts W, Grieco D, Whinnett ZI, Timmer SAJ, Elvan A, Stros P, Moskal P, Burri H, Zanon F, Vernooy K. Left bundle branch area pacing outcomes: the multicentre European MELOS study. Eur Heart J. 2022 Aug 18:ehac445. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac445. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35979843.

Click here for the full publication.

Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht

7 October - Olaf Bergman (MD, PhD), Karolinska Insitutet, Solna, Sweden
'Cardiomyocyte renewal in homeostasis and disease'

21 October - Florian Khales (MD, PhD), RWTH Aachen Univeristy, Germany
'Incretins-Protective homones at the crossroads of inflammation, metabolism and cardiovascular disease'

4 November - Tobias Petzold (MD, PhD), Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munic, Germany
'Megakaryocytes, a new player in cardiovascular diseases'

18 November - Vimal Karani (PhD) University of Reading, UK
'Nutrigenetics and precision nutrition for the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases'

8.00-9.00 AM online and on-site

ZOOM-link for all meetings:
Meeting ID: 972 2487 2025
Password: 678252

Click here for the upcoming lectures.

The steering committee for the Cardiovascular Grand Rounds consists of CARIM staff members of the 3 divisions (Heart, Vessels and Blood) and includes Renske Olie, Sébastien Foulquier, Pieter Goossens, Jordi Heijman, Rory Koenen, Blanche Schroen, Julie Staals and Kristiaan Wouters. If you have suggestions for a specific topic or speaker, please contact any of the committee members and they will assist in scheduling the lecture with you.

Who's New?!


Academic Events

PhD conferral Gina Perrela, 4 October, 16.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisors: Prof. J. Heemskerk, Prof. S. Watson (University of Birminghan) 
Co-supervisors: Dr M Watson (University of Birmingham), Dr M. Nagdy 
Title: Platelet Glycoprotein VI in the Regulation of Thrombus Growth

PhD conferral Armand Linkens, 5 October, 16.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisors: Prof. C. Schalkwijk, Prof. C. Stehouwer
Co-supervisors: Dr A. Houben, Dr S. Eussen
Title: The impact of dietary advanced glycation endproducts - Relevance to glucose metabolism, vascular function, and gut microbiota

PhD conferral Andreia Pinheiro Vilaca, 18 October, 10.00 hours (online)
Supervisors: Prof. L. de Windt, Prof. L. da Silva Ferreira (University of Coimbra)
Co-supervisor: Dr H. Agostinho Machado Fernandes (University of Coimbra)
Title: Targeting the heart: Extracellular vesicles and beyond

PhD conferral Elisa D'Alessandro, 20 October, 13.00 hours, MBB 4-6 
Supervisors: Prof. H. ten Cate, Prof. U. Schotten
Co-supervisor: Dr F. van Nieuwenhoven
Title: Atrial fibrillation and hypercoagulability: A two-way street with many side-roads

PhD conferral Billy Scaf, 20 October, 14.30 hours, MBB 4-6 
Supervisor: Prof. U. Schotten 
Co-supervisors: Dr H. Spronk, Dr S. Verheule 
Title: Atrial fibrillation and hypercoagulability: A two-way street with many side-roads

PhD conferral Michiel Henkens, 24 October, 14.30 hours, MBB 4-6 
Supervisor: Prof. S. Heymans
Co-supervisors: Dr J.A.J. Verdonschot, Dr M.P. Hazebroek, Dr V.P.M. van Empel

Lectures, symposia & events

Pélerìn Symposium 2022 - 5 October 2022
CARIM Picture a Scientist event - 18 October 2022 
Netherlands Society on Biomolecular Modelling Fall Meeting - 27 October 2022
Microscopy Autumn School 2022 - 7-11 November 2022
CARIM Symposium - 16 November 2022
NLSEV - 17 & 18 November 2022
Patient engagement in drug development: moving beyond tools and standardization? - 18 November 2022
Vascular Rounds | Hypertensie: intensief en invasief - 22 November 2022

Upcoming School Council meetings:
1 November 10:00-12:00h

KNAW agenda
Brightlands news

Flow Cytometry Course - 11-13 October 2022

Dear all,
We are happy to announce that we will organize this year the Flow Cytometry Course again! The course will be held on October 11th, 12th and 13th 2022. The first day (afternoon) will be a theoretical course with a general introduction to flow cytometry, the latest technological advances in spectral flow cytometry and information on the flow cytometry tools and possibilities at Maastricht. The second and third day will involve hands-on practical sessions to learn to use the flow cytometers and to get acquainted with data acquisition, analysis, and troubleshooting.
Like last year, Cytek will participate in the course for both the theoretical and practical sessions to illustrate the power of spectral Flow Cytometry, using the flow cytometer that was recently acquired: Cytek Aurora. 
For the hands-on sessions places are limited and will be filled on a first come-first serve basis. For the theory session, places are limited due to the capacity of the Lecture room.
Please register for this event by mailing to: and specify whether you will attend the theory program only or both even, and specify whether you prefer a hands-on session on the CANTO or the Cytek Aurora.
We hope to see you then,
Lotte Wieten and Kristiaan Wouters
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