CARIM Newsletter November 2016
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • Prizes and awards CARIM Day 2016
  • ERA-CVD grants
  • Monika Stoll pro-rector Münster
  • Theme issue Frontiers
  • Vici lunch session
  • CARIM Course Week 2017
  • Who's new?!
  • Grant deadlines
  • Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht
  • Symposia & other lectures
  • Academic events
  • Media appearances

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.

Prizes and Awards CARIM Day 2016

During the 2016 CARIM Symposium, several researchers have received an award or prize.

Professor Frits Prinzen (Dept. of Physiology) received the second CARIM Award. The CARIM Commitment Award is intended for any CARIM member who has devoted his/her heart and soul to CARIM in an exceptional way, be it on an academic, managerial, service or community level. The award consists of a bronze coin of the sculptor Marina van der Kooi. "Frits has been an exceptional supervisor to all of us. He is easily approachable, patiently explains his ideas and stimulates us to find our own personal way in science. Even when research results are e-mailed late at night, comments and revisions can often be found in our inbox before midnight.  Apart from being an excellent teacher and supervisor, Frits also looks at the person behind the researcher. He enjoys joining us for a casual drink during congresses and is always available to discuss the latest Tour de France or Olympic Games results. Furthermore, he is known for his comical presentations at the after-party after a dissertation about the ‘real’ person behind the researcher. "

Dissertation prizes
Martijn Chatrou and Thomas van Sloten both received the CARIM Dissertation Award 2015. Martijn received the award for her thesis "Role of vascular smooth muscle cell mediated calcification in atherosclerosis" and Thomas for his thesis "Vascular dysfunction: at the heart of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms".

Poster prizes
The following posters were awarded with a prize:
- "Targeting coagulation factor Xa with rivaoxaban reduces the onset and progression of atherosclerosis and enhances plaque stability in apoE null mice" by Postma J, Posthuma JJ, Van Oerle R, Schurgers LJ, Heitmeier S, Ten Cate H, Spronk HMH (Dept. of Biochemistry)
- "Towards an in vitro model for preeclampsia" by Vangrieken P, Schiffers P, Weseler A, Haenen G, Blankesteijn M, Rango U, Al-Nasiry S, Spaanderman M (Dept. of Toxicology & Pharmacology)
- "Early loss of peritubular capillaries after kidney transplantation is associated with later renal function decline: a validation study in 121 patients" by Keijbeck A, Steegh FMEG, Gelens MACJ, Van Heurn ELW, Christiaans MHL, Peutz-Kootstra CJ (Dept. of Pathology)

CARIM researchers successful in ERA-CVD grants

Several CARIM researchers were involved in three granted ERA-CVD applications:

EXPERT - Leon de Windt
EXPERT is a transnational European project aiming at the development of new strategies for the treatment of age-associated diseases such as heart failure. In doing so EXPERT will deviate from traditional approaches that mainly focus on targeting proteins and will instead explore non-coding RNA (ncRNA)-mediated regulatory pathways. For a long time regarded as evolutionary junk, ncRNAs are currently emerging as pivotal players in virtually all biological processes. As their levels fluctuate during ageing and disease ncRNAs are believed to significantly contribute to biodiversity and disease susceptibility including cardiovascular disease. EXPERT will employ animal models of (premature-) ageing and cardiac disease as well as investigate large human cohorts to establish a blueprint of ncRNAs in age-related heart diseases. Based on this blueprint and preliminary work of different project partners, EXPERT will validate important age-related cardiovascular pathways by testing ncRNA intervention strategies in relevant animal models and furthermore, define the predictive and prognostic value age-related ncRNAs in clinical and population-based cohorts. 
In summary, this 36 months project will lay the foundation that will lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for the treatment of heart failure

MacroERA - Leon de Windt, Stephane Heymans (also Leuven University, Professor of Matrix Biology and Inflammation)

Despite progress in the management of acute heart failure, long-term prognosis for patients suffering from this condition is still poor. Better understanding of disease mechanisms and therapy development are thus urgently needed. The labs involved in MacroERA take on culminating evidence that immune cells in the myocardium are key players in heart failure development. The MacroERA consortium has elaborated solid data in support of the idea that endogenous, non-coding microRNAs regulate essential functions in cardiac immune cells. The aim of MacroERA is thus to screen the microRNA portfolio of immune cells in disease models (e.g. chronic pressure overload of the left ventricle) and to characterize the function of candidate microRNAs. This task will involve state-of-the art technology such as proteome analysis, 2-photon microscopy, genetic knockout models or viral vectors for targeted genetic deficiency in vivo, and validation in human tissue and blood samples. Given this, MacroERA will exploit the potential of immune cell microRNAs for heart failure therapy.

LYMIT-DIS - Marc van Bilsen, Anna Papageorgiou
LYMIT-DIS (Targeted LYmphatic and MIcrovessel Treatments in Metabolic DISease HFpEF) is a multidisciplinary and translational project with the objective to forward our understanding of the mechanisms involved in cardiac diastolic dysfunction in Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) and to identify and evaluate new therapeutic targets. HFpEF affects almost 50% of all HF patients, women more often than men, and has a dire prognosis. A key risk factor for the development of HFpEF is the cluster of metabolic dysregulations referred to as Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). Together with partners in Rouen, Pamplona, Leuven and Warsaw it will be investigated if MetS induces cardiac lymphatic and microvascular dysfunction and tissue inflammation, culminating in local disturbances in myocardial perfusion. It is hypothesized that this will compromise cardiac energy metabolism and promote cardiac fibrosis, thereby predisposing to HFpEF. Special attention will be paid to gender-related differences in the development of HFpEF.


Monika Stoll appointed as pro-rector research Münster

Monika Stoll, Extraordinary Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics at CARIM, has been appointed as Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Münster, Germany, on October 1st, 2016. Her term as vice-rector is for 6 years, and she will be responsible for all aspects of research of the 15 faculties of the university. In the near future, Monika will be busy organizing the research proposals of the university within the German Excellence Strategy, which is one of the most important funding mechanisms for universities in Germany. Monika will maintain her position in Maastricht and will stay active in her research activities at CARIM.

Theme issue Frontiers: Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Processes in Cardiovascular Diseases

Many cells can shed extracellular vesicles, but researchers are only beginning to understand their physiologic significance. Diverse types of extracellular vesicles can be found in several biologic specimen and their numbers, distribution, and composition might serve as biomarkers for numerous disorders. Evidence is accumulating that extracellular vesicles play a key role in the pathophysiology of diabetes, thrombosis, inflammation and vascular calcification.
In this Research Topic organized by Rory Koenen together with Elena Aikawa (Harvard, Boston), original research from basic science reports to clinical studies as well as overview contributions that advance our understanding of extracellular vesicle-related processes in the field of vascular biology are welcome. We also encourage methodology papers. Articles may encompass research on microvesicles, exosomes and apoptotic bodies from leukocytes, platelets and cardiovascular cells as effectors or markers of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes in cardiovascular inflammation, calcification and remodeling. Submissions on molecular mechanisms of vesicle release as well as on nanoparticles for drug-targeting, cancer cell-derived vesicles or vesicles derived from other tissues will be considered in as far as related to the specialty section Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine, of Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.


Vici lunch session on December 8, 2016

Are you planning on writing a Vici proposal?

Are you interested in learning from a laureate, a (former) committee member, and fellow Vici applicants in an interactive discussion?

Then come to the Vici lunch session on December 8, from 12-13h.

The session will provide an informal setting to brainstorm about Vici applications, in the presence of a laureate and a former Vici committee member, in order to help researchers who are planning on applying for a Vici in March 2017 get ready for their application.

Please let us know by using the link below if you want to attend, or if you would be interested in a session like this if it was scheduled on another day:

The deadline for registration is November 18.

For more information on the Vici scheme, see:

 For more information on the session, please contact funding advisors Eva Rijkers (  and/or Femke Buiter ( 

CARIM Course Week 2017

Next year's CARIM Course Week will take place from June 19 until June 23, 2017. his year you will be offered the possibility to choose between the following two courses:
  • Vascular inflammation and thrombosis
  • Drug discovery and development

Furthermore, the course week includes a joint program as well as various social activities co-organised by I'MCARIM

Keep an eye on our website and upcoming newsletters for more information 

Who's New?!

My name is Yuri Foreman and in September I started my PhD track at CARIM as a member of The Maastricht Study team. I have previously studied Medicine at Maastricht University. During this period I discovered my keen interest in Internal Medicine and my passion for education and research. My future study projects will focus on such topics as glucose variability and asymptomatic hypoglycemia in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

My name is Mahmoud Elbatreek. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2009 at the Faculty of Pharmacy from the Zagazig University in Egypt. In continued working there as demonstrator in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. I obtained my Master’s degree in Pharmacology in 2016 and worked as assistant lecturer in the same department. I started my PhD track at CARIM in September. My research aims at exploring the role of NADPH oxidase in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular complications of diabetes.

My name is Jan Nagenborg and I successfully completed my B.Sc. in Biology at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany. Afterwards, I started my M.Sc. studies at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany,  focusing on molecular cell biology and immunology. Within the scope of my Erasmus scholarship I studied at the Aix-Marseille University, France, and wrote my master’s thesis at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy. For my PhD in Prof. Erik Biessen’s group, my research will mainly concentrate on macrophages in the atherosclerotic plaque using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

My name is Wouter Robaeys. Studying medicine in Maastricht I had some extracurricular activities as organizing the extracurricular course CPR (Maastricht University, Task Force QRS) in 2014-2015, whereby I was a tutor and practicum supervisor (ECG). I think cardiology is an interesting medical specialization because of the combination of biology, technique, and patient contact. This is also the background of my PhD topic, whereby I will study the diagnostics for early diagnosis of Heart Failure.  Heart Failure is a disease with increasing prevalence rate, significant mortality numbers, that can be reversible to some extent through early treatment. So, therapy should be performed as soon as possible and there is a need  for early diagnosis.


Grant deadlines


Universiteitsfonds Limburg - Deadline November 11, 2016
Click here for more information

NWO Rubicon - Deadline December 1, 2016
Click here for more information

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship - Deadline December 7, 2016
Click here for more information

Dr. E. Dekker Junior Postdoc - Deadline January 24, 2017
Click here for more information

Dr E. Dekker Arts in opleiding tot specialist - Deadline January 24, 2017
Click here for more information

NWO Veni- Deadline beginning of January 2017
Click here for more information

November 11 - Marco Das, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center+
"Individualized cardiovascular imaging"

November 18 - Jens Cosedis Nielsen, MD, DMSc, PhD, Aarhus University, Denmark
"Results of the DANISH trail. Primary prophylactic ICD for patients with non-ischemic heart failure"

November 25 - Bas de Laat, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center+
"Arterial events related to the antiphospholipid syndrome"

December 2 - Christian Kupatt, MD, PhD, Technische Universität Munich, Germany
"Microvascular instability: a disease modifier"

December 9 - Lars H. Lund, Md, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
"Heart failure with preserved and mid-range ejection fraction: lessons from registries"

December 16 - Lars Maegdefessel, MD, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
"Non-coding RNAs in vascular disease detection and therapy"

Starts at 7.45 am, Academic hospital Maastricht, Meeting room A3-B3, level 3
Breakfast included! Registration not necessary

Click here for an overview of all the CGRM lectures of the last quarter of 2016

Symposia & events

Dutch Physiology Days 2016 Maastricht - November 25-26, 2016
Click here for more information

Workshop writing valorisation paragraph thesis - November 28, 2016 
Click here for more information

Workshop "Writing Successful ERC CoG Grants" - November 29 & December 7 2016
Click here for more information

Maastricht AF - Crossing Borders - February 8-10, 2017
Click here for more information

Agenda KNAW November

Maastricht Systems Biology Forum - November 15, 2016

The sixth meeting of the (now more efficiently titled) Maastricht Systems Biology Forum will take place on Tuesday 15th November, 2016. This working group brings together researchers in the Maastricht area who are interested in the development and application of “systems biology”. The main aim is to share research, experience and, through this exchange, inspire and initiate new research directions and collaborations. The meeting takes place roughly every three months in the Brains Unlimited building.
This edition of the Foum turns its attention to the challenging issue of understanding the consequences of biological variability, and how computer simulations can help. Biology in general is characterized by a pronounced intrinsic variability. This variability can have important clinical consequences, for example influencing the response to drugs, explaining heterogeneous phenotypic effects of genetic variants, etc. By contrast, the majority of computational models employed to date have been designed to reflect an average, ‘representative’ cell/individual and have been investigated under steady-state conditions, ignoring temporal and inter-subject variability. We will use cardiac cellular electrophysiology as an illustrative case.
Click here for the agenda of the meeting.
Academic events

PhD Conferral Mathias Burgmaier, Tuesday November 8, 14.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. C.P.M. Reutelingsperger; Prof. N. Marx
Co-supervisor: Dr L. Schurgers
Title: "From bench to bedside: Tools to diagnose and treat atherosclerosis and heart failure"

PhD Conferral Theodorus Lankveld, Thursday November 17, 14.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. U. Schotten; Prof. H.J.G.M. Crijns
Co-supervisor: Dr S. Zeemering
Title: "Use of the electrocardiagram for prediction of arrhythmia outcome in atrial fibrillation"

PhD Conferral Casper Mihl, Friday November 18, 10.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. J.E. Wildberger
Co-supervisors: Dr M. Das; Dr B.L.J.H. Kietselaer
Title: "Decisive modification tools in coronary computed tomographic angiography; from phantom to patient"

PhD Conferral Madeleine Kok, Friday November 18, 12.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. J.E. Wildberger
Co-supervisors: Dr M. Das; Dr B.L.J.H. Kietselaer
Title: "Individual Optimisation of Contrast Media Application and Radiation Dose in Computed Tomographic Angiography; from Phantom to Patient"

PhD Conferral Leonne Philippen, Wednesday November 23, 10.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. L.J. de Windt
Co-supervisors: Dr P. Da Costa Martins; Dr E. Dirkx
Title: "Non-coding RNAs in eccentric cardiac remodeling and heart failure"

PhD Conferral Farida Omarova, Thursday November 24, 16.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. J. Rosing; Prof. R.M. Berina (UL)
Co-supervisor: Dr E. Castoldi
Title: "Primed to act: the effect of fibrinogen 'Y' on thrombin functions"

Media appearances

Mark Post (Dept. of Physiology) - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), 16-10-2016: "Meat created from stem cells Dutch scientist first presented lab-grown burger in 2013"

Gerry Nicolaes (Dept. of Biochemistry) - Telegraaf, 13-10-2016: "Medicijn tegen immunotrombose"

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