CARIM Newsletter December 2022

View this email in your browser

This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • Awards & Prizes CARIM Symposium 2022
  • Successful first edition CAS-AM
  • Hybrid working and deadline allowances
  • Prof. Christian Weber Highly Cited Researcher 2022
  • EU project MELISSA funded
  • DCVA Netwerkbijeenkomst
  • MSP-Maastricht iGEM silver medal
  • Paramount Papers
  • Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht
  • Who's New?!
  • Academic Events
  • EVBO Workshop and conferences
  • Lectures, symposia & events
  • Media Moments

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.

Recap and awards CARIM Day 2022

We are looking back on a very successful CARIM Day 2022 with excellent scientific lectures from our recent laureates, a glimpse in the future of CARIMs stem cell strategies, lessons from nature from our Robert Reneman lecturer Prof. Peter Stenvinkel and last but not least, the CARIM awards & prizes.

Nine HS-BAFTA talent medals in the various categories were awarded to Peter Deissler (pre-PhD); Jerremy Weerts; Shaiv Parikh; Mitch Ramaekers; Vanessa Bröker; Deepak Balamurali; Bob Knapen; and Maurits Sikking (PhD) and Mohamed Kassem (post doc).

The CARIM commitment award of 2022 went to I’mCARIM board members 2021 for their unprecedented efforts to further improve the well-being among our PhD candidates, and creating an illustrated PhD guide with facts, figures, and important info to safely cross a PhD trajectory. In addition, they designed a CARIM recruitment video that will surely result in a motivated start of many new PhD candidates arriving at CARIM.

The CARIM dissertation prize 2021 was awarded to Job Verdonschot for the thesis ‘Causes and Consequences of Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Integrating Genotype and Phenotype to Redefine Disease Diagnostics and Therapeutics’. Job provided a very comprehensive PhD thesis at the link between geno- and phenotyping in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. The thesis was awarded the judicium cum laude. In the same year 2021 the Dutch Clinical Genetics Society recognized the excellence of his research with the Ben ter Haar Award, and the Dutch Society for Cardiology granted him the Einthoven Dissertation Prize (2022). Both are very prestigious awards in their respective fields.

Finally, the following researchers won the CARIM Annual Symposium poster prize:
  • Division Blood: Renée Tillie: Partial myeloid inhibition of key glycolytic enzyme PFKFB3 increases hepatic steatosis and inflammation, but does not affect atherosclerosis (Poster judges Division Heart: Job Verdonschot & Martijn Hoes).
  • Division Vessels: Pim Bouwmans: Impact of immunosuppressive therapy and type of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on antibody response in patients with chronisch kidney disease or on kidney replacement therapy (Poster judges Division Blood: Marjo Donners & Ingrid Dijkgraaf).
  • Division Heart: Tim van Loon: Digital twin of the failing heart: a platform for in silico research and diagnostic support (Poster judges Division Vessels: Allessandro Giudici & Philippe Vangrieken).
Missed it?

NWO Team Science Award iCMR team Rob Holtackers (Dept. of Radiology) and his iCMR team have won the Team Science Award from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The Team Science Award rewards the most inspiring and successful team of researchers from various disciplinary fields, who jointly take on a scientific challenge in which their individual strengths and expertise demonstrably reinforce each other.

The iCMR team aims to improve the treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmias by treating them while inside an MRI scanner. By combining their diverse expertise, the team uses basic science, biomedical technology, and patient care to achieve their objective. The jury valued the complementarity of the disciplines in their team and the combination of scientific and technological expertise. The route taken by the team to translate elementary science and technology into patient care resulted in an impactful application. The prize money of € 10k is intended for activities with relation to the team.

Successful first edition CAS-AM

Supported by Maastricht University and CARIM we recently completed the first edition of the European Course in Antithrombotic Management (named Certificate of Advanced Studies in Antithrombotic Management, or CAS-AM,
This initiative is the result of the awareness that physicians managing patients with thromboembolic disorders (e.g. venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and risk of ischemic stroke) are increasingly confronted with an expanding array of antithrombotic agents in a diversity of indications, either as single agent or in combinations. Many of us recognize the problems and complexity of deciding which antithrombotic drug to give to which patient, the right dosing, for how long, what are (contra)indications and clinically relevant interactions, whether monitoring or measuring is relevant to optimize the risk/benefit balance in the specific patient.
In order to address all issues related to Antithrombotic Management we have recently completed the first Course which was successfully attended by 18 participants in April (20-24) and November (2-6)  2022, at the Crown Plaza hotel in Maastricht.
Participants were all active physicians, from different European countries including France, Spain, Belgium, UK, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Most were early career physicians, often with the ambition to become experts in this field and to start and lead a regional Thrombosis Expert Center.
Faculty comprised of European experts in the broad field of thrombosis, including internists, vascular medicine experts, cardiologists and diagnostic laboratory experts.
In addition to the on-site attendance, all participants completed an individual portfolio during the summer months, focusing on their practice but also on personal development aspects that were individually discussed with faculty members during the last course week.
Based on attendance and completed portfolios, all attendants were rewarded with a certificate, handed over by representatives from Maastricht University (Roger Rennenberg) and CARIM (Tilman Hackeng).
We are proud of this new translational and clinical training program that we intend to continue this in 2023-2024.

The local organizing committee: Arina ten Cate-Hoek, Henri Spronk and Hugo ten Cate. 

Hybrid working and deadline allowances

As previously announced, Maastricht University is returning to a system where your commuting allowance and/or working-from-home allowance will be paid out with your monthly salary. Under the legislative and regulatory changes introduced with hybrid working, we have to be able to demonstrate that you commute or work from home in order to pay out the respective allowances. Read on to find out what you need to do.


As of 1 January 2023, the commuting allowance and the working-from-home allowance (including the internet allowance) will be paid out automatically with your salary. In the meantime, you still have to submit declarations for reimbursement. You can submit declarations until 4 January 2023.

What do you need to do?

To receive the allowances automatically as of 2023, you must do the following no later than 10 December 2022:

  • For employees involved in hybrid working, the allowances are paid out automatically based on the hybrid-working ratio recorded in your working-from-home contract (also known as your hybrid-working contract). Without this contract, we cannot pay the allowances. If you have not already signed a working-from-home contract, please download a copy here and a Health and Safety Checklist here. Fill in both documents and send them as soon as possible to You can find more information in the Future of Working @UM intranet group.
  • Employees not involved in hybrid working must demonstrate that in principle they are in the office every working day. You can do this by completing the Commuting Days Declaration, an online form on the grounds of which your commuting allowance will be paid out. Click here to fill in the form.


Because the allowances will be paid automatically as of 1 January 2023, you will no longer be able to submit declarations from that date. An exception apples to employees who travel by public transport; they will still be able to declare their public-transport expenses through the commuting expenses form which will be made available on Intranet soon.

Please note that if we have not received either a working-from-home contract or a Commuting Days Declaration, we are not permitted to pay out tax-free commuting or working-from-home allowances. Nor will we be able to pay out the advance on the tax benefit for commuting expenses from the CAO Selection Model for 2023. We therefore urge you to ensure that you have submitted one of the two documents in good time.

Any questions?
If you have any questions, please contact

Prof. Christian Weber Highly Cited Researcher 2022

Prof. Christian Weber (Dept. of Biochemistry) was indentified by Clarivate™ (Web of Science) as one of the world’s most influential researchers: the select few who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade

In 2022, fewer than 7,000, or about 0.1%, of the world's researchers, in 21 research fields and across multiple fields, have earned this exclusive distinction.

EU project MELISSA funded

An international project led by Bastiaan de Galan (Department of Internal Medicine)  has received a grant of almost six million euros. The goal is to build a system based on artificial intelligence (AI) for precise insulin therapy for patients with diabetes.

Twelve parties from Denmark, Germany, Greece, Switzerland and the Netherlands are working in the project, which has been named MELISSA. Funding comes from the European Union's Horizon Europe Framework Programme, which focuses on research and innovation.

Click here for more information. 

DCVA Netwerkbijeenkomst 'Juiste subsidie op de juiste plek' 

Beste genodigden,

Vanuit het DCVA Leadership Program nodigen wij u graag uit voor de Netwerkbijeenkomst: 'Juiste subsidie op de juiste plek'. De netwerkbijeenkomst zal plaatsvinden op 1 februari 2023 van 17:30-21:30 uur bij de Social Impact Factory in Utrecht.

Tijdens de bijeenkomst zullen huidige en toekomstige leiders uit het cardiovasculaire werkveld met elkaar de discussie aangaan of en hoe het anders kan. We bespreken ‘hot topics’ als:
  • “Hoe verdeel je het geld” en “welke uitdagingen en vragen komen daarbij om de hoek”?
  • “Hoe weet je of de verdeling van het geld wel het meest optimaal is om cardiovasculaire ziekten met 25% te verlagen in 2030”?
  • “Worden alle onderzoeksgroepen wel evenveel gezien/betrokken”?
Keynote sprekers zijn Prof. Ikram, (voorzitter ZonMW) en dhr Hans Snijder (directeur hartstichting). Voor het precieze programma willen wij u graag verwijzen naar de uitnodiging in de bijlage. Deelname is gratis, aanmelden is wel noodzakelijk via de QR code in de uitnodiging of via: Er is een beperkt aantal plaatsen, dus meld u snel aan!
Mocht u verdere vragen hebben dan kunt u contact opnemen met

Hartelijke groet,
Judith Sluimer, Siroon Bekkering, Margot van der Salm, Jasper Brugts
namens de deelnemers van het DCVA Leadership Program 2021-2023

MSP-Maastricht iGEM silver medal

Although 70% of our planet is covered with water, freshwater makes up only 3% of that number. This percentage is rapidly decreasing because of climate change, pollution and rising demand for freshwater. If no other methods are found to produce drinking water, 52 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in water-stressed regions by 2050.

Therefore desalination of ground, surface and ocean water is becoming increasingly important. However, the current methods are costly and energy-consuming. Therefore we, MSP-Maastricht iGEM, have found an energy-efficient bio-desalination method by using genetically modified bacteria. We have introduced genes into the bacteria that make them able to take up salt (NaCl) under green light. Our genetically modified bacteria took up 4.7 times more salt than the non-modified bacteria. This means that they took up 23.5% of the salt in ocean water. Thanks to CARIM we were able to participate in the international synthetic biology competition called iGEM in which our project was awarded a silver medal!

Therefore we decided to continue as a start-up, in which we want to optimize our desalination technique. Who knows, in a few years you will be drinking water that has been desalinated by our bacteria.

Paramount Papers

The role of extracellular histones in COVID-19

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread from China within 2 months to become a global pandemic. Infection can cause a diversity of symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with an increased risk of vascular hyperpermeability, pulmonary inflammation, extensive lung damage and thrombosis. One of the host defense systems in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Numerous studies have revealed elevated levels of NET components, such as cell-free DNA (cfDNA), extracellular histones, neutrophil elastase (NE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO), in plasma, serum and tracheal aspirates of severe COVID-19 patients. Extracellular histones, a major component of NETs, are clinically very relevant since they represent promising biomarkers and drug targets given that several studies have identified histones as key mediators in the onset and progression of various diseases, including COVID-19. However, the role of extracellular histones in COVID-19 per se remains relatively under-explored. Histones are nuclear proteins that can be released into the extracellular space via apoptosis, necrosis or NET formation and are then regarded as cytotoxic damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that have the potential to damage tissues and impair organ function. This review will highlight the mechanisms of extracellular histone-mediated cytotoxicity and focus on the role that histones play in COVID-19. Thereby this paper facilitates a bench-to-bedside view of extracellular histone-mediated cytotoxicity, its role in COVID-19, and histones as potential drug targets and biomarkers for future theranostics in the clinical treatment of COVID-19 patients. 

De Vries F, Huckriede J, Wichapong K, Reutelingsperger C, Nicolaes GAF. The role of extracellular histones in COVID-19. J Intern Med. 2022 Nov 16. doi: 10.1111/joim.13585. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36382685.

Click here for the full publication.

Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht


16 December - Johan Saenen (MD, PhD), University of Antwerp, Belgium
Cardiogenetics - shifting paradigms'


13 January - Enrico Ammirati (MD, PhD) Niguarda Hospital, Milano
'Diagnosis and treatment of acute myocarditis'

27 January - Andrew Baker (PhD) MUMC+ Pathology
'Advanced therapies to prevent pathological vascular remodelling'

10 february - Bianca Rocca (MD, PhD) Catholic University, Rome 
'Personalized antiplatelet therapy'

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 Chang Lu, 24 November, 16.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisors: Prof. E.A.L. Biessen, Dr J.M.H. Karel
Co-supervisor: Dr P. Goossens
Title: Computational strategies in cardiometabolic diseases: a portal to deeper mechanistic understanding

PhD Conferral Jorn Brouwer, 1 December, 16.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisors: Prof. J.M. ten Berg, Prof. A.W.J. van 't Hof
Co-supervisor: Dr M.J. Swaans (St. Antonius Ziekenhuis Nieuwegein)
Title: Reducing the risk of transcatheter aortic valve implantation

PhD Conferral Cengiz Akbulut, 2 December, 13.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisor: Prof. L. Schurgers
Co-supervisors: Prof. R. Kramann (RWTH Aachen University), Prof. S. Sinha (University of Cambridge)
Title: Spatiotemporal developmental regulation of arteriosclerosis

PhD Conferral Anne Raafs, 6 December, 10.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisor: Prof. S.R.B. Heymans
Co-supervisors: Dr C. Knackstedt, Dr M.R. Hazebroek, Dr J.A.J. Verdonschot
Title: Atrioventricular imaging to predict outcome in dilated cardiomyopathy:
Towards a multimodality approach

PhD Conferral Myrthe van der Bruggen, 8 December, 13.00 hours, MBB4-6
Supervisors: Prof. T. Delhaas, Prof. C.G. Schalkwijk
Co-supervisors: Dr K.D. Reesink, Dr B. Spronck
Title: Multi-model assessment of arterial stiffness: focus on methylglyoxal

PhD Conferral Vincenza Gianfredi, 19 December, 16.00 hours (online)
Supervisor: Prof. N.C. Schaper
Co-supervisors: Dr A. Koster, Dr M.T. Schram, Prof. A. Odone (University of Pavia)
Title: An epidemiological approach to depression: social networks, physical activity and diet

PhD Conferral Jingnan Huang, 20 December, 13.00 hours (online)
Supervisors: Prof. J.W.M. Heemskerk, Prof. A. Sickmann (Leibniz-
Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften-ISAS)
Co-supervisors: Prof. H. ten Cate, Dr A. García (Universidade Santiago de Compostela)
Title: Platelet proteomic progress and retraining mechanisms in glycoprotein VI-mediated thrombus formation

PhD Conferral Paolo Meani, 22 December, 16.00 hours, MBB 4-6
Supervisors: Prof. R. Lorusso, Prof. J.G. Maessen
Co-supervisor: Prof. M. Ranucci (University of Milan)
Title: Left Ventricular Unloading in Extracorporeal Life Support

All PhD defences can be followed online as well via

EVBO Workshop and conferences

EVBO Workshop on Bioimage analysis methods to study angiogenesis

Free workshop for EVBO members where researchers will showcase advanced quantitative methods that can be used to analyse microscopy images (in vitro and in vivo). These tools can be used to perform systems-level and unbiased quantitative analyses of cell shape, subcellular protein localization, cell polarity and blood vessel morphology. The workshop consists of a series of seminars presenting different methods followed by extensive Q&A where participants can present their own data and ask for input.
To register please use the following link. Flyer attached.
Applications open: now.
Application deadline: January 6th, 2023.


Call for EVBO Sponsored Conferences

The EVBO accepts applications from the Organizing Committees of conferences with a focus on vascular/cardiovascular science to be held in 2023.
The selected conferences will receive:
  • Up to 2.000€ financial support
  • Advertisement of the sponsored conference on all EVBO platforms (Website, Twitter, Facebook, EVBO Mailing list)
Applications must be sent as one pdf file to Please see flyer for instructions.
Applications open: December 15th, 2022.
Application deadline: March 31st, 2023.

Lectures, symposia & events

Night of Science - 8 December 2022
FEM book launch of "De Nee Club" | "The No Club" - 12 December 2022
6th European Spring School on the Science and Practice of Venous Thromboembolism - 1014 May 2023. Deadline abstract submission: 15 December 2022

Upcoming School Council meetings:

KNAW agenda
Brightlands news

Media Moments 2/11 Ongeveer honderd keer per jaar krijgt iemand in Nederland de diagnose thymoom, ofwel kanker in de zwezerik. Florit Marcuse (CARIM) deed jarenlang onderzoek naar de zeldzame tumor en promoveerde enkele weken geleden op het onderwerp. Haar conclusie: aandoeningen aan de thymus zijn zeldzaam, maar de zorg voor deze patiënten kan beter in ons land. In dagblad De Limburger verschijnt een uitgebreid artikel over ‘kanker in het orgaan dat bijna niemand kent, maar iedereen heeft’. Het stuk werd eveneens verspreid via De Telegraaf. Rond de promotie van Marcuse was er ook al aandacht voor haar onderzoek, via de website van RTL Nieuws ( 23/11 Een internationaal project onder leiding van Bastiaan de Galan (CARIM) heeft een kleine zes miljoen euro subsidie gekregen. Het doel is om op basis van kunstmatige intelligentie een systeem te bouwen om preciezere insulinetherapie voor patiënten met diabetes mogelijk te maken. Medische nieuwswebsite Skipr bericht.
Copyright © CARIM Maastricht University, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward