CARIM Newsletter March 2015
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • VICI Leon de Windt
  • Faces of science: Marieke Rienks
  • Gert van Montfransprijs Bart Spronck
  • Thomas Unger "Lecturer of the Year"
  • Glycocheck B.V. investment
  • Grant deadlines
  • Upcoming CGRM lectures
  • Symposia & other lectures
  • Academic events

CARIM newsletter

With this newsletter we aim to reduce the number of recurrent CARIM e-mails (meeting invitations, announcements, etc.) that you receive from the CARIM office. As of now, all this information will be clustered in our newsletter and sent to you on a monthly basis, i.e. every first Monday of the month. 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.

Leon de Windt receives NWO VICI grant

Six excellent biomedical scientists have received a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from NWO. Leon de Windt (CARIM, Dept. of Cardiology) of UM/Maastricht UMC+ receives for his research one of these prestigious grants. The funding will enable the laureates to do research for the next five years and to build up their own research group. 

Vici is one of the largest grants for individual scientists in the Netherlands and is part of NWO's Talent Scheme, which consists of the Veni, Vidi and Vici grants. With this scheme NWO encourages scientific talent by offering scientists in various stages of their career the opportunity to do groundbreaking research. The Vici grant is a boost for the laureates and it also creates opportunities for a large number of young researchers who will work in the laureates’ research groups. 

Leon de Windt previously received a Veni grant (2001) and a Vidi grant (2007), making the Veni-Vidi-Vici Talent scheme cycle complete with the award of this most recent Vici grant. In his Vici proposal “EXPERT: EXploiting non-coding RNA Pathways for novel diagnostics and thERapeuTics in heart failure” Leon de Windt and coworkers will first establish the cause-effect relationship between biological mechanisms underlying one specific subtype of heart failure, discover new diagnostic tools in defined clinical cohorts and use antisense oligonucleotide technology to design fundamentally new classes of drugs aimed to ameliorate this subtype of heart failure. 

For the execution of his Vici grant, Leon de Windt will closely collaborate with high profile research groups in Germany and Italy, as well as scientists in the recently established MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine ( and (MaCSBio

Young PhD candidates discuss their lives, their research, and their passions on Joining them this week is UM PhD candidate Marieke Rienks (CARIM Dept. of Cardiology), who is currently conducting research on heart failure: ‘How can you repair a damaged heart and keep it pumping?’ Marieke and the other faces give us a taste of what it’s like to work with science via film clips, blog posts, and articles.

The website, which currently has twenty participants, was launched last summer. Over the next few months, three new Faces of Science will be added. All of these faces were nominated and selected by members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Jonge Akademie. They will continue to blog until a few months after they graduate.

Marieke Rienks is a physician-researcher in experimental cardiology. She is researching heart damage, which could lead to infection and heart failure. Marieke is studying the mechanisms of the immune system in the hopes of finding out why it can heal the heart in some cases, and make it sicker in others. To find answers, she is researching the proteins responsible for inflammation. 

Click here for Marieke’s video montage, profile, and first blog post.

Faces of Science is a project by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Jonge Akademie, in collaboration with Kennislink.

Gert van Montfransprijs for Bart Spronck

On Thursday February 5, the evening before the National Hypertension Congress, Bart Spronck (Dept. of Biomedical Engineering) won the Gert van Montfansprijs for best paper on hypertension by a young researcher from the Netherlands Society of Hypertension. 

Title publication: Pressure-dependence of arterial stiffness: potential clinical implications
Journal: Journal of Hypertension 2015, 33:330-338
Authors: Bart Spronck, Maarten H.G. Heusinkveld, Floris H. Vanmolkot, Jos Op ’t Roodt, Evelien Hermeling, Tammo Delhaas, Abraham A. Kroon and Koen D. Reesink

Click here for the article on pubmed.

Prof. Thomas Unger Lecturer of the Year

Prof. Thomas Unger has been honoured with the title "Lecturer of the Year" by the Belgian Hypertension Committee. A lecture tour through Belgium with lectures at 7 universities is organized in the beginning of March. Distinguished speakers over the past years are: M. Azizi, P. Verdecchia, G. Bakris, M. Burnier, P. Palatini, J. Redon, T. Heagerty, K. Narkiewicz, P.F. Plouin, G. Parati, A. Dominiczak, E. Ritz, S. Laurent, S. Julius, C. Bulpitt, J. Reid, P Corvol, O’ Brien, G Mancia.

US-based MicroVascular Health Solutions invests in Glycocheck BV

GlycoCheck B.V., the leading provider of imaging and measurement software of the endothelial glycocalyx layer, announced its investment and collaboration with U.S.- based MicroVascular Health Solutions.

MicroVascular Health Solutions will act as the global authorized distributor of GlycoCheck. GlycoCheck is a complete microvascular imaging solution that includes the patented GlycoCheck software installed on a medical grade laptop computer that has been optimized to run this software application and an intravital microscopic digital video camera with disposable sanitary tips.  The technology measures and monitors changes in the glycocalyx layer non-invasively, accurately and in real time. The software provides a report and historical record of recorded changes in glycocalyx function on each patient.

GlycoCheck was developed in The Netherlands at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Maastricht University (CARIM) by Dr Hans Vink, PhD and his team. “The investment and collaboration with MicroVascular Health Solutions marks an important step in the commercialization of Glycocheck technology”, says Henri Theunissen PhD, Chief Valorisation Officer at Maastricht University. “This is an excellent way to exploit our intellectual property. For instance, GlycoCheck has been awarded patents in the US, EU, China and Japan, with other patents pending”.

Click here for more information

Hugo ten Cate guest in VPRO program Argos

On Saturday February 28, Prof. Hugo ten Cate (Dept. of Biochemistry) was one of the guests in the VPRO radio program Argos on anticoagulation medicine. 

Click here to visit the website on the program and listen to the show. 
Grant deadlines

ERC Consolidator Grant - Deadline: March 12, 2015
Click here for the call 

Kootstra Fellowship program - Deadline: April 1, 2015
Click here for more information

Investeringssubsidies groot NWO 2015/2016 - Deadline: April 14, 2015, CARIM deadline: 11 March, 2015
Click here for more information
March 6 - Loek van Heerebeek, MD, PhD, VU Medical Center OLVG
"Increased diastolic LV stiffness in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction - A new paradigm"

March 13 - Sander Verheule, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center
"The atrial vasculature, struggling to balance oxygen supply and demand"

March 20 - Aernout Luttun, PhD, KU Leuven, Belgium
"Exploring and exploiting endothelial diversity in macro- and microvascular beds"

March 27 - Bert Smeets, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center
"Mitochondrial (cardio)myopathies: from cause to cure"

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 first quarter of 2015
Symposia & other lectures

Maastricht Working Group on Cardiovascular Systems Biology - March 12, 2015

The first meeting of the Maastricht Working Group on Cardiovascular Systems Biology initiative will take place on 12th March 2015 (place: Jo Ritzenzaal (Auditorium) at OXF55 (Oxfordlaan 55, 6229 EV Maastricht, time: 16:30-19:30). Click here for more information. 

Presentation Theme II - March 16, 2015

Speaker: Ben Janssen, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Title: "Renal oxygen measurements by telemetry in conscious rats: effects of exogenous and endogenous angiotensin II"
Time and location: 12.00-13.00h, UNS 50 room 3.142A (Physiology) 

Vascular Networkshop Special Edition - March 16, 2015

On Monday March 16, 2015, the 7th and first Special Edition of the Vascular NetWorkshop will take place. Here we welcome university prof. Ron Heeren (M4I) to present his work and ideas to the cardiovascular community in Maastricht. There will be ample time for interactive discussion, on research topics and collaborations, so come prepared. A detailed programme will be sent beginning of March.
Date: Monday, 16th March 2015, 17.30-19.30h
Location: Jo Ritzenzaal/Auditorium Brains Unlimited - Oxfordlaan 55

Seminar 'Open Access: what use for the researcher?' - March 18,2015
On Wednesday 18 March the University Library organizes the seminar 'Open Access: what use for the researcher?'. The seminar will take place from 14.00-17.00h in the Akenzaal (0.673), UNS 40. Click here for more information and the program.

5th MIMSA Symposium - March 24, 2015
The 5th MIMSA (Maastricht Inflammation in the Metabolic Syndrome and Atherosclerosis) mini-symposium will be held on March 24, 2015 from 13.00 until 16.00h in the seminar room of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, room 5.111A UNS50. Click here for more information and the program.

Presentation Theme II - March 30, 2015
Speaker: Jos Broers (Dept. of Genetics & Cell Biology)
Title: "Is impared mechanoresponse causing muscular weakness and dilated cardiomyopathy in laminopathy patients? An in vitro study in affected dermal fibroblasts"
Time and location:
12.00-13.00h, UNS 50 room 3.142A (Physiology) 
Maastricht AF ablation: Crossing Borders - April 1 until April 3, 2015
From April 1 until April 3, 2015, the 6th edition of the Maastricht AF meeting "Crossing Borders" will take place in the MECC Maastricht. Click here for more information.

School Council meetings 2015
Tuesday April 14
Thursday June 18
Thursday October 22
Academic events

Inaugural lecture Prof. Jan Hoorntje, Thursday March 5, 2015, 16.30 hours
Prof. Jan Hoorntje has been appointed an extraordinary chair in "Intervention Cardiology". He will give his inaugural lecture entitled "Na het hartinfarct, wat dan?" on Thursday 5 March at 16.30h in the Aula at the Minderbroedersberg.

Inaugural lecture Prof. Chris Evelo, Friday March 6, 2015, 16.30 hours
Prof. Chris Evelo has been appointed a chair in "Bioinformatics for integrative systems biology". He will give his inaugural lecture entitled "Puzzling with the pathways of life" on Friday 6 March at 16.30h in the Aula at the Minderbroedersberg.

PhD Conferral Marialaura Bonaccio, Wednesday March 18, 2015, 16.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. H. ten Cate, Prof. G. de Gaetano (IT), Prof. L. Iacoviello (IT)
Title: "Health Benefits and social determinants of the Mediterranean diet at a time of economic crisis: results of the moli-sani study"
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