CARIM Newsletter June 2015
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • Call: input Annual Report 2014
  • Cum laudes for CARIM PhD's
  • Book 'The protective Arm of the RAS)'
  • New start-up company Mirabilis
  • Scientific Prize Clinical Chemistry for MUMC+
  • Joint Fellowship Paola van der Meijden
  • Pélérin Science Symposium
  • Who's New?!
  • Grant deadlines
  • Upcoming CGRM lectures
  • Symposia & other lectures
  • Academic events

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.

Call: input Annual Report 2014

In preparation of the Annual Report 2014, CARIM office would like to ask you to inform us on prizes or awards you won or symposia you organised in 2014, which could be included in the report. 

Cum laudes for CARIM PhD's

On May 20, 2015, Thomas van Sloten (right) and Nordin Hanssen (left), both within the Department of Internal Medicine, defended their PhD theses and received the judicium 'cum laude'.  

The thesis of Thomas sought to investigate, in a series of epidemiological studies, the role of vascular dysfunction in the pathogenesis of (vascular) diseases of the brain and heart. The main finding is that dysfunction of large arteries (due to arterial stiffness), the microcirculation (microvascular dysfunction) and endothelium (endothelial dysfunction) play an important role in the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms. This identifies vascular dysfunction as an potential target in the prevention and treatment of these diseases or symptoms. For this thesis, data were used of several large cohorts, including The Maastricht Study, The Hoorn Study, The AGES-Reykjavik Study and The Rotterdam Study.

PhD student Nordin Hanssen investigated an important and new mechanism that may underlie vascular dysfunction and cardiovascular disease in individuals with diabetes. His research was focused on the accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). The main finding reported in his thesis was that higher levels of AGEs measured in blood are associated with cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, he found higher levels of AGEs in atherosclerotic plaques with a high-risk phenotype. Hanssen suggests a potential new mechanism though with cardiovascular disease develops, which opens up the opportunity to reduce cardiovascular disease with the use of so-called AGE-inhibitors. The work in this thesis also suggests that measuring AGEs in blood may serve as a potential biomarker to improve prediction of cardiovascular disease.


Book "The Protective Arm of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS)"

The Protective Arm of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS): Functional Aspects and Therapeutic Implications is the first comprehensive publication to signal the protective role of a distinct part of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), providing readers with early insight into a complex system which will become of major medical importance in the near future. Focusing on recent research, the book presents a host of new experimental studies on specific compontes of the RAS, namely angtiotensin AT2 receptors (AT2R), the angiotensin (1-7) peptide with its receptor Mas, and the enzyme ACE2, which exert significant beneficial, health-promoting actions by counterbalancing the well-known harmful arm of the RAS with its classical angiotensin AT1 receptor. This innovative concept of the protective arm of the RAS, examined in this reference, represents an indispensable background and will be a strong support for biomedical students, researchers, cardiologists, surgeons, nephrologists, diabetologists, and endocrinologists, as well as any other physician or researcher concerned with RAS physiology, pathophysiology and clinical implications,

Thomas Unger, Ulrike M. Steckelings, Robson A.S. Santos (Eds): The Protective Arms of the Renin Angiotensin System: Functional Aspects and Therapeutic Implications. Academic Press (Elsevier) 2014. ISBN 978-0-12-801364-9


New start-up for the development of MicroRNA therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders

Mirabilis Therapeutics BV (Mirabilis) is a Maastricht (the Netherlands) based start-up biotechnology company that is dedicated to the early development of microRNA-based therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.  The main objective of Mirabilis is the development of new molecules to silence or enhance microRNAs based upon antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) technology or viral delivery, respectively. Mirabilis is a start-up company from Maastricht University/Maastricht University Medical Center (UM/MUMC+).

In the Laboratory of Prof. de Windt and Dr. Da Costa Martins at the Dept. of Cardiology  and the CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences) unique and patented drug candidates have already shown great potential in animal models. These innovative and fundamentally new treatments are deployed by Mirabilis to counter cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Leon de Windt, the recently appointed CSO of Mirabilis states: “We previously showed that cardiovascular and metabolic disorders are driven by changes in the expression of a collection of specific microRNAs. The founding of Mirabilis validates those observations, expands the number of potential targets for therapeutic intervention and ensures benefits of our academic endeavours“. Ronald van der Geest, CEO of Mirabilis states: “The data that Leon and his team have produced are clearly of the kind that you do not come accross every day, so I’m thrilled to be on board and propel these discoveries into preclinical and clinical development as efficiently as possible”.

Click here for the full press release

Scientific Prize Clinical Chemistry for MUMC+

The article "Circulating cardiac troponin T exhibits a diurnal rhythm" of L.J. Klinkenberg, J.W. van Dijk, F.E. Tan, L.J. van Loon, M.P. van Dieijen-Visser en S.J. Meex, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, has won the Scientific Prize Clinical Chemistry granted by the NVKC (Dutch Society for Clinical Chemistry) for highest valued publication in 2014. 

Click here for the publication.


Paola van der Meijden Winner of the ISTH-EHA Joint Fellowship

The ISTH is proud to announce that Paola van der Meijden has been awarded the ISTH-EHA joint fellowship

Van der Meijden works with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) and the Thrombosis Expertise Center of the Cardiovascular Center Maastricht in the Netherlands. The award provides recipients with € 50.000 per year for a maximum of two years.

"I am focusing on translational research in the field of thrombosis and hemostasis, bridging cellular aspects (particularly platelets) with clinical aspects and patient care," she said. "My main research interst concerns the interaction mechanisms between platelets and coagulation in a broad area of both thrombosis and hemostasis-related studies." 

Van der Meijden explained that she applied for the Fellowship because she hoped to gain new insights into the determinants of bleeding in patients with thrombocytopenia due to hematological malignancies and chemotherapy. 

"By developing new animal models and translating the animal work to patient diagnosis and treatment, I am able to acquire expert knowledge on the risk assessment of bleeding and transfusion strategy in acquired thrombocytopenia," she said. "In addition, this fellowship supports me in my pursuit to become an independent researcher within the institute and to further extend my own line of research."

Pélerin Science Symposium - Call for abstracts

The Pélerin Science Symposium is organized annually to promote scientific research among medical residents and scientists of the Maastricht UMC+. This is a unique opportunity to present new developments in patient care and to learn about research lines within different departments of the MUMC+. This year, the 20th edition of the Pélerin Science Symposium will be held on Wednesday October 7th, 2015. An inspiring lecture will be given by Marli Huijer, psysician, philosopher and Denker des Vaderlands (“Thinker of the Netherlands”), which will be based on her newest book “Het leven is niet leuk als je je mond houdt” (“Life is not pleasant if you keep your mouth shut”).

All medical residents and scientists can submit an abstract, which will be reviewed by a jury consisting of staff from various clinical specialties. Six abstracts will be nominated for an oral presentation, the other abstracts will be clarified in a poster presentation. Medical students in their sixth year can also participate, by handing in an abstract for the poster presentation session. The best poster and oral presentations will be awarded a Pélerin Science Prize. Abstracts can be submitted via our website, Deadline for submitting is Sunday June 21st, 2015, 23:59.

Who's new?!

My name is Maarten Heusinkveld, I am 24 years old. Recently, I obtained my MSc in Medical Engineering at the TU Eindhoven and Maastricht University. I successfully applied for a "Kootstra Talent Fellowship", allowing me to continue my research embarked upon during my master's studies. Currently, I am working on noninvasive estimation of pressure-volume loops of the heart. This project, led by Dr Koen Reesink, is performed in collaboration with University College London.
Grant deadlines

ERC Advanced Grant - Deadline: June 2, 2015. Click here for more information. Please inform CARIM office if you apply. 

China Exchange Programme, Summer School - Deadline September 1, 2015
Click here for more information

ERC Advanced Grant 2016 - Deadline September 1, 2015
Click here for more information
June 5 - Lluís Mont, PhD, Barnaclínic Barcelona, Spain
"Use of MRI in AF ablation: hype or here to stay?"

June 12 - Patrick Schrauwen, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center
"Muscle and brown adipose tissue as targets in type 2 diabetes: insights from human intervention studies"

June 19 - Nicole Uszko-Lencer, MD, Maastricht University Medical Center

"COPD and HF"

June 26 - Ward Vanagt, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center
"Myocardial preconditioning in pediatric cardiac surgery"

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 second quarter of 2015

Symposia & events

Presentation Theme II - June 8, 2015
Speaker: Dr Mark Hazebroek, Dept. of Cardiology 
Title: "MAastRicht Cardiomyopathy (MARC) Registry – first results and future perspectives"
Moderator: Prof. Stephane Heymans
Time and location: 12.00-13.00h, UNS 50 room 3.142A (Physiology) 

GROW PhD day - June 18, 2015, registration deadline: June 12
All PhD students are invited to participate in the GROW workshop "Collaboration in Science" which takes place on Thursday June 18. Click here for more information. Registration before June 12 by email to

Presentation Theme II - June 22, 2015
Speaker: Dr Rio Juni, Dept. of Cardiology 
Title: "microRNA-216a: A new angiogenic factor in heart failure"
Moderator: Dr Paula da Costa Martins
Time and location: 12.00-13.00h, UNS 50 room 3.142A (Physiology) 

Mosa Conference - June 23 & 24, 2015
Mosa Conference is an annual (bio)medical conference held at Maastricht University. Which this year has been extended to two days: June 23th and 24th. The theme of the conference is ‘SEARCHING FOR DISEASE’. During Mosa Conference you will be taken on a quest to various diseases. At this years conference we will take you through the research, diagnostics and technologies of various diseases

Click here for more information.

European Congres of Epidemiology - June 25 - 27, 2015
From June 25 until June 27, 2015, the European Congress of Epidemiology, organised in collaboration with the the International Epidemiological Association (IEA), the Netherlands Epidemiology Society (VvE), the European Epidemiology Federation (EEF) and the Epidemiology department at Maastricht University takes place. This congress, entitled Healthy Living, will bring together scientists from across the entire field to discuss this topic. Health, a healthy lifestyle and prevention will be the main themes throughout the congress, in which the topics will be discussed in terms of methodology and content.

Click here for more information. 

2nd European Workshop on AMPK - deadline abstract submission June 30, 2015

The 2nd European workshop on AMPK will take place on 13 - 16 September 2015 in Maastricht.  The meeting provides a platform for informal interaction among international researchers in the AMPK field with emphasis on young scientists and future developments.
What does the workshop offer you?
  • The possibility to discuss and share results of on-going research
  • A young scientist oriented meeting
  • 30 short talks based on submitted abstracts (abstract submission deadline June 30)
  • Keynote lectures by established scientists
  • Affordable registration fees
Please find more information and register on the website:

Vascular Networkshop - May 18, 2015

On Monday July 6, 2015, the 9th edition of the Vascular NetWorkshop will take place from 17.30-19.30 h in the Jo Ritzenzaal/Auditorium Brians Unlimited (Oxfordlaan 55). The program will become available on the CARIM website as soon as it is finalized.

Lecture Prof. Emilio Badoer, RMIT University Australia - July, 10 2015
On Friday July 10, 2015, from 10.00 until 11.00h, Professor Emilio Badoer will give a lecture at CARIM.  Title: "Obesity, Adipokines and Cardiovascular Function". Location: UNS 50 Paarse Zaal (H1.319)

Upcoming School Council meetings 2015
Thursday June 18
Thursday October 22

Academic events

PhD Conferral Yujing Wang, Tuesday 16 June 2015, 14.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. T. Delhaas
Co-supervisors: Dr M.L.W. Knetsch, Dr. D.G.M. Molin
Title: "New Biomaterials Derived from poly (lactic acids); novel approaches to combine biodegradation, X-ray Contrast and Controlled Local Drug Release"

PhD Conferral Raffaele Altara, Monday 29 June 2015, 14.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. H.A.J. Struijker Boudier
Co-supervisor: Dr M. Blankesteijn
Title: "Novel Inflammatory Biomarkers for the Early Identification of Heart Failure"

PhD Conferral Kristien Winckers, Tuesday 30 June 2015, 10.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. T.M. Hackeng, Prof. H. ten Cate
Title: "The role of tissue factor pathway inhibitor in arterial and venous thrombosis"

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