CARIM Newsletter September 2015
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • New appointments
  • Veni Jordi Heijman
  • Dr. Dekker Marc Strik and Martijn Brouwers
  • ESC Award Stephane Heymans
  • Bayer Support Grant Marjo Donners
  • Marie Curie IF Martina Calore
  • Young Investigator Award Ana Casas
  • Grant FABPulous
  • Who's new?!
  • Grant deadlines
  • Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht
  • 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.

Rectification CARIM Annual Report 2014

Unfortunately, we have to apologise for not including the following top publication in our annual report:

Hanssen NM, Wouters K, Huijberts MS, Gijbels MJ, Sluimer JC, Scheijen JL, Heeneman S, Biessen EA, Daemen MJ, Brownlee M, de Kleijn DP, Stehouwer CD, Pasterkamp G, Schalkwijk CG -
Higher levels of advanced glycation endproducts in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques are associated with a rupture-prone phenotype.
Eur Heart J 2014; 35(17):1137-46 IF 14.723

We cannot change the printed version of the report, but did change the electronical version, which is published on the CARIM website and can be sent to external contacts.

Monika Stoll appointed as extraordinary Professor

Per July 1, 2015, Professor Monika Stoll (Münster) has been appointed extraordinary Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, based in the Department of Biochemistry (CARIM). It is a parttime appointment of 0.2 FTE. Her research focusses on the dissection of the genetic architecture underlying complex trais, in particular of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. 

Paul Volders appointed as extraordinary Professor

Per July 1, 2015, Professor Paul Volders has been appointed extraordinary Professor of Genetic Cardiology, based in the Department of Cardiology (CARIM). Paul Volders, Cardiologist and CARIM Principal Investigator, coordinates the cardiogenetic care of patients with inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies at Maastricht University Medical Centre. Within this clinical-experimental environment there is an active research program to gain novel pathogenetic insights in arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. 

Veni grant for Jordi Heijman

Jordi Heijman (Dept. of Cardiology) received one of the 23 Veni grants awarded in the field of medicine by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for his proposal “Understanding the rhythms of the heart: integrative computational modeling of cardiac arrhythmogenesis”. Cardiomyocyte Ca2+ handling has emerged as a critical determinant of cardiac electrophysiology, contractility, development and remodeling. Through all these processes, Ca2+ also modulates the likelihood of various arrhythmias. However, it remains unclear exactly which Ca2+-dependent processes are harmful.
The goal of Jordi’s project is therefore to develop an integrative computational analysis of the various roles Ca2+ plays in the initiation, maintenance, and progression of cardiac arrhythmias. These models will be based on new experimental confocal Ca2+-imaging and patch-clamp data. Insights obtained from this analysis may facilitate the development of improved therapeutic options for patients with heart rhythm disorders.

Martijn Brouwers and Marc Strik receive Dr. Dekker grants

Martijn Brouwers (Department of Internal Medicine, Division Endocrinology) received a Dekker Junior Staflid grant for his project " Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in relation to cardiovascular disease: is all fat equal?’ from the Dutch Heart Foundation. 
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an emerging cardiovascular risk factor. There is, however, biological plausibility that the risk it conveys depends on the specific pathway leading to hepatic fat. 
This project will focus on the cardiometabolic consequences of 3 pathways that result in fatty liver, i.e. de novo lipogenesis, hydrolysis of fat and VLDL-secretion, with special emphasis on the former as a prelude to the development of liver-targeted therapies to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Marc Strik (Department of Physiology and Cardiology) received a Dekker grant for his project "What patient and place to pace "from the Netherlands Heart Foundation. In heart failure patients with a dyssynchronous contracting heart, cardiac resynchronization therapy improves quality of life and decreases mortality. Unfortunately, after implantation of the pacemaker, up to half of patients do not respond to the therapy. At Hôpital Haut-Lévêque (Bordeaux, France), a non-invasive electrical cardiac mapping system is being developed to better predict which patients will respond to the therapy. Patients are equipped with a vest holding over a hundred electrodes which register the electrical potentials of the heart during the pacemaker implantation procedure. Marc will work in Bordeaux to help improve the interpretation of this mapping system and prepare it for clinical practice in the Netherlands.

Prof. Stephane Heymans receives ESC Outstanding Achievement Award 2015

On August 30, Professor Stephane Heymans (Department of Cardiology) received the Outstanding Achievement Award 2015 from the ESC Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science. This prize is given by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to two researchers with an outstanding achievement in the early stage of their career. The award is presented during the yearly ESC Congress in London.

Marie Curie Fellowship for Martina Calore

Martina Calore (Department of Cardiology) received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship for her project ““MIRAGE” MicroRNAs as therapeutic targets for ARVC”. 

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a hereditary disease mainly characterised by the progressive substitution of the myocardium with fatty or fibro-fatty tissue involving predominantly the right ventricle. Clinically, ARVC shows wide variation between  individuals. Together with modifier genes, common sequence variants, and environmental as well as endogenous factors, epigenetic modifiers such as microRNAs are hypothesized to be potential targets for disadvantageous environmental stimuli and may lead to the onset of complex and heterogeneous diseases such as ARVC.  The main research objective is to assess and validate the relevance of disease mechanisms underlying the development of ARVC and to identify novel RNA-based targets in mouse models and ARVC patients. 

Marjo Donners receives Bayer Support Grant

Within the Grants4Targets Initiative Bayer HealthCare allocates grants for the exploration of attractive, novel drug targets and biomarkers. Marjo Donners has received a Support grant of 10.000 euros for a phage display approach to select ADAM10 antibodies for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular diseases. 

Young Investigator Award to Ana Casas

Ana Casas, PhD student in Harald Schmidt’s group, won the Young Investigator Award at the 7th International Conference on “Cyclic GMP: Sources, Targets and Therapeutic Implications” for her oral presentation “A systems biology approach to cGMP suggests a prominent role for sGC in stroke." The photo shows Ana on the left when handed over the certificate by Nobel laureate, Ferid Murad, at a Mosel vineyard near Trier, Germany.

FABPulous receives €1.6m EU grant for clinical trials of 5 minute heart attack test

The European Union awarded FABPulous BV a €1.6 million Phase 2 grant to fund two clinical trials in the UK and Belgium/Netherlands and automate the manufacture of its 5 minute, patented H-FABP True Rapid Test®, which helps emergency medical workers quickly distinguish whether a patient with chest pain is at risk of a heart attack.

Click here to read the full press release
Who's new?!

My name is Joris Winters and I was recently hired for a PhD position in the Department of Physiology. As a result of my interest in science, I enrolled in the biomedical sciences program at Hasselt university in 2010. During my education, I was able to do internships in the field of cardiology (AGE-RAGE signaling) and neurology. I was hired in order to participate on the CATCH ME program. The goal of this study is to characterize the mechanisms causing a progression from non-symptomatic to persistent atrium fibrillation over time. Therefore, a multitude of parameters will be studied. Data will be collected and a set of statistically and clinically relevant parameters will be selected. I will be involved in the genetic part of the study by sequencing cardiac tissue from patients with atrium fibrillation. In addition, I will participate in the bio-informatics aspect of the project.

My name is Timme van Vuuren, I am 26 years old. In 2012 I received my Msc Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University. After being a surgery resident for more than two years, I am excited to focus now on the research part of my career. Currently I am working research focusing on the patency and changes in quality of life after venous stenting, led by Professor Cees Wittens. 

My name is Nick Marcks and I am 24 years old. I started my work as a PhD candidate on July 1st in the Department of Cardiology. My daily work involves including patients for the Heart-Brain study, the missing link in the pathophysiology of vascular cognitive impairment.The Heart-Brain study is a prospective, multicenter study in which patients with heart failure, vascular cognitive impairment or a carotid artery stenosis are included. After 2 years of follow-up and data collection, data will be analyzed to find this possible missing link in the Heart-Brain axis. If you have more questions or want to know more about the HBS, my door is always open!
Grant deadlines


Heineken Young Scientist Awards 2016 - Internal deadline September 9, 2015
Click here for more information 

Marie Curie Individual Fellowships - Deadline September 10, 2015
Click here for more information

CVON Earlier recognition of cardiovascular diseases - Deadline September 14, 2015
Download the brochure for more information

KNAW Descartes-Huygensprijs - Deadline September 15, 2015
Click here for more information

STW Open Mind - Deadline September 15, 2015
Click here for more information

EFRO Vlaanderen - Deadline September 24, 2015
Click here for more information

IAS - Pfize IGCL Grant Opportunity - Deadline October 6, 2015
Click here for more information

2015 WUM Research Development Fund - Deadline October 7, 2015
Click here for more information

Lorentz Fellowship and Prize 2016-17 - Deadline October 15, 2015
Click here for more information
The new lecture series of the Cardiovascular Grand Rounds Maastricht will start in October.

October 2 - Rafal Pawlinski, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA
"Tissue factor in hemostasis and vascular inflammation"

October 9 - Marc Spaanderman, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center
"Why is diastolic dysfunction deadly?"

October 16 - Paolo Della Bella, MD, PhD, Hospedale San Raffaele, Milan Italy 
"Enhancing survival after VT ablation: experience of a dedicated VT unit"

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 fourth quarter of 2015

Symposia & events
19th Annual Meeting of the ECCR - October 23 - 25, Lake Garda, Italy
From October 23 until October 25 the 19th ECCR meeting will take place in Poiana, Lake Garda, Italy. 
Click here for more information. The deadline for abstract submission is Monday July 20, 2015.

Phenom World workshop on Integrated Clem - September 1, 2015
On Tuesday September 1, the hand-on workshop on integrated clem is organised by the Laboratory of Cellular Thrombosis and Haemostasis (CARIM) and Synapse organised. Click here for more information.

8th Conference on Annexins, September 8-11, 2015
From September 8 until September 11, 2015, the 8th Conference on Annexins will be held at the Amrâth Grand Hotel de l'Empereur. Visit the conference website for more information on the program and registration.

2nd European workshop on AMPK - September 13-16, 2015

The 2nd European workshop on AMPK will take place on 13 - 16 September 2015 in Maastricht.  Click here for more information. 

Vascular Networkshop - September 14, 2015

On Monday September 14, 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). Click here for the program. The next VNW will take place on November 16, 2015.

Lecture ''Ontogeny of the intestinal mucosal innate and adaptive immune system' by Prof. Mathias Hornef, Head of the Microbiology Department, Aachen Klinikum, September 18, 12.00-13.00h, Greepzaal, level 4 MUMC.

The third meeting of the Maastricht Working Group on Cardiovascular Systems Biology initiative will take place on 23th September 2015. (place: Jo Ritzenzaal (Auditorium) at OXF55 (Oxfordlaan 55, 6229 EV Maastricht, time: 16:30-19:30). Click here for more information and the program.

Pélerin Symposium - October 7, 2015
This year the 20th edition of the Pélerin Science Symposium is organised. 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”). Visit the website for more information.

1st International Brightlands Symposium on Cultured Meat - Save the date: October 28 - 20, 2015
The 1st International Brightlands Symposium on Cultured Meat will be held on October 18-20th, in Maastricht. 
The symposium will cover technologies and subjects related to culturing meat, ranging from cell production, food technology all the way to ethical studies. Click here for more information.

CTCM Congress 2015 - November 5, 2015
On november 5, 2015, the CTCM congress will take place at the Sint Janskerk (Vrijthof) Maastricht. The program will consist of several lectures (f.e. by Dr André Kuijpers and Prof. Mark Post) and two workshops. Click here for more information.

Upcoming School Council meetings 2015
Thursday October 22

Academic events

PhD Conferral Laurent van Middendorp, Friday September 4, 2015, 12.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. F. Prinzen, Prof. J. Maessen
Co-supervisor: Dr F. van Nieuwenhoven
Title: "Cardiac Dyssynchrony; structural, functional, transciptional and pharmalogical aspects"

PhD Conferral Sameera Peraramelli, Friday September 18, 2015, 12.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. T. Hackeng, Prof. J. Rosing
Title: "The role of the different Kunitz domains of TFPI in the down-regulation of the extrinsic coagulation pathway"

PhD Conferral Marieke Pluijmert, Thursday September 24, 2015, 14.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. T. Delhaas, Prof. F. Prinzen
Co-supervisor: P. Bovendeerd, TUE
Title: "How cardiac myofibers keep pace; Mathematical Modeling of Adaptive Myofiber Reorientation and Electromechanics"

PhD Conferral Marc Hilhorst, Thursday September 24, 2015, 16.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. J. Cohen Tervaert
Co-supervisor: Dr P. van Paassen
Title: "Crescentic glomerulonephritis in ANCA associated vasculitis"

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