CARIM Newsletter August 2016
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • CARIM Day 2016
  • ERC grant Christian Weber
  • CARIM Talent Fellowship Stijn Agten
  • Koostra Talent Fellowships granted
  • Article M. Brouwers & C. Stehouwer
  • IRONMAN Biochemistry team
  • Who's new?!
  • Grant deadlines
  • Symposia & other lectures
  • Academic events

CARIM newsletter

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SAVE THE DATE - CARIM DAY 2016, 2 November

CARIM DAY 2016 will take place on Wednesday November 2.

This year’s Robert Reneman Lecture will be given by Professor Stephane Laurent

After last year’s success, the location of the symposium will again be the Minderbroedersberg followed by a festive evening.
More information on the program will be distributed as soon as possible.

ERC Advanced Grant for Christian Weber

Professor Dr. med. Christian Weber, Professor at CARIM (Department of Biochemistry), Chair of Vascular Medicine and Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention at the LMU Medical Center, has been awarded his second ERC Advanced Grant.

This ERC Grant entitled PROVASC is an exceptional distinction for Weber, who is one of the few researchers to receive the honor of a second award in the course of his career to date. Atherosclerosis is a major cause of morbidity and premature death in modern societies, and the principal goal of all of Christian Weber’s research is to contribute to our understanding of this condition and to identify new drug targets opening up new routes more effective and personalized treatment.

Weber analyzes the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis and progression of the disorder. Commonly known as hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis is primarily characterized by the development of fatty deposits on the inner surfaces of major blood vessels, which provoke chronic inflammation that leads to obstruction of blood flow. In his first ERC Advanced Grant, entitled “Atheroprotect”, he studied the role of pro-inflammatory signal proteins which control the immune response that initiates the inflammation process and hampers its timely resolution. The title of his new ERC project is PROVASC, which will be devoted to elucidating the mechanisms responsible for “cell-specific vascular protection by CXCL12/CXCR4”. CXCL12 is a signal protein which binds to the receptor CXCR4, which in turn activates a particular homeostatic signal pathway. Moreover, studies of genetic variation in human populations have indicated that this pathway can protect the vasculature against atherosclerosis. Weber plans to characterize the downstream signal relay and elucidate the basis for its ability to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis. To this end, he will investigate the effects of defined genetic risk variants on the activity of the CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway, and explore ways of modulating its action in a targeted fashion. Interestingly, so-called microRNAs – short RNA fragments that are involved in regulating the synthesis of specific proteins – have been implicated in the pathway and offer possible targets for new therapies. A significant part of the research funded will be dedicated to work at CARIM.

Stijn Agten receives first CARIM Talent Fellowship

This year CARIM has introduced the CARIM Talent Fellowship, a grant to support a talented CARIM PhD student. The fellowship has been designed to fund an ambitious, innovative, and international one-year Post-doctoral project. As part of the grant the post-doc is expected to go abroad to gain international experience with high-impact collaborators. Eventually the fellowship will support top CARIM talent and keep them connected to our institute.

The winner of this year’s CARIM Talent Fellowship is: Stijn Agten (Department of Biochemistry). He will start a collaboration with Prof. Richard Payne at the University Sydney, School of Chemistry. The project will involve the synthesis of direct thrombin inhibitors isolated from ticks. New chemical ligation methods developed by Prof. Payne will be used to achieve this goal. We wish Stijn all the best and good luck in Sydney.

Four CARIM researchers receive a Kootstra Talent Fellowship

In the first round of the Kootstra Talent Fellowships 2016, four fellowships were granted to CARIM researchers. The Kootstra Talent Fellowships are granted to young scientific talents by the Board of Maastricht University Medical Center+ with the aim to support developing their scientific careers.  

In the category “Talented future Postdocs” the FHML Research Council three CARIM applications were rewarded: Bart Spronck (applicant Prof. Tammo Delhaas, dept. of BME), Elke Marsch (applicant Dr Judith Sluimer, Dept. of Pathology) and Romy Kremers (applicant Dr Bas de Laat, Dept. of Biochemistry). 

In the category “Talented student/future" an application by Uyên Châu Nguyên (applicant Prof. Frits Prinzen, Dept. of Physiology) was rewarded.

Deadline application second round 2016: October 1, 2016. Click here for more information

“Risk of hypoglycaemia in users of sulphonylureas compared with metformin in relation to renal function and sulphonylurea metabolite group: population based cohort study”

Hypoglycaemia – a frequently encountered problem in the treatment of diabetes mellitus – is increasingly recognized as a risk factor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In collaboration with the Hospital Pharmacy Department, Martijn Brouwers and Coen Stehouwer (Department of Internal Medicine) demonstrated that the risk of developing hypoglycaemic episodes is increased in sulphonylurea users with impaired renal function. More importantly, gliclazide, the sulphonylurea of first choice, showed a similar risk of hypoglycaemia compared with other sulphonylureas, which is in contrast to current diabetes treatment guidelines.

Their findings were recently published in the British Medical Journal. Click here to download the article.

Click here for the article on "gezondheidsnet" in which the findings are mentioned.

Click here for the article on "dichtbij" in which the findings are mentioned.

Biochemistry's IRONMAN team 4th in relay

On July 31, 2016, Stijn Agten, Jelle Posthuma and Niko Deckers (Dept. of Biochemistry) competed as a relay team  named THE BIOCHEMICAL BROTHERS during the IRONMAN Maastricht (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42 km run) and ended on a fourth position (out of 50 relay teams). The swim course was be completed by Stijn Agten, Jelle Posthuma completed the bike course and Niko Deckers finished with a marathon. 


Who's News?!

Bianca Sander is a new PhD student of the Vascular Pathology group. She recently finished the master program “Molecular Cell Biology and Neurobiology” at the University of Technology in Kaiserslautern, Germany. During her master thesis, she supported fundamental research on Alzheimer’s disease by analyzing the ubiquitination and endocytosis of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) gene family. During her PhD she will investigate the influence of different forms of autophagy as well as the therapeutical potential of autophagy regulation on advanced atherosclerosis. A main focus will be the reciprocal effects of autophagy on the (oxygen-) metabolism and the cell death of macrophages in atherosclerosis. The first project will be in cooperation with Dr. Cuervo and Dr. Madrigal-Matute. It will assess the effect of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) on atherogenesis as well as if PHD oxygen sensor degradation is the underlying mechanism by which CMA modulates cholesterol metabolism.
My name is Dennis Krist, born in Heerlen, the Netherlands. In October 2015 I finished my master studies at RWTH Aachen University, in the field of medical engineering. Since the first of June 2016 I started my PhD at the Department of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Maastricht University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schotten. Goal of my research is the development of epicardial laser ablation technology, to treat atrial fibrillation.

My name is Eleni Liapi, born in Greece. I obtained my Biology Diploma from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Greece and M.Sc degree in Forensic Science from the Biomedical Centre of Uppsala University, Sweden.  For my Diploma thesis, I studied the effects of oxidative and osmotic stress on the viability of H9c2 cardiac myoblasts.  For my M.Sc thesis I investigated the mRNA expression in human post-mortem skin wounds in the context of forensic wound age estimation, under supervision of Dr. Gomes and Prof. Dr. Schneider and wrote an article for the 26th Conference of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (Liapi et al., 2015). I have also completed two 6-month internships at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden focusing on the sequence determination of long non-coding RNAs. First one, on GLI1 antisense in cancer under supervision of Prof. Dr. Zaphiropoulos, where I contributed to the publication of Villegas et al., 2014 and the second one on RNA LOC105372576 under supervision of MD, Dr. Xu Landén with regard to skin wound healing. I joined the group of Dr Blanche Schroen in June 2016 aiming to contribute towards the identification of non-coding RNA regulatory mechanisms within the context of heart failure. 

Grant deadlines


Dr. E. Dekker Clinical Established Investigator - Deadline August 29, 2016 12.00 hours
Click here for more information

Dr. E. Dekker Arts vóór aanvang Specialisatie - Deadline August 29, 2016 12.00 hours
Click here for more information

Bayer Grants4Targets Program in Cardiovascular Sciences on Trialect - Deadline August 31, 2016
Click here for more information

ERC advanced grant - Deadline September 1, 2016 17.00 hours
Click here for more information

Subsidies voor onderzoekssamenwerking met China - Deadline Septemer 1, 2016
Click here for more information

Investeringen NWO middelgroot - Deadline September 1, 2016 14.00 hours
Click here for more information

ZonMw Doelmatigheidsonderzoek, open ronde 2018 - Deadline 5 september 2016
Click here for more information

WUN Research Development Fund - Deadline September 13, 2016
Click here for more information

Marie Curie Individual Fellowships - Deadline September 14, 2016 17.00 hours
Click here for more information

Horizon 2020 COFUND - Deadline September 29, 2016
Click here for more information

Kootstra Talent Fellowships - Deadline October 1, 2016
Click here for more information

PhD projecten (imaging) ikv samenwerking tussen Universiteit Luik en Universiteit Maastricht - Deadline October 10, 2016
Click here for more information

Symposia & events

CECAM-Lorentz Workshop 2017 - Deadline September 1, 2016
Click here for more information

Visit Dutch Cancer Society - September 6, 2016
Click here for more information

Workshop ‘Frontiers in Computational Electrocardiology: Electrocardiographic Imaging and Image Integration’ - Sept 29-30, 2016
Click here for more information

Netherlands Vascular Biology Meeting -  October 5 & 6, 2016
Click here for more information. Abstract deadline: September 5 12.00 hours

Pélerin Science Symposium - October 5, 2016
Click here for more information

4th National eScience Symposium - October 13, 2016
Click here for more information. 

20th Annual Meeting of the European Council for Cardiovascular Research (ECCR) - October 14-16, 2016
Click here for more information. Abstract deadline: July 11, 2016

PhD course 'Systematic Reviewing and Critical Appraisal' - October 18, 2016
Click here for more information - Registration deadline: September 1, 2016

KNAW Agenda

School Council meetings 2016:
- October 18, 12.00-14.00 hours

Academic events

Thursday September 1: Rectorship handover ceremony

Monday September 5: Opening Academic Year 2016-2017

PhD Conferral Yilin Liu, Tuesday September 13, 2016, 16.15 hours

Supervisor: Prof. J.F.C. Glatz
Co-supervisors: Dr J.J.F.P. Luiken, Dr D. Neumann
Title: "v-ATPase is a key player in lipid-induced cardiomyopathy"

PhD Conferral Masih Mafi Rad, Friday September 16, 2016, 10.00 hours
Supervisor: Prof. H.J.G.M. Crijns, Prof. F.W. Prinzen
Co-supervisor: Dr K. Vernooy
Title: "Mapping and prevention of cardiac dyssynchrony; Towards better substrate identification and lead implantation"

PhD Conferral Anil Kumar Vaidya, Friday September 16. 2016, 12.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. J.L. Severens, Prof. H. ten Cate, Prof. M.A. Joore
Title: "Economic modelling inarterial vascular diseases; Studying the cost-effectiveness of various strategies for screening, diagnosis and treatment"
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