CARIM Newsletter September 2016
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • CARIM Day 2016
  • News Scientist Science Talent 2016
  • Clinical Needs Translational Award Matthijs Cluitmans
  • Dutch Kidney Foundation Innovation grant Ben Janssen
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grant Harald Schmidt
  • MCCT 2017
  • Science Day 2016
  • 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.

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.

Jordi Heijman nominated for the New Scientist Science Talent 2016

Jordi Heijman is one of the twenty-five nominees for the New Scientist 2016 Science Talent (Wetenschapstalent) award. Heijman studies the mechanisms that cause cardiac arrhythmias. This knowledge can be used to more quickly determine which people have an increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias and can help researchers develop better treatment methods. In his research, Heijman uses so-called 'patch clamp' experiments to measure the electrical properties of heart muscle cells. He is also developing computer models that can analyse these data. This leads to the creation of 'virtual heart cells', which can foster our understanding of complex interactions and help us make accurate predictions about the effects of certain medications, for example.

Eighteen universities in Belgium and the Netherlands nominated young and talented candidates in recent months. New Scientist selected twenty-five candidates based on these nominees. The winner of Science Talent 2016 will be determined by an online public vote and a jury vote and will receive a cash prize of 2,500 euros.

The winner will be announced on 22 September 2016. During the ceremony, the five highest-scoring nominees will present their research. Iris Sommer, Erik Scherder and Alexander Sack will also discuss the latest developments in the field of brain research. 
The New Scientist Science Talent award was established last year to give young researchers the opportunity to present their research to a broad audience. 

You can vote for Jordi Heijman until 8 September at For more information about the award, visit

Clinical Needs Translation Award for Matthijs Cluitmans and collaborators

CARIM PhD student Matthijs Cluitmans and his collaborators have been awarded the ‘Clinical Needs Translational Award’ for their work on advanced imaging methods to investigate cardiac arrhythmias. Electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) allows medical doctors and scientists to noninvasively investigate a patient’s electrical heart activity directly at the heart surface. The technique achieves this by employing mathematical formulations to reconstruct the electrical potentials at the level of the heart muscle, from extensive body-surface electrocardiograms and a digitized patient-specific body and heart geometry. Cluitmans has set up and validated ECGI in Maastricht during his PhD research, in close collaboration with the Departments of Cardiology and Radiology of MUMC+, and the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering of Maastricht University. He also applied this technique in patients to support catheter ablation procedures, and to improve understanding of cardiac arrhythmias in patients and guide therapy.

Recently, Cluitmans developed and validated a novel technique to accurately compute the activation and recovery isochrones on the heart surface, with collaborators from Northeastern University in Boston, USA. The Clinical Needs Translational Award is a collaborative award between Computing in Cardiology (CinC) and the Working Group on e-Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). With this award, CinC and ESC acknowledge the quality of the work of Cluitmans and collaborators and aim at further stimulating the translational component of engineering research to clinical needs. With his dual background as a medical doctor and biomedical engineer, Cluitmans also aims at bringing these two fields closer together. He will defend his PhD thesis on Thursday 29 September at 16.00hrs in the Aula of Maastricht University.

The award will be acknowledged at the ESC Congress on August 29 in Rome, Italy, and at the CinC Conference on September 14 in Vancouver, Canada.

Dutch Kidney Foundation Innovation grant for an experimental telemetric approach to detect if oxygen shortage is the cause or consequence of chronic kidney disease

In collaboration with Paul Krediet (Nephrology, AMC Amsterdam) and Carine Peutz-Kootstra (Pathology, UM) Dr. Ben Janssen (Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology) has been awarded an Innovation grant (100.000 euro) from the Dutch Kidney Foundation for the project “Opening a new window on the progression of chronic kidney disease: simultaneous long-term assessment of blood pressure and kidney oxygenation”.  

About 25% of all patients with diabetes or heart disease develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) at some stage. It has been hypothesized that oxygen shortage is a unifying causal factor in the various etiologies leading to CKD. Recently a new technique was developed that allows continuous measurement of renal cortical oxygen levels by telemetry (T. Emans & B. Janssen et al., J Physiol, 2016, doi: 10.1113/JP270731). The grant allows the research group to conduct experiments to investigate if renal ischemia really precedes CKD or that renal hypoxia is rather a consequence of a disease process. By dual telemetric monitoring of blood pressure and renal cortical oxygen levels in rats that are known to develop CKD when the renin angiotensin system is chronically activated, experiments have been designed to explore how changes in oxygen delivery as well as how changes in oxygen use (for instance by diuretics) contribute to the induction and progression of CKD in this model. Results are expected to yield important information how to prevent renal damage in the future and may be helpful in how and when to raise oxygen levels in patients with CKD. 

ERC Proof of Concept Grant for Prof. Harald Schmidt

Professor Harald Schmidt received an ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) grant to develop a new medication for stroke and other acute neurodegenerative conditions. In 2011, Schmidt received an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant worth 2.3 million euros for his research on the role of oxidative stress in the development of cardiovascular disease. This study led to the development of a potential new therapy for stroke patients. The 150,000 euro ERC PoC grant will allow Schmidt to optimise his treatment method (chose the optimal compounds), carry out preclinical trials and work out a business plan for the commercial production of the drug, to provide PoC for a first-in-man trial in stroke.

Stroke (the collective name for cerebral haemorrhage and cerebral infarctions) is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability. Currently, there is only one drug available – an anticoagulant; however, this drug is marginally effective and has over thirty contraindications and a high risk of fatal bleeding. As a result, 85% of stroke patients are not treated with this drug. The needed innovation would be a drug which is broadly applicable, i.e. has no contraindication, can be given in all forms of stroke and already in the ambulance, bears no risk to cause secondary bleeding, is effective (i.e. reduces the brain infarct, increases survival and improves neurological outcomes for patients) and has a different mechanism of action (i.e. directly neuroprotective). Schmidt discovered a new therapeutic principle that fulfils the above requirements as part of his ERC Advanced Investigator Grant. This involves a combined therapy that targets three different points of the disease mechanism, thereby increasing the chance of clinical success.

The PoC research project, titled 'SAVEBRAIN: proof of principle for a first-in-class neuroprotective therapy in stroke and other acute neurodegenerative conditions', is being carried out in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung (Lübeck).


Maastricht Consensus Conference on Thrombosis (MCCT) - February 22-24, 2017

The Maastricht Consensus Conference on Thrombosis (MCCT) takes place from February 22-24 in the Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre (MECC). The MCCT will be a hybrid meeting containing both active as well as more "passive" elements (intensive workshops, and plenary lectures). Consensus will be sought on future directions for research.

The Maastricht Consensus Conference on Thrombosis will be theme-focused and will involve clinicians, epidemiologists and basic scientists, who will jointly explore new avenues for research in the area of thrombosis and haemostasis. The Maastricht Consensus Conference on Thrombosis is a 3 day meeting, involving plenary lectures by prominent scientists and experts in the field on a chosen theme, followed by highly interactive, intensive workshops in which the interaction between the experienced scientists, PhD students and postdocs is used to explore gaps in research or knowledge on specific topics.

Click here for more information.

Who's New?!

My name is Bouke Adriaans. I studied medicine at Maastricht University and received my Master’s degree in 2013. Afterwards, I started my cardiology specialty training (MUMC+ and Zuyderland MC Sittard). Since I’m particularly interested in cardiovascular imaging, I gladly accepted the offer for a PhD position at the Department of Radiology (January 2016). By using four-dimensional (4D) flow MRI, our research project aims to investigate the influence of aging and disease on cardiac and aortic hemodynamics.


My name is Danielle Kerkhofs and I am 26 years old. In 2011, I obtained my bachelor's degree in molecular life sciences at Maastricht University and started with the A-KO master ('Arts-klinisch onderzoeker master'). After graduation I worked a year as a resident neurology at the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven. Since the beginning of August I started my PhD project under supervision of Professor van Oostenbrugge and Professor Biessen. The aim of my research project, part of the Horizon 2020 project SVD@target, is to gain more insight into the inflammatory mechanism underlying cerebral small vessel disease

Grant deadlines


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

September 16 - Coen Hemker, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center+
"Anticoagulation: The Danger of Standard Dosage"

September 23 - Dana Dawson, MD, D.Phil, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, UK
"Acute stress induced (Tako-tsubo)  cardiomyopathy"

September 30 - Phillip Cuculich, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA
"The future of completely non-invasive characterization and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias"

October 7 - Gudrun Antoons, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Center+
"Stretching the heart: molecular mechanisms and relevance for arrhythmias"

October 14 - Reza Wakili, MD, University Hospital Munich, Germany
"Molecular Mechanisms of AF - Translation into Clinical Practice and Vice Versa

October 21 - Oliver Grottke, MD, PhD, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany
"Scientific evidence of the reversal of direct oral anticoagulants"

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 last quarter of 2016

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

byteMAL Liège Conference - September 27th, 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

tUL Research Day - October 5, 2016
Click here for more information

Biomarker Summit Europe - October 5-7, 2016 Berlin, Germany
Click here for more information

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


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

Academic events

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"

PhD Conferral Matthijs Cluitmans, Thursday September 29, 16.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. P. Volders, Prof. R. Peeters
Titel: "“Noninvasive reconstruction of cardiac electrical activity; Mathematical innovation, in vivo validation and human application"
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