CARIM Newsletter July 2016
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This newsletter contains information on the following subjects:
  • CARIM Day 2016
  • Grant Neth Thrombosis Foundation Gerry Nicolaes
  • CVON grant heart failure researchers
  • Grant Dutch Kidney Foundation Carine Peutz
  • High impact papers MR CLEAN
  • Appointment Prof. A. Zaza
  • Award Nicolaas Schaper
  • Awards Cardiology researchers
  • 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.

Grant Netherlands Thrombosis Foundation Gerry Nicolaes

During the last round of grant applications at the Netherlands Thrombosis Foundation ("Trombosestichting Nederland"), the application by Dr Gerry Nicolaes and colleagues (Biochemistry department) received a very positive response and was granted. 

Funding will be provided for two years to support needed technical assistance and benchfee to study molecular mechanisms involved in NETosis and immunothrombosis and provide a proof-of-concept for novel sepsis therapeutics.


Heart failure researchers receive CVON grant

The CARIM Heart Failure team of Prof.dr. Stephane Heymans recently obtained a million euro grant of the Dutch Heart Foundation.

His team together with researchers of Amsterdam will look for early markers of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.When the heart starts to lose its elasticity, the muscle has trouble relaxing, resulting in higher blood pressure in the heart and lungs. This can lead to shortness of breath and heart failure. This particular type of heart failure, known as HFPEF, is more common in women aged 65 and older and people with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and/or kidney failure. In many patients, this loss of elasticity has progressed for several years before symptoms occur. At the moment, the disease is untreatable and irreversible. Early detection is therefore important to prevent unnecessary suffering.

This is exactly what UM researchers Anna Papageorgiou and Mathijs Blankesteijn plan to research under the supervision of Professor Heymans and Dr Vanessa van Empel. They hope to uncover the early warning signs, such as biomarkers, that could indicate a decline in heart health. Preclinical diastolic dysfunction (pDD) is a condition that causes HFPEF in thirty percent of patients. Identifying pDD is an important objective of the study. The multidisciplinary project group will study the predictive biomarkers and other patient characteristics that could help detect pDD at an early stage and contribute to the development of tailored treatment.

This project reflects the intense collaboration within the overall Heart Failure team of CARIM and the department of Cardiology. “The overall Heart Failure team is very successful, as reflected by  the numerous prestigious Dutch and European grants they obtained last 5 years (Prof.L. de Windt, dr. Anna Papageorgiou, dr. B. Schroen, dr. Paola daCosta-Martins, Prof.dr. S. Heymans).”

Click here to read a full article on the Maastricht University website.

Dutch Kidney Foundation Innovation Grant for Mass Spectrometry imaging on renal tissue

In collaboration with the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute, Carine Peutz-Kootstra (picture) and Erik Biessen from the Department of Pathology have been awarded an Innovation grant (100.000 euro) from the Dutch Kidney Foundation for the project “Mass Spectrometry Imaging: an integrative molecular histology approach to assess severity of acute and chronic kidney injury”.  

There is an urgent need to develop biomarkers for early detection of acute and chronic kidney disease in patients, as these diseases are associated with higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In previous research,  an important role for microvascular damage was found already in an early stage of renal disease development. Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) can be used to identify metabolites and hitherto unidentified compounds at a high spatial resolution in tissue sections. In this new project the research group consisting of Prof. R. Heeren, Prof. S. Olde Damink, Prof. Dr. E.. van Heurn, Prof. E. Biessen, and Dr C Peutz-Kootstra will apply this novel and innovative technique on renal tissue. Using this approach their group ultimately aims to unravel the disturbed metabolic and molecular interactions between microvascular and renal cells in early stages of kidney disease, by integrating multimodal mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) and histopathology on affected renal tissue . 


Two high impact papers from the MR CLEAN investigators

MR CLEAN was the first  randomized study that showed safety and benefit of intra-arterial treatment (IAT) for acute Ischemic stroke. Shortly after the publication of the main results 4 other studies confirmed the findings of MR CLEAN. All 5 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the last 3 months, two high impact papers of the MR CLEAN study group have been published.

In April, the HERMES consortium, a collaborative study group of the 5 IAT studies, presented the results of a meta-analysis of individual patient data in the Lancet (IF 44,0). Wim van Zwam (Radiology) and Robert van Oostenbrugge (Neurology), both co-PIs of MR CLEAN, were co-first author resp. co-senior author. In this meta-analysis the high effectiveness of IAT for acute ischemic stroke was confirmed. Efficacy was shown in all predifined subgroups, leading to the main conclusion that IAT is beneficial when started <6 hours from onset, independent of age and stroke severity.

In June, the MR CLEAN study group demonstrated in a pre-defined subgroup analysis, published in Lancet Neurology (IF 21,8), that early  ischemic changes on baseline brain CT do not significantly interact with treatment effect of IAT. However, the absolute risk reduction for poor outcome decreased with increasing extend of the presence of early ischemic changes on baseline brain CT. As such, the main conclusion of this study was that selection of patients for IAT by grade of early ischemic changes on CT is not warranted.

Goyal M, Menon BK, van Zwam WH, et al. Endovascular thrombectomy after large-vessel ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual data from five randomized trials. Lancet 2016:387:1723-31

Yoo AJ, Berkhemer OA, Fransen PS, et al. Effect of baseline Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score on safety and efficacy of intra-arterial treatment: a subgroup analysis of a randomised phase 3 trial (MR CLEAN). Lancet Neurol. 2016;15:685-94


Prof. Antonio Zaza appointed on the Hein Wellens Wisselleerstoel 2016/2017

Professor Antionia Zaza is appointed on the Hein Wellens Wisselleerstoel 2016/2017. Professor Antonio Zaza, from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, is a basic scientists with a background in clinical cardiology, who has devoted the best of his professional life to the study of cellular mechanisms of arrhythmias and their pharmacological modulation. Professor Zaza is also an academic teacher in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology, with experience at national and international levels.

The longstanding scientific interaction between Professor Zaza and members of CARIM, Professor Paul Volders in particular, is supported by a common interest for the ionic mechanisms underlying ventricular repolarization and contributing to its intrinsic stability, or pathological instability. This interaction has recently resulted in shared publications. Also shared is their interest in the role of myocardial CaZ+ handling abnormalities as a master mechanism of repolarization instability and ectopic impulse formation, providing a link between arrhythmias and contractile dysfunction. In this field, the two laboratories have provided independent but converging contributions. This justifies the expectation that a close interaction between Professor Zaza and Principal Investigators at CARIM, such as that supported by the Visiting Professorship, may be highly productive.

Prestigious award for Nicolaas Schaper

Nicolaas C. Schaper, MD, PhD (Internal Medicine), has been selected to receive the American Diabetes Association's 2016 Roger Pecoraro Award. This award recognizes a researcher who has made scientific contributions and demonstrates an untiring commitment to improving the understanding of the detection, treatment and prevention of diabetic foot complications. Schaper was recognized with this honor during the Association's 76th Scientific Sessions®, that took place from June 10-14, 2016, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

"Thank you, Dr. Schaper, for your exemplary leadership and steadfast work," said Desmond Schatz, MD, President, Medicine & Science for the American Diabetes Association. "Your exceptional commitment and contributions have raised our level of understanding of the complex nature and urgency to care for diabetic foot complications, allowing us to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes."

With the growing interest in eHealth, Schaper founded the Dutch Diabetes Interactive Education Project and serves as editor-in-chief of its website. As the author of more than 170 scientific publications, his research is mainly focused on lower extremity disease and mobility in diabetes with topics such as quality of life, impaired wound healing, peripheral arterial disease, abnormal tissue loading of the foot, the epidemiology of diabetic complications and the consequences of sedentary behavior.

Click here for the press release by MUMC+ (in dutch)


Awards for Cardiology researchers

Two CARIM researchers recently won prestigious awards at the world's biggest heart failure conference, Heart Failure 2016, organised by the European Society of Cardiology. Dr Ward Heggermont and Dr Mark Hazebroek, both researchers and practicing medical doctors, were two of the award recipients at the four-day conference in Florence, which was attended by well over six thousand participants.

Dr Ward Heggermont won first place in the category 'Basic Research'. He found that a tiny functional RNA fragment, microRNA-146a, plays an important role in the energy metabolism of the failing heart. One of the characteristics of a failing heart is impaired energy metabolism. The micro-RNA fragment was found to suppress a citric acid enzyme (DLST), a discovery that requires further research but may prove useful in the development of targeted therapy for heart failure in the future.

Dr Mark Hazebroek placed second in the European Society of Cardiology's Young Investigator Award. Hazebroek is involved in research on genetic mutations in patients with an enlarged heart, also known as dilated cardiomyopathy. He compared these patients with a group of patients in an earlier stage of the disease and found that genetic mutations could lead to arrhythmias and premature death in both groups. These findings have potential consequences for preventative treatment strategies, such as an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD).

Who's new?!

My name is Arantxa Barandiaran and I was born in San Sebastian (Spain) where I completed my medical degree. During my medical studies I had de opportunity to improve my medical training in several international centers. In 2008 I had de opportunity to come to the Maastricht, to the department of cardiology, a turning point in her career.  In 2009 I emigrate to the Netherlands and immediately I started working as a clinitian. In 2010 I started officially with my cardiology residency in the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+) under the supervision of Prof. H.J.G.M. Crijns and Dr. E.C. Cheriex. During my residency I noticed that I needed to improve my research abilities to be able to understand beter the pathofysiology of the different cardiovascular diseases and to improve possibilities to treat my patients, in definitief to become a beter clinitian. In april 2016 I started my PhD project, under the supervision of B. Schroen and V. van Empel investigating the pathophysiology and the possibilities for an earlier diagnosis of HFPEF with Cardiac-MRI (metabolism and absolute perfussion), biomarkers and non invasief measurement techniques of endothelial dysfunction.

My name is Pamir Sawo (no picture) and I am 31 years old. I am originally from Afghanistan and living in the Netherlands since the age of sixteen. I studied at Faculty of Medicine of Maastricht University  and work now since one month at the department of Biomedical Engineering at Maastricht University.  The aim of my research is to develop a new AV graft for patients undergoing hemodialysis. 

Grant deadlines


Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists - Deadline August 1, 2016
Click here for more information

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

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

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
July 8 - Rudi Vennekens, PhD, KU Leuven, Belgium
"The TRP-channel CAN, TRPM4, in cardiac contractility and arrhythmias"

July 15 - Stefan Störk, MD, Universitätsklinikum Wurzburg, Germany
"Structures and strategies supporting improved care of heart failure patients in Germany"

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 2016

Symposia & events

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

PhD Conferral Ramesh Chennupati, Monday June 20, 2016, 14.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. J.G.R. De Mey, Prof. W.H. Lamers
Co-supervisor: Dr S.E. Köhler
Title: "Role of arginine metabolism in the production of endothelium-derived relaxing factors; effects of ageing, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia"

PhD Conferral Mark de Vries, Friday July 1, 2016, 14.00 hours
Supervisors: Prof. M.J. Post
Co-supervisor: Dr D.G.M. Molin
Title: "Cytokines in artheriogenesis from a therapeutic perspective"
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