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News Category: 2019

Rio Juni: JACC Basic to Translational Science

prof Peter Hordijk receives NWO KLEIN-grant

The NWO Domain Science has awarded prof. Peter Hordijk in the NWO Open Competition Domain Science – KLEIN. KLEIN grants are intended for innovative, high-quality, fundamental research and/or studies involving matters of scientific urgency.

His project is about cellular decision-making in the control of small GTPases: GTP hydrolysis vs. ubiquitylation’
Cells, too, make choices and decisions. This project will study cells (taken from the walls of blood vessels) that exhibit the ability to choose. The choice in question involves two different ways of controlling small regulatory proteins (Rho GTPases). This is important, because these proteins mediate contacts between endothelial cells. It is this which ultimately determines the formation, permeability and proper functioning of blood vessels. There has been no previous research on this topic. The project should, therefore, generate new ideas and models about how, where and when cells make molecular choices, and how those choices impact the way they function.

Marit Wiersma obtains Dutch Heartfoundation Dekker grant

Physiology congratulates Dr. Marit Wiersma, researcher in the team of Prof. dr. Bianca Brundel, Department of Physiology, Amsterdam UMC, VUmc, with obtaining a Dr. Dekker grant via the Dutch Heartfoundation.

With this grant, Marit will investigate how a mutation in the desmin and lamin protein can lead to the development of atrial fibrillation.

During this project Dr. Wiersma is studying whether a disturbed protein balance is present in a specific group of AF patients where the disorder is familial.

In this group of patients (20% of the total number of AF patients), a genetic disorder (mutation) contributes to the development of AF. In the Netherlands, several families have been identified with mutations in the proteins desmin (DES) or lamin A/C (LMNA), proteins that are important for the structure and contraction of the heart cell.

These mutations not only led to familial AF, but also to the development of dilating cardiomyopathy (DCM, heart muscle disease).

How mutations in DES and LMNA contribute to the development of familial AF is still unknown. Dr. Wiersma is going to investigate whether a disruption in protein management plays an important role and she already has important indications that these mutations lead to mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction.

In addition, extra attention will be paid to differences between men and women with a mutation and the development of atrial fibrillation.

The Physiology wishes Dr. Wiersma and the entire research team the best of luck in carrying out this study and hope to come a step closer to the solution of atrial fibrillation.

For more information regarding atrial fibrillation: AFIP


ESC Outstanding Achievement Award for Reinier Boon

The Council for Basic Cardiovascular Research of the European Society of Cardiology awarded the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award to Reinier Boon. He receives this award in recognition of his contribution to cardiovascular basic science in recent years, including his work on unraveling the molecular mechanisms that control cardiovascular aging. The award will be officially presented at the ESC Congress in Paris in September 2019.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is awarded yearly and honours basic researchers in the early stage of their career.

Team ACS completes AmsterdamUMC run edition 36!



On Sunday, May 26, 2019, the ACS team (Athletics & Cross Country Superstars) ran the Amsterdam UMC Run, formerly known as the AMC Run. The team was 26 strong, with 9 running the 5k and 17 for the 10k in hot weather. Highlight was the final kilometer through the hospital, after a calf-crushing slope to get in. Walking the Walk after talking the Talk, we finished 1st overall at the 10k (greyhound Michiel Hulleman, 34:09) and 3rd at the 5k (Erik Bakker, 19:32). Fastest girl at the 10 was of course Eva Peters (48:01, 9th), while Laura Stanicek almost beat her boss Reinier Boon (both 51:22). Maria Clemente was the fastest girl in in the team at the 5k (27: 51, 18th overall). The award for best running shorts was won in a landslide by Pieter de Groot (knee-long, all colours), who earned bonus points for baffling speed (41:33, 7th). In all, a very fun race and a tradition from this year onwards!


AmsterdamUMC Run Team ACS

Farewell BBQ party Marloes!

Farewell Marloes! It was great having you in the department for the pas 4 years.


Party Girl and BBQ Master

Nicol Dekker receives Professor Heimburger Award

Professor Heimburger Award – CSL Behring – Young Investigator Start-up grant of €20.000 in the area of coagulation.

“The role of aprotinin and the thrombin/PAR1 pathway in the prevention of cardiopulmonary bypass induced microcirculatory perfusion disturbances and acute kidney injury”


This personal start-up grant allows Nicole Dekker to investigate the relation between cardiopulmonary bypass-associated alterations in coagulation, vascular endothelial barrier function and microcirculatory perfusion. The aim of the project is to identify novel therapeutic targets to reduce microvascular failure and the development of organ dysfunction following cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

Two travel awards for Rio Juni from ISHR and ESM-EVBO

In March 2019, Rio Juni has received  two travel awards to attend International Society for heart research (ISHR) world congress 2019, and European Society for Microcirculation-European Vascular Biology Organization (ESM-EVBO) conference 2019. These grants were awarded on his work in the cardiac microvascular endothelial cells regulation on cardiomyocyte contraction and relaxation.

Deli Zhang receives ISHR travel grant

Early Career Investigator (ECI) Travel Bursaries for Laboratory Visits at the 2019 ISHR World Congress

In association with 2019 International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) World Congress, Deli Zhang received an ECI travel bursary grant to visit the lab of Prof Shi-Qiang Wang  from Peking University. Prof. Wang is an expert and pioneer in the field of calcium imaging, especially measuring calcium sparks (Wang et al, Nature, 2001; Wang et al, PNAs, 2004). Disruption of SR-mitochondrial contact (focus of Deli’s current project) can result in cytoplasmic calcium overload leading to increasing of calcium sparks, which can induce propagating calcium waves and arrhythmias. Using line-scanning technique with a high-speed confocal microscope embedded in Prof. Wang’s lab, they can image calcium sparks in detail. And they also have built a set of software tools for analyzing and quantifying the imaging data. This visit will not only enable her to learn this new technique, but also will initiate new inter-lab collaboration.

Rio Juni receives ISHR Travel Bursaries for Laboratory Visit

Early Career Investigator (ECI) Travel Bursaries for Laboratory Visits at the 2019 ISHR World Congress

In association with 2019 International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) World Congress, Rio Juni received a ECI travel bursary grant to visit the lab of Dr. Wen Wang at Capital Medical University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Metabolic Disorders Related Cardiovascular Disease, in Beijing. The lab of Dr. Wang recently published their work on the effect of Sitaglipin on cardiac function of diabetic rats (Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy (2018) 32:541–552), which is in line with his study on cardiac microvascular dysfunction in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The objective is to get acquaintance with the techniques they used, in particular on cardiac echocardiography in rats and the assessment of nitroxidative stress. Further, this may foster an inter-lab  collaboration, which may lead to an exchange in knowledge, experimental materials, and potential publication in the future.