Dr. Van der Vorst focuses on the interplay between lipids and the immune-system in the context of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Combining his earlier expertise on high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and chemokine receptors, he will now dissect the interplay between these two factors. He will extend these studies to immune functions of various other lipids and lipid derivatives, elucidating new therapeutic targets. Special interest of his research group also goes to CKD patients which have profoundly increased incidence of CVD, clearly demonstrated by the fact that almost half of the CKD patients die from CVD rather than from primary kidney disease. As the increased CVD risk in this patient population cannot be fully explained by the classical CVD risk factors, this points to the existence of CKD-specific cardiovascular risk factors, like CKD specific immune-lipid crosstalk.
Dr. Van der Vorst received his PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Biessen, Prof. De Winther and Dr. Donners at the Department of Pathology, CARIM, Maastricht on a thesis entitled “Modulation of vascular inflammation – cell-type specific effects of ADAMs and HDL”. He succeeded his career as a post-doctoral student (2015-2019) at the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention in the lab of Prof. Weber where he obtained several personal grants (Humboldt Foundation, FöFoLe, DZHK) to establish his own research line. In 2019, he obtained several prestigious personal grants (N.W.O.-VENI-grant, IZKF research group grant, Else-Kröner Fresenius), enabling him to build his own group at CARIM and IMCAR (Aachen, Germany).