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Pathology Research

Experimental Cancer Pathology


Experimental Vascular Pathology


News Items

  • Publication in Clinical and Translational Medicine
    Graphical abstract

    Jin et al. applied multi-omics machine learning algorithm on the Maastricht Human Plaque Study (MaasHPS) cohort consisting of transcriptomics, proteomics/peptidomics of more than 40 male carotid atherosclerotic samples, to study and discover the underlying dysregulated pathway that influences the human plaque stability. This study highlights the advantages of multi-omics analysis in terms of model robustness, biological significance and clinical translatability compared with single-omics analysis. Moreover, the identified SRF-regulated disease network in this study provides valuable new insights that expedite the design of targeted intervention in plaque rupture.

    The study was carried out by Han Jin, Dr. Pieter Goossens and colleagues in the experimental vascular pathology group, under the supervision of Prof. Erik A.L. Biessen, and in collaboration with the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (Dr. Evgueni Smirnov and Dr. Joël M.H. Karel), the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (Dr. Martina Summer - Kutmon), the Department of Bioinformatics (Prof. Chris T.A. Evelo), and the Karolinska Institute (Prof. Ulf Hedin and Dr. Ljubica Matic). This is the first time we comprehensively analyze and publish the MaasHPS cohort.

    Access the article here:

  • PhD thesis defence Kim van Kuijk, 4th of June 2021
    Kim defense

    On the 4th of June 2021, Kim successfully defended her dissertation titled: The effect of intra- and extracellular challenges on cellular responses in atherosclerosis. Her PhD trajectory was performed under the supervision of Prof. Judith Sluimer, Prof. Erik Biessen and Prof. Andrew Baker. The thesis shed light on numerous stressors in the context of atherosclerosis. The two main players in the dissertation are immune cells, e.g. macrophages, and fibroblasts. In the thesis, the influence of different challenges such as oxygen and cholesterol levels were investigated and how beforementioned cells respond to these challenges. Her research showed that a variety of stressors can have divergent effects on atherosclerosis, in a cell-specific manner. Nowadays, more and more cell- and patient-specific treatments are being executed and the research in her thesis emphasizes the importance thereof.


  • Grant of 1 Million for Dr. Emiel van der Vorst
    Emiel van der Vorst

    The German Corona Stiftung has awarded Dr. Emiel van der Vorst (Experimental vascular pathology group and RWTH Aachen) a grant worth 1 Million euros for a period of 5 years. Dr. Van der Vorst and his group will explore the role of the Aryl-Hydrocarbon Receptor in lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis development.

    The project will focus on the complex interplay between the liver-gut-vessels in the context of immune-lipid crosstalk fuelled by tissue-specific effects of the Aryl-Hydrocarbon Receptor. In addition, as the Aryl-Hydrocarbon Receptor is a main receptor for uremic toxins, its role will also be investigated in the context of chronic kidney disease driven atherosclerosis.

    The recruiting process for new PhD-Students is currently ongoing. If you are interested, please feel free to contact me directly at:

  • Podcast about career of Rene Hoet

    René Hoet has worked for over 20 years in the biotech and pharma industries, focusing on antibody research and development and is extraordinary Prof. Biopharmaceutics at the University of Maastricht, Dept. Pathology, The Netherlands to guide researchers to use antibodies to Bridge the Gap between academic research and pharma applications.

    Dr. Hoet joins The Chain to talk about what’s been driving his career steps, from roles in academia to several industry positions, as well as offer guidance for young scientists planning their career paths. See here for the complete interview/podcast:

  • Special Issue published in Frontiers by Marjo Donners (Guest Editor)

    Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine published a special issue entitled "Proteolysis of Membrane Proteins in Vascular Biology and Disease" guest edited by Marjo Donners. Research topic description: The Regulated Intramembrane Proteolysis (RIP) is a tightly controlled 2-step process in which transmembrane proteins are cleaved. In the initial step, called ectodomain shedding, cleavage near the membrane leads to the release of the extracellular domain. This cleavage thus regulates surface expression of various membrane proteins, e.g. receptors, hence modulating cellular sensitivity for environmental stimuli or other intrinsic cell functions. On the other hand, many released ectodomains have (ant)agonistic functions acting in an autocrine or paracrine manner. RIP is implicated in various crucial processes, such as angiogenesis, inflammation, wound healing/tissue repair/fibrosis and thrombosis. This Research Topic provides original research as well as overview contributions that advance our understanding of the regulation and function of intramembrane proteolysis in the field of vascular biology.


Research within the Department of Pathology covers major topics in Oncology, Cardiovascular diseases, Neurology and Immunology and focuses both on basic and translational aspects.

All research programmes are embedded in the respective MUMC research institutes, i.e. GROW (School for Oncology and Developmental Biology) and CARIM (School for Cardiovascular Diseases).

For more information about the different research lines, see corresponding pages.


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