Pathology Research

Experimental Cancer Pathology
Experimental Vascular Pathology

News Items

  • Award ceremony

    At the end of the yearly meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research (SSAR) in Humlebæk (Denmark), the organizing committee announces the winner of the Paper of the Year Award for the best publication from (extended) Scandinavia in the atherosclerosis field. This year, they selected “Integrating multiplex immunofluorescent and mass spectrometry imaging to map myeloid heterogeneity in its metabolic and cellular context” (Goossens et al., Cell Metabolism 2022).

  • travel award winners

    Experimental Vascular Pathology PhD candidate Renée Tillie recently attended the International Vascular Biology Meeting in Oakland, San Francisco Bay Area, USA. 
    She submitted an abstract about her work on fibroblast heterogeneity in healthy and diseased vasculature. Out of many, her abstract was chosen for an oral presentation. Additionally, she received two travel awards, one from the North American Vascular Biology Organization, and one from the MDPI Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease.

  • Cells often adopt different phenotypes that are dictated by tissue-specific or local signals (such as cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts or the molecular micro-environment). This holds in extremis for macrophages, with their notoriously high phenotypic plasticity. Their broad range of functions, some even opposing, reflects their heterogeneity, and a multitude of subsets has already been described in different tissues or often even within the same tissue. Upon disease and the accompanying appearance of additional signals, this heterogeneity becomes even more complex.

    The effect of the local micro-environment on macrophage phenotypes cannot be adequately studied by single-cell applications such as scRNAseq or cytometry, as these require cells to be detached from their context, while histology-based assessment lacks the phenotypic depth due to limitations in marker combination. A newly-developped 15-plex multispectral imaging approach allows for cell and subset classification based on multi-marker expression patterns. Integrating this information with additional measurements (such as mass spectrometry imaging performed at M4I) not only allows to map macrophage heterogeneity over the tissue but also to link the location of phenotypes to specific cellular, molecular and metabolic niches in complex tissue. The power of this approach was illustrated for macrophage subsets and their associated lipid signatures in murine atherosclerotic plaques.

    Goossens P, Lu C, Cao J, Gijbels MJ, Karel JMH, Wijnands E, Claes BSR, Fazzi GE, Hendriks TFE,Wouters K, Smirnov E, van Zandvoort MJM, Balluff B, Cuypers E, Donners MMPC, Heeren RMA,Biessen EAL. Integrating multiplex immunofluorescent and mass spectrometry imaging to map myeloid heterogeneity in its metabolic and cellular context. Cell Metab. 2022 Jul 12:S1550-4131(22)00232-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2022.06.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35858629.

    Click here to download the full publication.

  • hypoxic signalling

    Dr. Kim van Kuijk and Prof Judith Sluimer’s paper on macrophage oxygen sensors in #atherosclerosis is officially published in Cardiovascular Research! Big milestone: two papers online and 1 published in 1 week by the Sluimer lab.

  • Cell Metabolism cover

    The cover for the August issue of Cell Metabolism was created by Valeria Saar-Kovrov, a PhD candidate at the Experimental Vascular Pathology group. The illustration was inspired by the works of Dutch artist M. C. Escher and depicts how continued progress of scientific methods allows us to unveil higher levels of cellular heterogeneity.

  • training day 10x

    Prof. Judith Sluimer organized a single cell sequencing workshop for novices on March 31 to stimulate use of the 10x chromium controller in CARIM, FHML. Maastricht University colleagues on Participants were happy with the initiative and lectures by bioinformatician Dr. Hayat (RWTH, Aachen), and two experts from 10xgenomics  mr. Buermans and Dr. de Gelas. Save the date for workshop 2: a full day training on bioinformatics on July 16!


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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