Pieter’s research focuses on the interaction of macrophages with their cellular and molecular environment and its functional implications in health and disease. Novel imaging approaches are used to map tissue immune cell distribution and reveal their phenotypic and functional heterogeneity.
Dr. Goossens (1981, Dendermonde, BE) studied Biomedical Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Jette, BE). He worked as a research fellow at the Brussels Institut Pasteur, investigating molecular interactions of viruses with their hosts’ antiviral mechanisms before moving to the Maastricht University to study the impact of macrophage recruitment and inflammatory signaling on atherogenesis under the supervision of Prof. Menno de Winther. Here, he obtained his PhD entitled “A fatal attraction: Macrophage recruitment to the atherosclerotic plaque” (2012). After a first postdoc in the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (Marseille, FR), studying the phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages in the lab of Dr. Toby Lawrence, he returned to Maastricht in 2016 to join the Experimental Vascular Pathology group of Prof. Erik Biessen. Here, he developed and combined novel imaging approaches that allow mapping macrophage phenotypes and functions in different organs and diseases, including atherosclerotic plaques, spleen, liver, lung and tumors.
Pieter has obtained personal research grants from La Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer (2012-2016), Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie (2016-2018) and the Nederlandse Hartstichting (2020-2024), as well as consortium grants from the ERA-CVD network (2018-2021) and the Maastricht-Liège Imaging Valley (2020-2024). He enrolled in a tenure track at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) in 2020.