Project 1

Cardiac (mal) adaptation to stress and damage

Ischemic heart disease, in particular myocardial infarction, and hypertension are major causes of heart failure in western countries. Following myocardial infarction or chronic pressure-overload, the heart undergoes extensive alterations in muscle mass and geometry. This cardiac remodelling is associated with an increased likelihood of progression towards overt heart failure, particularly in the setting of an ageing population. Research within Project 1 is aimed at improving our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the progression from ischemic and hypertensive heart disease towards heart failure in order to identify novel targets for therapy. For this purpose, our research focuses on the pathogenesis and therapy of (i) acute myocardial infarction, (ii) cardiac remodelling and dysfunction produced by an acute myocardial infarction or systemic pressure-overload, (iii) coronary microvascular dysfunction in remodelled myocardium, (iv) pulmonary hypertension secondary to hypoxia, left ventricular dysfunction or thrombo-embolic events. Furthermore, we study (v) the effects of aging and exercise training on cardiac remodelling and dysfunction following myocardial infarction and chronic pressure overload. Finally, in view of the increasing prevalence of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and the role therein of multiple co-morbidities we study the influence of risk factors, including diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and renal dysfunction on cardiac and coronary microvascular function.

Principal InvestigatorsDJGM Duncker, D Merkus
Co-Investigators

B Bartelds, VJ de Beer, S Bender, AJJC Bogers, KAT Boomars, AE van den Bosch, DK Bowles, JM Canty Jr., C Cheng, EE Creemers, AHJ Danser, J Essers, RJM van Geuns, IM Heinonen, WA Helbing, JH Hoeijmakers,
M van Houwelingen, J Joles, M Kool, EO McFalls, Z Khalpey,
GP Krestin, JD Laman, MH Laughlin, AH van den Meiracker,
JW van Neck, K Nieman, YM Pinto, IKM Reiss, AJM Roks,
N van Royen, OE Sorop, AP Stubbs, D Tibboel, DB Uitterdijk, AG Vonk Noordegraaf, J van der Velden, MC Verhaar, AJM Verhoeven, Z Zhou, F Zijlstra

PhD candidates

GMJ de Boer, Z Cai,  RWB van Duin, M van den Heuvel,
K Hoogensteijn-Stam, DA Schipper,  JJ Steenhorst, J van de Wouw , DPM de Wijs -Meijler