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Grants and Awards 2016

Cardiology

Dr. Caroline Cheng received financial support from Vrienden van UMC (Utrecht) for a project on 3D bioprinting of vasculature in macro-tissue grafts (https://www.vriendenumcutrecht.nl/Projecten/rm-en-stamcellen/3d-bioprinten/).
Dr. Klazina Kooiman received a grant for her PhD project from the Phospholipid Research Center, Germany. The title of the project is as follows: Theranostic phospholipid-coated ultrasound contrast agents: response on demand.
Dr. Daphne Merkus and Professor Irwin Reiss have been given an Erasmus MC grant to investigate the role of circulating endothelial cells in the development of pulmonary hypertension in bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

PhD candidate Richard van Duin received a Young-investigator grant within CVON-PHAEDRA, to investigate the role of transglutaminase in pulmonary hypertension.

Dr. Natasja de Groot received as principal investigator the CVON grant of 1 million euro from the NHS and STW for the research proposal Atrial Fibrillation Fingerprinting. She joined the CVON 2016 EGIP consortium.

Dr. Heleen van Beusekom is WP leader in the CVON CONTRAST consortium
(PI’s: Prof. Diederik Dippel (EMC) and Prof. Charles Majoie (AMC)), who received a grant to study thrombectomy and develop acute ischemic stroke models (~700K€). She received a pilot grant (50 K€) from the Doelmatigheidsfonds of the Erasmus MC, to study rtPA and thrombectomy (together with Dr. Adriaan van Es (Radiology)). In addition, together with
Dr.Volkert van Steijn (TU Delft) and dr. Han van Neck (Plastic Surgery), she received a pilot grant of 25 K€, for the development of arteries-on-a-chip technology to study atherosclerosis and vascular injury and repair.

Dr. Marcel Geleijnse and Dr. Rik Vos were granted k€1000 for the project “Early Finding of diastolic heart Failure by EchoCardiographic Tissue Stiffness measurements (EFFECTS)”, within the Call: ‘Earlier recognition of cardiovascular diseases’ issued by a combined initiative of the Dutch Heart Foundation and NWO/STW. The project is a collaboration between Erasmus MC, TU Delft, and VUMC, validating a novel non-invasive shear wave elastographic technique to diagnose cardiac function.

The research of Prof. Robert Jan van Geuns and his project group resulted in two Late-breaking clinical trials presentations on May 17th at the leading interventional cardiology congress (EuroPCR 2016) on bioresorbable stents and effect of a regional platelet inhibition protocol on clinical outcomes after PCI for acute coronary syndromes. First an Update on bioresorbable stents (Effect of DAPT termination at 12 months on very late scaffold thrombosis in regular clinical practice: data of a regional collaboration including 868 patients), the second on Advances in treatment of ACS (Safety of a regional standardised protocol to optimise the use of most effective platelet inhibition in ACS treated with PCI: final results from the Dutch, multicentre and Observational Rijnmond Collective Cardiology Research (CCR) study).

Prof. Patrick Serruys and Prof. Eric Boersma were listed as one of the 2016 most highly cited researchers by Thomson Reuters.
On August 26th, PhD candidate Milos Brankovic won the award for the best research master paper during the NIHES graduation.

PhD candidate Ihsan Chrifi received an ATVB travel award for his visit to the 2016 AHA congress in New Orleans, USA. He was awarded with the Poster Prize at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) Meeting in Florence (Italy). PhD candidate Richard van Duin received the Poster Prize at the meeting of the Dutch Society of Physiology (end of 2015)

PhD candidate Inés Beekers won poster prizes at the Nanocity symposium in Amsterdam, and at the 21st European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging in Rotterdam.

PhD candidate Lisette van der Does from the research group Translational Electrophysiology received the award for best oral presentation at the meeting of the Dutch Society of Cardiology, and she received the award for best scientific presentation at the European Cardiac Arrhythmia Society in Paris. In her presentations, she introduced epi-endocardial dissociation in conduction as a new mechanism underlying persistence of atrial fibrillation.

As per September 1st, Prof. Dirk Duncker has been appointed as Consulting Editor for Cardiovascular Research. Dr. Daphne Merkus is Associate Editor for Cardiovascular Research.

Dr. Natasja de Groot became board member of the European Heart Rhythm Society.

Prof. Jolien Roos-Hesselink is proud that the Center for Congenital Heart Abnormalities has been officially acknowledged as an Academic Center. The Center participates in a European Reference Network on Rare Connective Tissue Diseases. Their focus is on aorta pathology.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

On March 18th PhD candidate Nelleke Korteland was awarded  the Jose L. Pomar Heart Valves Outcomes II Abstract Award at the Heart Valve Society Scientific Meeting 2016 in New York. The award included a cheque worth 1000 dollar.
Prof. Arie-Pieter Kappetein was listed as one of the 2016 most highly cited researchers by Thomson Reuters.

Hemostasis and Thrombosis

The Haemophilia center for children and adults of the Erasmus MC was awarded the European accreditation as a Comprehensive Haemophilia Treatment Care Center and decorated with a Gold Pin by the European Association for Haemophilia and Allied disorders (EAHAD). In addition, it was recognized as a NFU Center of Excellence for Rare Haemorrhagic Disorders by the Ministry of Health and obtained recognition as Academic Center (AC) for Haemostasis and Thrombosis. Moreover, recently  Departments of Pediatric Hematology, Hematology and Laboratories working on Hemostasis, Hemoglobin and Hematological malignancies have been selected to take part in the European Reference Network center for rare hematological disorders: EuroBloodNet. These rewards for their care and research activities in patients with bleeding and thrombotic disorders are of utmost importance for these Departments, and will give them more possibilities to obtain research funding and to achieve set goals.

Prof. Frank Leebeek received important financial research contributions for the Willebrand in the Netherlands (“WiN”) study. Unrestricted research grants were obtained from CSL Behring and Shire. In addition the Global Prof. Heimburger Award was awarded to PhD candidate Johan Boender, to study von Willebrand disease in children. The total funding for the “WiN” study in 2016 amounted to k€500.

PhD candidate Lisette Schutte was awarded the Harolds Roberts Award (k$15) of the World Federation of Haemophilia. PhD candidate Caroline Veen received an ISTH travel grant amounting k$5 to cover the costs of a four month research fellowship at the laboratory of prof. John Weisel in Philadelphia to study the relationship between fibrin structure and bleeding after delivery. The “OPTI-CLOT” studies on pharmacokinetic-guided dosing of clotting factor concentrates in bleeding disorders acquired several grants amounting to a total of k€625, among which an Innovatiefonds grant of worth k€550. In addition, an educational grant of k€380 was awarded to the Pediatric Hematology Department.

Prof. Frank Leebeek was invited by the New England Journal of Medicine to write a review on Von Willebrand’s disease, together with Jeroen Eikenboom (LUMC). The comprehensive review appeared in the November 24 issue of the journal.
Professor Frank Leebeek was  appointed member of the working group on diagnosis of bleeding disorders of the European Haematology Association. Dr. Shirley Uitte de Willige entered her second 3-year term on the board of the Dutch Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis, where she is responsible for organizing the annual symposium.

Internal Medicine: Vascular and Metabolic Diseases

Prof. Eric Sijbrands received financial support from the Erasmus MC Vriendenfonds raised by the Tour de Rotterdam event. The 6th editdion fo this cycling tour was organized on June 25. A total of 2300 people participated in one of the tours or recreation trips. Approximately 700 riders took part in the 140 km road cycling tour and among them was Marianne Vos, who is one of the finest cyclists ever. The theme of the 2016 Tour was diabetes and the Tour raised k€56 to support the research of Eric Sijbrands with the DiabetesStation.

Together with postdoc Mandy van Hoek, Eric Sijbrands won the worldwide competition for a non-drug-related research grant of Amgen (k€500) with their proposal Lipoprotein(a) in health and disease (Lp(a) AHEAD) study. Lipoprotein(a), also called Lp(a), is an intricate, large and highly variable molecule, which combines structural properties of a lipoprotein and of plasminogen. The function of Lp(a) is a big conundrum, but it is clear that increased levels of Lp(a) cause cardiovascular disease. The aim of the project is to determine the relationship between Lp(a) and micro- and macrovascular complications of type 2 diabetes.
 
In collaboration with the “Stichting Zeeschelp”, University Clinic Bonn and Hasselt University, Dr. Monique Mulder obtained a pilot MIT (MKB Innovatiestimulering Topsectoren) grant worth k€126 for the project titled “Seaweed against Alzheimer”. Monique and her team found that Sargassum fusiforme, a seaweed that contains a plant sterol that activates Liver X receptors (LXR), can improve memory in an Alzheimer mouse model. In this project the content of this plant sterol will be determined in Sargassum fusiforme and in a variety of locally collected seaweeds. She also received a grant from the SNIP fund for support in writing an STW application worth k€ 6.

The application by Monique Mulder and Eric Sijbrands together with Y. de Rijke (Clinical Chemistry) for a Tandem Quadrupole Mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS) for implementation of metabolomics and lipidomics in innovative diagnostics has been approved by the Jacoba Breen Fund (200K). The mass spectrometer will be used for monitoring effects of treatment of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
A poster prize was obtained by PhD candidates Kirsten Berk and Reyhana Yahya for their poster on “The effect of weight reduction on Lipoprotein(a) levels in obese and Type 2 diabetes patients“ at the International Lp(a) Satellite Meeting in Innsbruck, May 2016.
 
Prof. Eric Sijbrands was appointed member of the E. Dekker committee of the Dutch Heart Foundation.

Dr. Adrie Verhoeven was appointed chairman of the Education Board of Clinical Technology (bachelor & master) and of the Examination Board Research Masters Erasmus MC.

Prof. Eric Sijbrands, Dr. Mandy van Hoek and Dr. Jeanine Roeters van Lennep were interviewed for local and national radio on several occasions. Jeanine appeared on national television on Dress Red Day (29-9), and was interviewed in the 20.00 h NOS Journaal on restarting population screening for familial hypercholesterolemia (31-3). In addition, they were interviewed on various subjects by their respective specialist and scientific periodicals, as were Dr. Janneke Langendonk (on metabolic diseases), nurse-researcher Jelena Radojkovic (on diabetes nurses) and nurse-practitioner and PhD candidate Annette Galema-Boers (on specialist nurses). Annette and Jeanine made a video on The Cardiovascular Genetics team for the FocusVasculair, a Dutch continued education platform for interdisciplinary vascular medicine. PhD candidate and dietitian Kirsten Berk was interviewed by the Telegraaf on the book ‘Etenstijd’ for children, which she co-authored. She also wrote two blogs on food for children for the website ‘I am a foodie’, a platform for evidence-based food written by professionals.

Internal Medicine: Pharmacology and Nephrology

Dr. Ton van den Meiracker received financial support from the Stichting Lijf en Leven worth k€156 for his project on Angiogenesis inhibitors-induced cardiovascular and renal side effects in cancer. Together with Dr. Sinno Simons (Pediatrics), he received an Erasmus MC grant for the project: Therapeutic options for preeclampsia: evaluation of permeability and vascular effects in placentae and umblical cords of PDE5 inhibitors and endothelin-1 antagonists in an ex-vivo placenta perfusion model (k€50). Dr. Ton van den Meiracker and Dr. Jeroen Essers were granted k€2030 by Eurostars for their joint project A novel in vitro organ-on-a chip heart failure model for drug development.

Dr. Anton Roks succeeded in earning the Dutch Heart Foundation crowdfunding project worth k€50: Vascular DNA damage? Good for you!. In marking this achievement, he gave presentations on vascular aging and crowdfunding for the Dutch Heart Foundation Pulsdag and for donors of the Dutch Heart Foundation. His research and original way of fundraising got attention in national and local newspapers.

PhD candidate Bibi van Thiel was awarded with the Prize vor best poster at the  Gordon Research Conference on Angiotensin in Lucca (Italy). The prize included a cheque worth €750. PhD candidate Lodi Roksnoer won Second Place in the PhD student competition at the FIGON days (Oktober 3-5, Ede) with the presentation titled Blood pressure-independent renoprotection in diabetic rats treated with AT1 receptor–neprilysin inhibition compared with AT1 receptor blockade alone.
At the European Society of Hypertension 2016 meeting in Paris, PhD candidate Langeza Saleh was awarded with the Alberto Ferrari prize for her abstract entitled 'The evolution of sFlt1/PlGF ratio during pregnancy in women with (suspected) preeclampsia’. The prize included free participation and free accommodation at the conference. At the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Sao Paulo she received a Travel Award. The title of her presentation was ‘The added value of the biomarkers sFlt-1, PlGF and their ratio on prediction of pregnancy prolongation and maternal and foetal complications in (suspected) preeclampsia.’

Dr. Antoinette Maassen van den Brink gave several popular lectures on Migraine, zoals op de Publieksdag Migraine in Amsterdam, de landelijke publieksdag VUMc, and the Gezondheidsbeurs. She also gave contributions to the electronic forum Period! and was interviewed for Women Inc. 

Radiology, department Biomedical Imaging

At the annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of cardiovascular CT (SCCT) in Orlando (USA), PhD candidate Adriaan Coenen was awarded the prize for best abstract. His research was about the detection of functional coronary artery disease. By making multiple acquisitions of the heart during the first pass of a contrast bolus, the myocardial blood flow was computed. From previous studies it was known that the endocardial layer of the myocardium is more susceptible for perfusion defects than the epicardial layer. In his study he was able to determine the ratio between the endocardial and epicardial myocardial blood flow. However, his results showed that this ratio did not perform better than the absolute quantified myocardial blood flow in predicting functional coronary artery disease.