Peter van der Meer
Prof. Dr. Peter van der Meer received both his MD and PhD cum laude from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2017, he became HE IS a full professor of Heart Failure and Translational Cardiology at the University of Groningen. He is trained as a cardiologist with a focus on heart failure and cardiac devices. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School with prof. Ken Chien to further train his skills in cardiac stem cell biology. He identified new cardiac progenitor cells and in collaboration with bioengineers from the Harvard University they established a platform for phenotyping for which he holds a patent. The research group of Prof. Van der Meer consists of physician scientists, PhD students and post-docs working on translational research topics to bridge the gap between bench and bedside. HIS group focuses on understanding the susceptibility to develop heart failure and exploring novel treatment targets and therapies with a focus on comorbidities in heart failure. He holds several patents related to biomarkers and stem cell applications in heart failure. Prof. Van der Meer is director of the Cardiac Care Unit of the University Medical Center Groningen.
Dr. Nils Bömer received his PhD from the Leiden University in the Netherlands. During his PhD at the Department of Molecular Epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Centre, he used functional genomics (functional follow-up of genetic associations) as a tool to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). His work focused on the development of specialized 3D-chondrogenic cell models for OA research, primarily to investigate the role of intra-cellular thyroid hormone herein, and specialized animal-models.
As a Postdoctoral researcher at the Experimental Cardiology department he focuses on translation of clinical observations towards in vitro disease modelling using hPSCs, to identify key disease drivers and their mechanisms in the development of heart failure.
Currently, Nils is establishing his own line of research on selenium, selenoproteins and heart failure. His translational research line is focusing on synergy between lifestyle interventions and treating HF. The pathophysiological mechanisms affected by Se deficiency are explored in depth using both clinical/biomarker studies and state-of-the-art 3D tissue engineering of human heart tissues.
Niels Grote Bevergborg
Dr. Niels Grote Beverborg received his Bachelor of Science in Medicine cum laude and with honours of the Junior Scientific Masterclass in 2013. He was involved in clinical research during his bachelor and now combines his master in Medicine with a PhD in cardiology under the supervision of dr. Peter van der Meer. His research focused on anemia and iron deficiency in heart failure patients. For this purpose, both clinical studies and in vitro disease modelling are used. Niels defended his thesis entitled "Anemia, erythropoietin and iron in heart failure" on the 7th of January, 2019 and is currently working as a cardiologist in training at the UMCG after working as a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Kenneth Chien at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dr. Martijn Hoes received a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences (2011 and 2013 respectively)from Maastricht University, focusing on Developmental Biology and Epigenetics. Subsequently, he started as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter van der Meer at the University Medical Center Groningen. His research focuses on in vitro disease modeling using cutting edge iPSC generation techniques, as well as various differentiation techniques. Martijn has defended his thesis entitled "Studying cardiac diseases using human stem cell-derived cardiomycytes" on the 20th of March, 2019 and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Dr. Peter van der Meer and studies the effects of pregnancy on the heart with a focus on peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Mathilde Vermeer received her master degree in Biology at the University of Groningen, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. In October 2014, she began working as a PhD-candidate at the Experimental Cardiology department of the UMCG, under the supervision of prof. dr. Van der Meer. She is working on understanding the emergence and loss of excitability of contractile tissues from patient-specific stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, displaying known mutations in cardiac related genes. This research is founded on a collaboration between dr. Feinberg (Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering department, CMU, Pittsburgh) and dr. Van der Meer (UMCG) and is supported by the HFSP Young Investigator grant
Haye van der Wal
Haye van der Wal received his Bachelor of Medicine cum laude at the University of Groningen (2013). He also successfully joined the Junior Scientific Masterclass (JSM) Bachelor ‘Honours’ Programme. Already during his Bachelor programme, he became involved in several research projects at the department of Cardiology. In 2014, he was admitted to the JSM MD/PhD programme. His thesis focuses on high-impact co-morbidities in chronic and worsening heart failure, with special focus on iron deficiency, sleep-disordered breathing and hematinic deficiencies.
Joost Beusekamp is an MD/PhD student, which involves that he combines his master to become a medical doctor with his PhD-project. He was assigned to this programme by the Junior Scientific Masterclass of the University of Groningen. Joost started his research period in January 2018 under direct supervision of prof. Peter van der Meer, prof. Adriaan Voors and dr. Jasper Tromp. His research focuses on electrolyte disturbances (mostly related to potassium) in acute and chronic heart failure patients. Besides, he was involved in the EMPA-RESPONSE trial which is a randomised clinical trial examining the effects of empagliflozin on diuretic response in patients hospitalised for acute heart failure.
Annet Linders received both her bachelor’s (Biomedical Sciences, 2015) and master’s degree (Regenerative Medicine and Technology, 2018) from the university of Utrecht. Through an internship in Boston, in the lab of Ibrahim Domian, she came in contact with prof. dr. Van der Meer and started her PhD program in 2018. Her project is focused on finding regulatory mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity, making use of iPSC-based models.
Karla Arévalo Gómez
Karla Arévalo received her medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) (2016), Mexico and within International Master in Innovative Medicine (IMIM) from Heidelberg, Germany, University of Groningen (2018), Netherlands and Uppsala University, Sweden the master degrees in Translational Medicine (2017) and Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation (2018). In September 2018, Karla started working as a PhD candidate under supervision of prof. Van der Meer and co-supervised by prof. C. Lam, dr. Martijn Hoes and dr. Jasper Tromp at the Experimental Cardiology department of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). Her study will elucidate the differences between diabetic patients with and without heart failure by assessing patient specific mRNA targets and determining the mechanistic implications of identified targets in vitro (stem cell derived cardiomyocytes) and in vivo.
José Antonio Esquival Gaytan
José Antonio Esquivel Gaytán received his medical degree in 2016 from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, 2016) and received his master degree in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine at University College London with distinction (UCL, 2017). In November 2018, Antonio started working as a PhD candidate under the supervision of prof. Van der Meer and co-supervised by Dr Nils Bömer at the Experimental Cardiology department of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). He is investigating 5-oxoprolinase as a potential therapeutic target for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
Frits Deiman received his master degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Groningen, where he specialized in Ageing Biology and gained a strong background in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine. In October 2019, Frits started working as a PhD candidate at the University Medical Center Groningen under supervision of Prof. Dr. Van der Meer, Dr. Bömer and Dr. Grote Beverborg. He is currently working on a novel therapeutic strategy to treat genetic heart disease.