Three ZonMw Open Competition grants within ACS

Prof. Leo Heunks (dept. Intensive Care, location VUmc), prof. Menno de Winther (dept. Medical Biochemistry, location AMC) and prof. Gustav Strijkers (dept. Biomedical Engineering and Physics, location AMC) received a ZonMw Open Competion grant. This grant, the former ZonMw TOP grant, offers excellent research groups the opportunity to renew their line of research, enter into new collaborations and perform studies of exceptional quality in the field of health.

Leo Heunks - Diaphragm protective mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients: The role of positive end-expiratory pressure

Prof. Leo Heunks, together with his partners dr. Tim Marcus & dr. Lilian Meijboom (dept. of radiology, VUmc), prof. Aart Nederveen & prof. Gustav Strijkers (dept. of radiology, AMC), prof. Coen Ottenheijm (dept. of physiology, VUmc) and prof. Henk Granzier (University of Arizona, USA), received 740.000 euro to investigate how mechanical ventilation leads to respiratory muscle weakness, in particular the role of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP). They use sophisticated functional techniques and imaging techniques (high spatial and high temporal Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to asses the effect of PEEP on the diaphragm in healthy subjects and critically ill patients. Animal models are used to determine the underlying biochemical pathways, in particular the role of titin, a molecular mechano-sensor positioned in the muscle fiber.

Menno de Winther - Defining H3K9 methylation regulatory pathways in monocyte and macrophage function in cardiovascular disease

We have recently identified an epigenetic enzyme that is important in controlling macrophage activation and atherosclerosis development. In this new project, the labs of Menno de Winther (Medical Biochemistry, Amsterdam UMC) and Michiel Vermeulen (Molecular Biology, Radboud University) will join forces to investigate the mechanisms that control this epigenetic enzyme. We will apply state-of-the-art molecular biology and proteomic tools to investigate its interaction partners and define protein complexes in which the enzyme operates. Hereby, we aim to identify new pathways that regulate macrophages in inflammatory disease.

Gustav Strijkers - TRIPLET: TaRgeted therapy and Imaging in experimental PLacEnTa insufficiency

Prof. Gustav Strijkers and partners will investigate "Targeted treatment and imaging of fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia". The main outcome of this project will be a new therapy platform for placental insufficiency, which guarantees the safest possible treatment of the mother and fetus. The development of new imaging technology will contribute to better monitoring strategies with optimal delivery timing.