PhD Gonzalo Sanchez-Duffhues

Senior postdoc


As a member of Prof. Peter ten Dijke’s lab first, and Prof. Marie-José Goumans afterwards, my research over the past five years has been focused on endothelial dysfunction in a variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis and vascular calcification, pulmonary arterial hypertension and a very rare type of bone disease named Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Inflammation is a common factor in all these disorders. Therefore, I aim to investigate how inflammation modulates the response of endothelial cells to members of the TGF-b superfamily, which are well known regulators of endothelial function and plasticity. I am particularly interested in an extreme form of cell plasticity called Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), by which endothelial cells can become multipotent stem-like cells. This mechanism has not been explored in detail in adult pathologies, and its characterization would contribute to the development of novel specific therapies for cardiovascular disease, and to the identification of alternative biomarkers to monitor disease progression.

Curriculum Vitae:

I completed my PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Cordoba (Spain), where I studied the activation of inflammatory signaling pathways, and identified a number of (semi)synthetic compounds able to modulate its activation. In 2011 I joined the group of Prof. Peter ten Dijke to investigate the mechanisms by which signal transduction initiated by TGF-b and BMP ligands regulate bone and calcification disorders in an inflammatory environment. This has been possible after been awarded with several fellowships and research prizes. In 2017 I became a member of the lab headed by Prof. Marie-Jose Goumans, where I am focused on the contribution of EndMT to cardiovascular disorders, including cardiac fibrosis, atherosclerosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3205-0710


  • • Inflammation induces Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and promotes vascular calcification through down-regulation of BMPR2.

    Gonzalo Sánchez-Duffhues, Amaya García de Vinuesa, Vera van de Pol, Marlieke E. Geerts, Margreet R. de Vries, Stef G. T. Janson, Hans van Dam, Jan Lindeman, Marie-José Goumans, Peter ten Dijke

    J Pathology. 2018. In press.

  • • Bone morphogenetic protein receptor signal transduction in human diseases.

    Maria Catalina Gomez Puerto, Prasanna Vasudevan Iyengar, Amaya Garcia de Vinuesa, Peter ten Dijke, Gonzalo Sánchez-Duffhues.

    J Pathology. 2018. doi: 10.1002/path.5170.

  • • Signal Transduction: Gain of Activin Turns Muscle into Bone.

    Gonzalo Sánchez-Duffhues, Theodore Fotsis, Peter ten Dijke

    Current Biol. (2015). Vol 25(23):R1136-8.


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