My PhD is focused on repairing the damaged heart after myocardial infarction through re-activation of the epicardium. This approach is interesting because the epicardium, the outer cell layer of the heart, is activated during embryonic development and contributes to the formation of the heart. In adult hearts, the epicardium is activated after cardiac injury and re-expresses some markers that are also found in the developing heart, but the ability to contribute to cardiac tissue is lost. In my PhD, I will compare the gene expression profile of developing and adult epicardium and investigate differences in various processes in developing, adult and post-injury epicardium. Through targeted modulation of pathways in the epicardium, especially of pathways that are activated in the epicardium of the developing heart, we hope to induce cardiac repair after myocardial infarction.
After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Groningen, I attended Leiden University for a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences. During my time in Leiden, my interest in cardiovascular research was piqued after internships at the department of Thrombosis and Hemostasis in the LUMC and at the department of Immunity and Atherosclerosis at the Centre for Molecular Medicine. Currently, I’m working on my PhD in the group of Marie-José Goumans, and my research is focused on the epicardium as a target for endogenous repair of the heart after myocardial infarction.
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2946-6491
Groups: Cardiovascular Cell Biology