PhD Azra Husetic


My project focuses on employing human models to study cardioprotection post-infarction. This is a joined PhD project between the LUMC and AUMC, funded by the Rembrandt institute for Cardiovascular Science. I am supervised by Anke Smits at the LUMC and by Monika Gladka at the AUMC.


The low regenerative response of the human heart leads to an inability to restore the lost cardiomyocyte population and the persistence of scarred tissue, which frequently leads to arrhythmia, impaired pumping efficiency, and HF. Currently, the only definitive treatment for end-stage HF is a heart transplantation. However, donor availability falls largely below transplant need. Therefore, there is an urgent need for human models that recapitulate myocardial ischemia conditions observed in patients. Since the adult human heart cannot repopulate myocardium lost during ischemia, we will focus on regenerative (fetal) tissue to understand the molecular mechanisms that stimulate cardioprotection and regeneration to ultimately develop novel therapeutic approaches for the adult ischemic heart.

Curriculum Vitae

I studied Biomedicine and Biotechnology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. In 2020, I moved to Leiden to obtain my Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the LUMC. I have always had an interest in regenerative medicine and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, I am currently working as a PhD candidate in the Goumans group, where I can combine these two fields with a translational approach.


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