With the start of Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences (ACS) on the 1st of January 2016, ACS provided funds to support talented ACS researchers and to stimulate collaboration between ACS researchers within Amsterdam UMC. Each year several calls have been organized for ACS researchers at different stages of their careers.

Each year, ACS organizes grant rounds for the Postdoc grant (€70,000), MD/PhD grant (€25,000) and the Out of the Box (OOTB) grant (€25,000). The Postdoc and MD/PhD grants are for excellent young basic and clinical researchers, respectively, and aim to support talented ACS researchers. The Postdoc grant provides the opportunity to obtain postdoc experience for a period of one year in a prestigious research center abroad. The MD/PhD grant covers one day a week protected research time for a two-year post-doctoral project for medical specialists in training. The OOTB grant aims at supporting ACS project leaders to set up new collaborations between Amsterdam UMC locations AMC and VUmc and to strengthening joint future grant applications. The Nursing Research grant (€12,500) was introduced in 2021 and allows nurses with a Master’s degree to have 1.5 day a week protected research time in order to prepare a PhD trajectory in the cardiovascular field in combination with clinical duties as a nurse.

Two laureates from 2016 tell what the ACS grant has brought them.

Marten Hoeksema - ACS Postdoc grant 2016

The ACS Postdoc fellowship allowed me to perform my post-doc in the lab of Professor Glass, a world expert in macrophages and gene regulation. As the result of the vibrant and collaborative environment at UC San Diego, I have been able to master novel state-of-the-art genetic techniques and analysis tools, and to expand my scientific network. During my time here, I have identified key transcription factors for activation of both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory gene enhancers in macrophages, fundamental information that we can use for inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. Based on these findings, I applied for additional research grants and was recently awarded with the American Heart Association Postdoc grant and a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship.

Marten Hoeksema: I highly recommend young researchers apply for the ACS postdoc grant to visit a lab abroad. It has been a great life experience for me, as I have learned so much both inside and outside the lab!

Ronak Delewi – ACS MD/PhD grant 2016

During my residency in Cardiology at the AMC, I remained captivated by cardiovascular research in the hope of improving clinical outcomes on a larger scale. Although I am a devoted physician, I missed having dedicated research time. As such, this ACS MD/PhD grant provided the perfect combination for my last years of training. I spent this time performing research in the field of transcatheter aortic valve implantation, supervising PhD students and also set up new research ideas and grants. It truly was the foundation for the future, where I will hopefully be able to further combine the love for research and interventional cardiology.

Laureates 2021

Name Grant Project
Stefanie van Oostrum Nursing Research Pre-operative Nurse Assessment in Cardiothoracic Surgical Patients: A mixed-methods process evaluation of a complex intervention
Marja Holierook Nursing Research Is Edmonton Frailty Scale assessment before Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation a good predictor of negative outcomes?
Laura Bosmans Postdoc Targeting Glucocorticoid-Induced TNF Family-Related Protein (GITR) in macrophages to combat atherosclerosis: Identification of GITR-TRAF Small Molecule Inhibitors
Arnout Mieremet Postdoc UnHiDe Marfan: Uncovering Haploinsufficient and Dominant Negative iPSC phenotypes in Marfan Syndrome
Alwin Zweerink MD/PhD Conduction System Pacing - MECHanical ANd electrICal Study (CSP-MECHANICS)
Reinier Boon/Monika Gladka Out of the Box Single nuclei RNA sequencing to study the human diseased heart
Bianca Brundel/Anke Tijsen Out of the Box Culturing of LMNA hiPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes to dissect mechanism underlying atrial fibrillation
Vivian de Waard/Kakkhee Yeung/Connie Jimenez Out of the Box What drives the engine of the aortic aneurysm: identifying (phospho)proteins at the center of vascular smooth muscle cell contractile dysfunction
Esther Lutgens/Ed Eringa/Reinier Zandbergen Out of the Box SARS-CoV2 infection of perivascular adipose tissue and hyperinflammation in COVID-19
Max Nieuwdorp/Elena Rampanelli/Barbara Verhaar/Daniel van Raalte Out of the Box The role of gut microbiota and its metabolites in blood pressure regulation

Laureates 2020

Name Grant Project
Fleur Tjong Postdoc Deep learning for identification of ICD patients at risk of lethal cardiac arrhythmias: The deep risk ICD Study
Annette Neele Postdoc Targeting the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) in atherosclerosis by small molecule drugs
Najim Lahrouchi MD/PhD Personalized medicine for patients with the long QT syndrome
Nick van Es MD/PhD Combining clinical and genetic risk factors to identify cancer patients at high risk of arterial and venous thromboembolism: a new challenge in cardio-oncology
Menno de Winther/Jan Van den Bossche/Max Nieuwdorp/Maarten Soeters Out of the Box Promoting immune health by intermittent fasting: taming the monocytes?
Liffert Vogt/Majon de Boer/Marie van Dijk Out of the Box Investigating placental non-osmotic sodium buffering across pregnancy
Meeike Kusters/Barbara Hutten Out of the Box The search for new biomarkers in risk stratification: towards a tailor made treatment for young patients with familial hypercholesterolemia
Harm Jan Bogaard/Harry Buller/Josien Smits/Azar Kianzad Out of the Box Detecting CTEPH with educated platelets: a case-control study

Laureates 2019

Name Grant Project
Muriel Grooteman/Frans van Ittersum Equipment grant Sodium receiver coil for body imaging on the 7 Tesla MRI scanner
Daniel van Raalte/Max Nieuwdorp Equipment grant High Performance Liquid Chromatography (uHPLC) system
Erik Serné/Ed Eringa Equipment grant PeriCam PSI NR
Jan Van den Bossche/Elga de Vries Equipment grant Cytation 1 cell imaging device
Marco Götte/Aart Jan Nederveen PhD MRI guided cardiac ablation in explanted beating pig hearts
Vivian de Waard/Dimitra Micha PhD Genetic Characteristics of Marfan Patients dictate aneurysm severity and treatment
Bianca Brundel/Riekelt Houtkooper OOTB-2 Staging of clinical atrial fibrillation: metabolomics as diagnostic tool?
Elga de Vries/Carlie de Vries OOTB-2 Four and a half lim domain 2 (fhl2) regulates vascular barrier function in aorta and brain microvasculature
Ed Eringa/Jeffrey Kroon OOTB-2 Get to the heart of the matter: mapping metabolic reprogramming in valvular interstitial cells in order to combat aortic valve stenosis
Peter Hordijk/Ed van Bavel OOTB-2 Endothelial-cardiomyocyte communication through electrical coupling
Arjan Houweling/Vivian de Waard OOTB-2 Unravelling modifier genes responsible for variable clinical presentation of aortic complications in marfan syndrome
Mathilde Rivaud/Veronique Meijborg/Paul Wijnker OOTB-2 Effects of modifying electrical diastole on diastolic function
Eliane Wenstedt/Liffert Vogt/Niels Heemskerk/Jan van den Bossche OOTB-2 Does salt consumption drive leukocyte infiltration in humans
Pranav Bhagirath MD/PhD Defining atrial cardiomyopathy using serial evaluation with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and biomarkers in patients with atrial fibrillation (DESCRIBE-AF trial)
Jouke Bokma MD/PhD To optimize timing of pulmonary valve replacement in adults with tetralogy of Fallot
Camiel de Roij van Zuijdewijn MD/PhD Peri- and intradialytic hemodynamic stability in patients treated with various dialysis modalities
Fleur Tjong  MD/PhD Deep learning models for development of novel tools for identification of patients at risk of complications and shock therapy following pacemaker and ICD implantation
Daniël van Raalte/Carlie de Vries OOTB LIM-domain only protein FHL2 secreted? An unexpected finding requiring further research.
Jurjan Aman/Stephan Huveneers OOTB Linking early endothelial barrier injury to vascular remodelling: a role for SOX17 in the onset of pulmonary hypertension.
Vivian de Waard/Dimitra Micha OOTB The two genetic Marfan subtypes deserve a mouse model for preclinical studies.
Esther Creemers/Bianca Brundel OOTB Uncovering atrial cardiomyocyte proteostais derailment and atrial fibrillation
Roddy Walsh Postdoc Identifying genetic factors that influence variable penetrance and disease expressivity in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Natalija Bogunovic Postdoc PRDM protein family as novel transcriptional regulators of aortic aneurysm pathology

Laureates 2018

Name Grant Project
Reinier Boon/Stephan Huveneers PhD Towards Protective Building Blocks for the Endothelial Barrier
Max Nieuwdorp/Majon Muller/ Han Levels/Mike Peters PhD The gut microbiome and aging of the vascular system
Menno de Winther/Jan van de Bossche/ Michel van Weeghel PhD Local immunometabolites shape inflammatory macrophages and atherosclerosis progression
Ed Eringa/Gustav Strijkers/Carlie de Vries ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Contrast ultrasonography for identifying and understanding perfusion defects in organ failure
Marco Götte/Alexander Vonk ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Mri-Compatible Multi-Channel Hemodynamic Monitoring System, Philips In Vivo MR Expression 400
Coert Zuurbier/Jolanda van der Velden OOTB Targeting genetic heart disease with diabetes medication
Carol Ann Remme/Diederik Kuster OOTB Keeping cardiomyocytes dynamic and exciting: a novel approach to prevent mechanical and electrical dysfunction in cardiomyopathy
Noam Zelcer/Elga de Vries OOTB The nuclear receptors Liver X Receptors (LXRS) couple lipid metabolism to control of vascular integrity of the blood-brain barrier
Louis Handoko/Ot Bakermans OOTB TrimetaziDine as a Performance-enhancING drug in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (DoPING-HFpEF)
Leo Heunks/Coen Ottenheijm/Janneke Horn OOTB Positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) applied during mechanical ventilation as a novel mechanism to explain critical illness associated diaphragm weakness
Yu-Sok Kim/Johannes van Lieshout OOTB Effect of treatment modality on cerebrovascular control and cognitive function in patients with end-stage renal disease - hemodiafiltration vs. hemodialysis
Peter van Tintelen/Bianca Brundel OOTB A giant molecule underlying a major disease?
Ibrahim Danad MD/PhD CT perfusion Imaging for the assessment of functionally relevant CAD as Indexed by 15O[H2O] PET and Fractional Flow Reserve
Rik Olde Engberink MD/PhD The endothelial surface layer as orchestrator of interstitial Na+ homeostasis
Ralf Harskamp MD/PhD Triage in acute chest pain evaluation in primary care (TRACE)
Thijs van Mens MD/PhD Defining the role of gut microbiome pathways in venous thromboembolism pathophysiology
Debbie Kalkman Postdoc Prevention of in-stent restenosis in diabetic patients with coronary artery disease
Marit Wiersma Postdoc LMNA and DES mutations: undissolved role for cardiomyocyte proteostasis and AF promotion in familial atrial fibrillation
Paul Wijnker Postdoc A disturbed redox-balance triggers cardiac disease in inherited cardiomyopathy
René Musters ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Extension of  AO/2M Nikon A1-DUS MULTISPECTRALE-DETECTOR, improvement of platform functionality
Diederik Kuster/Charissa van den Brom ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Fluorescent Western blot imager
Yu-Sok Kim/Frans van Ittersum ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Trans Cranial Doppler
Yu-Sok Kim/Frans van Ittersum ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Servo-controlled finger plethysmograph (Nexfin® or ClearSight EV1000®)

Laureates 2017

Name Grant Project
Peter Hordijk/Stephan Huveneers PhD The Push and Pull of (dys)balanced endothelial integrity  
Reinier Boon/Riekelt Houtkooper PhD The role of long non-coding RNAs in regulating cardiac metabolism during aging         
Carlie de Vries/Ed Eringa/Daniel van Raalte/Max Nieuwdorp PhD Prevention of aging-related type 2 diabetes and vascular disease through LIM-domain only protein FHL2  
René Musters ACS-VUmc Equipment grant Extension of the Leica TCS SP8 STED 3X platform with a OKO-labs microscopy environment, with climate control and live-cell stage incubator together with a Navigator-stage-module extension of software possibilities
Peter Hordijk/Carlie de Vries ACS-VUmc Equipment grant 96 well ECIS machine and Reader (extension)   
Harm Jan Bogaard/Robert Szulcek ACS-VUmc Equipment grant GentleMACS tissue dissociator with MultiMACS 24 cell separator