Prof. Gerard Pasterkamp
Sander W.van der Laan Assistant professor
Dr. Imo Hofer
UMCU is the provider of the Athero-Express Biobank Study (AE), UCORBIO, MYOMARKER, and CTMM Circulating Cells (CTMM) biobanks, as well as the EHR-linked UPOD data-collection (>2 million individuals). Totalling up to approximately 6,500 patients, the biobanks include genotypic, transcriptomic, epigenetic, and clinical data, as well as a rich variety of deeply characterized intermediate phenotypes, such as plaque-derived biomarkers and histology, circulating metabolomics, and circulating monocyte expression and characterization. The UMCU will perform the global analysis of the plaque-derived ‘omics’-data, cell-type specific network inference, and co-localization analyses aiming at identification of effector genes linking depression to cardiovascular disease. This includes the analysis of expression levels on a single-cell level using single-cell RNAsequencing on plaque-derived material, and the identification of tissue-specific pleiotropic effects of risk factors and cardiovascular disease on depression.
The UMCU team consists of professor dr. Gerard Pasterkamp, dr. Sander W. van der Laan, dr. Michal Mokry, and dr. Imo Hoefer. Together they are leaders in the field of cardiovascular biology and innovation in biomarkers and drug targets with publications on a range of topics covering atherosclerotic plaque phenotyping and disease progression. They are part of the team leading the largest atherosclerotic plaque biobank worldwide (AE) which has generated new insights into determinants of plaque destabilisation. Another key focus of the team is on the genetic and genomic factors influencing plaque morphology. They apply a variety of techniques and methodologies to gain insight in whole-tissue and single-cell plaque transcriptomics, molecular quantitative trait loci in circulating cells and atherosclerotic tissues, plaque-derived DNA methylation, and characterize plaque morphology through high-throughput imaging of histological slides. Lastly, they linked data from over 2 million patients with over 100 million laboratory tests and hematology analyzed datasets to the electronic health records to gain insight in the circulating factors influencing (cardiovascular) disease.