This week, Eva van Rooij held her Inaugural lecture at the Academy building of the University of Utrecht. The title of her lecture was “back to the basics” in which she explained her study of molecular signalling pathways that are relevant for cardiac disease.
Van Rooij explained that a major challenge in the field of cardiac biology is to decipher the relevance of different signaling mechanisms that are relevant during disease. Using mouse genetics in combination with novel sequencing technologies, Van Rooij is able to identify key cell types or candidate factors important for specific remodeling and repair processes of the heart. These factors are studied in detail by molecular gain and loss-of-function studies, applying both genetics and oligonucleotide-based approaches. Van Rooij aims to describe signaling pathways relevant for heart repair and suggests that remodelling these pathways can eventually lead to effective treatment options that minimize the loss of cardiomyocytes and/or reverse the adverse remodeling processes in the diseased heart.