22 February 2017

Eva van Rooij receives NWO Top grant

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Eva van Rooij received a NWO TOP grant to study the repair mechanism of the heart.

Even though the heart and the brain are both crucial body parts, they are not very good at repairing their own tissue after damage. The heart muscle cells and nerve cells are both too matured and specialised to remain capable of division after an injury. Eva van Rooij and her UU colleagues Sander van den Heuvel and Casper Hoogenraad want to study why exactly these specialised cells stop dividing. By releasing the ‘breaks’ on proliferation they want to see if the cells will continue to divide.

NWO TOP grants are for excellent research groups. It allows the group to work on new innovative lines of research, either in theory or by new collaborations.

In the same line of research, group member Kees Jan Boogerd received a two year Marie Curie fellowship focused on Epigenetic Regulation of Cardiac Regeneration after Injury

Identifying the epigenetic mechanisms that control the cardiomyocyte cell cycle holds immense promise to accelerate our knowledge about the genes and pathways involved in cardiac maturation. This knowledge can be applied in efforts to impose a more cardio-regenerative gene program onto adult cardiomyocytes after injury, and could serve to identify potential targets for novel pharmacotherapies. In this grant we use state-of-the art genome wide epigenetics analysis and conditional mouse mutants to reveal the molecular pathways that regulate cardiomyocyte cell cycle withdrawal and most importantly, apply this knowledge to reverse clinical phenotypes after myocardial infarction (MI).