Bakkers: Cardiac Development, Disease and Regeneration

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The Bakkers group studies the genetics of cardiac development, disease and regeneration using the zebrafish model system.

Wide ranges of cardiac diseases are caused by genetic alterations, which affect normal cardiac development or function. We use the zebrafish model to identify genes and mechanisms that regulate normal heart development and function, and that can contribute to cardiac diseases in humans. In addition, we use the zebrafish model to identify novel mechanisms that drive cardiac regeneration as zebrafish have the natural capacity to regenerate their hearts after an injury. The projects in the lab use a wide range of approaches including genetics, in vivo and ex vivo microscopy, and single-cell transcriptomics and epigenomics.

Key publicationsView all publications

Macrophages provide a transient muscle stem cell niche via NAMPT secretion.

Ratnayake D, Nguyen PD [...] Bakkers J and, Currie PD

Nature 591, 281


Zebrafish prrx1a mutants have normal hearts.

Tessadori F, de Bakker DEM [...] Crump JG and, Bakkers J

Nature 585, E14-E16


Genome-wide RNA tomography in the zebrafish embryo.

Junker JP, Noël ES [...] Bakkers J and, van Oudenaarden A

Cell 159, 662-675


Selected publications

Group leader

Jeroen Bakkers

Jeroen Bakkers is group leader at the Hubrecht Institute and professor of Molecular Cardiogenetics at the University Medical Center Utrecht. His group uses the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model system to study various processes. The research lines of the Bakkers group include unraveling the genetics of normal cardiac development and body axis formation during development, investigating the molecular mechanisms of heart regeneration in the zebrafish and how this can be compared to heart injury in the mammals, and modeling of human (cardiac) disease in the zebrafish to unravel biological mechanisms behind the disease and to identify new drug targets.

Scientific training and positions

Current other activities

  • Board member of the IZFS
  • Board member of the EZS

  • Group members

    Jeroen Bakkers

    Group Leader

    Tim Verhagen


    Federico Tessadori


    Phong Nguyen


    Mara Bouwman

    PhD Student

    Henriette van Beijnum

    PhD Student

    Iris Gooijers

    PhD Student

    Laura Florit

    PhD Student

    Show all group members

    Lab alumni