Research focus

Vascular aspects of Tissue Engineering

Pieter Koolwijk studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam and received a PhD degree from the University of Utrecht in 1990 for his studies on the characteristics of bispecific monoclonal antibodies. From November 1989 till March 2006 he was projectleader/senior investigator at Gaubius Laboratory TNO-QoL in Leiden, where he studied the involvement of proteolytic enzymes, matrix components and hypoxia on the process of angiogenesis. During this period his group developed many in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis models, and he was, as projectleader, responsible for the coordination of contract research in the field of angiogenesis for pharmaceutical companies.  In April 2006, he and a part of his group moved to the Institute for Cardiovascular Research VU (ICaR-VU), Dept. for Physiology, VUMC in Amsterdam, and continued his work on the involvement of hypoxia and temporary fibrin matrices on angiogenesis. In collaboration with Victor van Hinsbergh’s group, his group has made important contributions on the effect of chronic hypoxia on endothelial cell functions and endothelial cell progenitor differentiation/outgrowth in relation to vascularization of tissue-engineered tissue constructs.

Selection of recent publications

Nauta TD, van Hinsbergh VW, Koolwijk P (2014). Hypoxic signaling during tissue repair and regenerative medicine. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 15, 19791-815.

Weijers E.M., van den Broek L.J., Waaijman T., van Hinsbergh V.W.M., Gibbs S., Koolwijk P. The influence of hypoxia and fibrinogen variants on the expansion and differentiation of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Tissue Engineering A. 2011, 17:2675-85.

Rensing, K.L., von der Thüsen, J.J., Weijers, E.m., Houttuijn-Bloemendaal, F.M., van Lammeren, G.W., Vink, A., van de Wal, A.C., van Hinsbergh, V.W.M., van der Loos, G.M., Stroes, E.S., Koolwijk, P., Twickler, M. Endothelial insulin receptor expression in human atherosclerotic plaques: linking micro- and macrovascular disease in diabetes? Atherosclerosis 2012, 222:208-15

Weijers EM, Van Wijhe MH, Joosten L, Horrevoets AJ, de Maat MP, van Hinsbergh VW, Koolwijk P. Molecular weight fibrinogen variants alter gene expression and functional characteristics of human endothelial cells. J Thromb Haemost. 2010, 8:2800-9.

van Beem, R.T., Verloop, R.E., Kleijer, M., Noort, W.A., Loof, N., Koolwijk, P., van der Schoot, C.E.,  van Hinsbergh, V.W.M. Zwaginga, J.J. Blood outgrowth endothelial cells from cord blood and peripheral blood: Angiogenesis-related characteristics in vitro. J Thromb Haemost. 2009, 7:217-226.

Ongoing research projects

2011-2015 NIRM project (Netherlands Institute Regenerative Medicine)
Angiogenesis: generating new vessels (project leader WP 1.6, 6 fte)