René J.P. MustersAssistant Professor

Research interests

Rene Musters received a Master degree in Molecular Cell Biology & Electron Microscopy at the Utrecht University in 1990, where he also completed his PhD in 1994 (Thesis: “Ischemia and Phospholipid Reorganization in the Sarcolemma”).
After his first post-doc position at the Department of Physiology at the ICaR-VU in Amsterdam (1994-1998) he specialized further in setting-up translational research in the field of cardiac adaptation at the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory (Department of Surgery) at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) in Denver (CO, USA). He returned to Amsterdam in 2000 where he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology of the VU University Medical Center in 2001. In 2002 he set-up the ICaR-VU 3D live-cell imaging facility at the Department of Physiology and continued to set-up multiple lines of translational research in collaboration with several clinical and pre-clinical departments and research groups. In 2016 he became Head of the Advanced Optical Microscopy core facility in O|2 (AO|2M) at the VU University Medical Center (see also


Key publications

1. Kwekkeboom RF, Sluijter JP, van Middelaar BJ, Metz CH, Brans MA, Kamp O, Paulus WJ, Musters RJ. Increased local delivery of antagomir therapeutics to the rodent myocardium using ultrasound and microbubbles. J Control Release 2016 222:18-31.

2. Woudstra L, Krijnen PA, Bogaards SJ, Meinster E, Emmens RW, Kokhuis TJ, Bollen IA, Baltzer H, Baart SM, Parbhudayal R, Helder MN, van Hinsbergh VW, Musters RJ, de Jong N, Kamp O, Niessen HW, van Dijk A, Juffermans LJ. Development of a new therapeutic technique to direct stem cells to the infarcted heart using targeted microbubbles: StemBells. Stem Cell Res 2016 17:6-15.

3. Dorland YL, Malinova TS, van Stalborch AM, Grieve AG, van Geemen D, Jansen NS, de Kreuk BJ, Nawaz K, Kolw J, Geerts D, Musters RJ, de Rooij J, Hordijk PL, Huveneers S. The F-BAR protein pacsin2 inhibits asymmetric VE-cadherin internalization from tensile adherens junctions. Nat Commun 2016 7:12210.

4. IJsselmuiden AJ, Musters RJ, de Ruiter G, van Heerebeek L, Alderse-Baas F, van Schilfgaarde M, Leyte A, Tangelder GJ, Laarman GJ, Paulus WJ. Circulating white blood cells and platelets amplify oxidative stress in heart failure. Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med 2008 5:811-20.

5. Juffermans LJ, Kamp O, Dijkmans PA, Visser CA, Musters RJ. Low-intensity ultrasound-exposed microbubbles provoke local hyperpolarization of the cell membrane via activation of BK(Ca) channels. Ultrasound Med Biol 2008 34:502-8.

6. Simunek T, Boer C, Bouwman RA, Vlasblom R, Versteilen AM, Sterba M, Gersl V, Hrdina R, Ponka P, de Lange JJ, Paulus WJ, Musters RJ. SIH—a novel lipophilic iron chelator—protects H9c2 cardiomyoblasts from oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial injury and cell death. J Mol Cell Cardiol 2005 39:345-54.



PI and co-promotor of the following completed PhD projects

  • Volatile anesthetics and the heart. Mechanisms of sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection.

PhD student: Robert Arthur Bouwman. November 2002-2006 (cum laude). In collaboration with Department of Anesthesiology, VUMC.

  • Cellular mechanisms of acute renal failure in rats.

PhD student: Amanda Versteilen. April 2004-2007. In collaboration with Intensive Care Unit, VUMC.

  • Ultrasound and microbubble-mediated delivery of drugs and genes.

PhD student: Lynda J.M. Juffermans. September 2005-2009 (Prof.dr. A.A. Knoop prijs voor Fysiologie). KNAW/ICIN project 49 in collaboration with Department of Cardiology, VUMC.

  • Abdominal aortic aneurisms. Mechanisms, surgery and therapy.

PhD student: Kakkhee K. Yeung. March 2008-2012. In collaboration with Department of Vessel Surgery, VUMC.

  • Localized ultrasound-contrast mediated delivery of small nuclear RNA inhibitors for therapy. BioMedical Materials funded research project (P1.05 LUST) in collaboration with UMC and Axle International.

PhD student: Rick F.J. Kwekkeboom. February 2011-2015


Group members


PhD students
Menno Groeneveld (Physiology, Vascular Surgery)
Harm Ebben (Physiology, Vascular Surgery)

Jeroen Kole (Physiology)

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