Reinier A. BoonAssociate Professor

Research focus

Ageing of the cardiovascular system.

Since 2016 Reinier Boon is an associate professor at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and a W2 professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Reinier received his PhD degree with honors in 2008 from the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. He then started his post-doctoral work in the Institute for Cardiovascular Regeneration in Frankfurt, Germany in the laboratory of Prof. Dimmeler funded by the Netherlands organization for scientific research (NWO). He received multiple awards for his work on the effects of shear stress on endothelial cells and the role of microRNAs in aging of the cardiovascular system, including the prestigious Melvin L Marcus Award from the American Heart Association in 2010 and the Franz-Maximilian Groedel Research Prize of the German Cardiac Society in 2014. Research in his group is funded by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), the German research foundation (DFG), the European Research Council (Starting grant), Amsterdam Academic Alliance and the Dutch Scientific Organization NWO (Vidi).

The main focus of the research in the lab is ageing of the cardiovascular system. This is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease and we are interested in the role of so-called non-coding RNA in this process. Current focus lies on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which control key cellular processes in endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. We study lncRNAs in these cells that are (dys)regulated during ageing and aim to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. Our studies include functional in vitro and in vivo models, as well as molecular biology and biochemical assays.

Selection of recent publications

Boon RA,* Iekushi K,* Lechner S, Seeger T, Fischer A, Heydt S, Kaluza D, Treguer K, Carmona G, Bonauer A, Horrevoets AJ, Didier N, Girmatsion Z, Biliczki P, Ehrlich JR, Katus HA, Müller OJ, Potente M, Zeiher AM, Hermeking H, Dimmeler S. MicroRNA-34a controls cardiac aging and function.  Nature 2013 495(7439):107-10

Hergenreider E, Heydt S, Tréguer K, Böttger T, Horrevoets AJ, Zeiher AM, Scheffer MP, Frangakis AS, Yin X, Mayr M, Braun T, Urbich C, Boon RA,* Dimmeler S.*. Atheroprotective communication between endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells via miRNAs.
Nat. Cell Biol. 2012 14:249–256.

Boon RA, Hofmann P, Michalik KM, Lozano-Vidal N, Berghäuser D, Fischer A, Knau A, Jaé N, Schürmann C, Dimmeler S. Long Noncoding RNA Meg3 Controls Endothelial Cell Aging and Function: Implications for Regenerative Angiogenesis.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 68(23):2589-2591.

Michalik KM, You X, Manavski Y, Doddaballapur A, Zörnig M, Braun T, John D, Ponomareva Y, Chen W, Uchida S, Boon RA,* Dimmeler S. The Long Noncoding RNA MALAT1 Regulates Endothelial Cell Function and Vessel Growth.
Circ Res. 2014 114(9):1389-97

Boon RA, Seeger T, Heydt S, Fischer A, Hergenreider E, Horrevoets AJ, Vinciguerra M, Rosenthal N, Sciacca S, Pilato M, van Heijningen P, Essers J, Brandes RP, Zeiher AM, Dimmeler S. MicroRNA-29 in Aortic Dilation: Implications for Aneurysm Formation. Circ Res. 2011 109(10):1115-1119.

Ongoing research projects

(2017-2020) Rembrandt Research Award (Rembrandt Institute): ‘14q32 non-coding RNAs in vascular disease’, Co-PI: Yael Nossent (LUMC).

(2017-2021) Vidi Grant from the Dutch Scientific Organization (NWO): ‘Non-coding RNA in cardiac ageing’.

(2016-2018) Amsterdam Academic Alliance Fellowship

2015-2019     ERC Starting Grant, ‘Non-coding RNA in vascular ageing’ (NOVA)

2014-2017     Collaborative Research Center SFB834: ‘Long non-coding RNAs as regulators of endothelial cell function’, Coordinated by Ingrid Fleming & Stefanie Dimmeler (Frankfurt).


Group members
Noelia Lozano-Vidal (Vidi grant)
Diewertje Bink (AAA grant)

PhD students
Laura Stanicek (Vidi grant)
Tan Phat Pham (AAA grant)
Veerle Kremer (Rembrandt grant)
Frankfurt: Patrick Hofmann (SFB834)
Frankfurt: Julia Trembinski (ERC)

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