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3 november 2021

Reinier Boon receives funding for international consortia to study cardiovascular regeneration

The Dutch Heart Foundation, together with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (DZHK), has awarded a total of 4 million euros to three international consortia to stimulate and accelerate cardiovascular research. Prof. Reinier Boon and colleagues from Germany and the United Kingdom received funding for their ReGenLnc consortium in which they identify and target long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to promote repair and cardiovascular regeneration.

Acute and chronic tissue ischemia as a result of arteriosclerosis or hereditary heart disease is the most prevalent cardiovascular problem. Prof. Reinier Boon (dept. of Physiology), dr. Monika Gladka (dept. of Medical Biology) and colleagues from University Frankfurt and the University of Edinburgh will exploit endothelial long non-coding RNAs to promote regenerative angiogenesis in the damaged myocardium. LncRNAs are the largest class of non-coding RNAs (transcribed genomic information that does not code for proteins) and are known to contribute to endothelial cell differentiation, homeostasis and dysfunction. Functionally-relevant endothelial-enriched lncRNA will be identified and targeted to promote endothelial regeneration and thereby tissue perfusion. The expected results will allow the development of novel therapeutic agents to improve myocardial perfusion and thereby reduce ischemic tissue injury and progression to heart failure.
The research is led by prof. Ralf Brandes (University Frankfurt), prof. Reinier Boon (Amsterdam UMC) and prof. Andrew Baker (University of Edinburgh). This project is connected to the Double Dose consortium.

By working together internationally we achieve more
The call for international collaboration is intended to stimulate and accelerate cardiovascular research. The Heart Foundation works together with its British and German counterparts, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (DZHK). Projects funded by the Heart Foundation in this context contribute to a lasting relationship between research groups from the three countries. New international collaborations can be created and existing ones strengthened.

This is the second round of the international collaboration call. The Dutch Heart Foundation is contributing over 1.5 million euros, the British and German organisations are investing a total of 2.5 million euros. In the first round, international consortia of Bianca Brundel and Connie Bezzina were awarded. It is not yet known whether there will be a third round.

      Reinier Boon