Since March 2008, Joost Sluijter is leading a research group in the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) that is focused on cardiac regeneration. We focus on different approaches that can lead to improved recovery and diagnosis of cardiac tissue upon injury. The main theme reflect the improvement of progenitor cell transplantation therapy by genetic (microRNA) or pharmacological approaches to improve cell survival, optimize cell delivery techniques, improve cell culture conditions and visualization of transplanted cells via MRI, BLI or nuclear labeling. The applicant started to study the use of exosomes to induce cardiac repair in recent years, thereby focusing on paracrine signaling of transplanted cells and their potential effectors. His enthusiasm for introducing innovative molecular approaches, and his wide experiences in progenitor cell biology and preclinical animal model testing for cardiac injury, is aimed for a quick translation from basic discoveries to preclinical testing in patient relevant animal models.
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