Erik Biessen


Prof. Erik Biessen graduated with specialisations in Physical and Bio-Chemistry at Wageningen University. After a series of post-doctoral fellowships at Leiden University, in the labs of Prof. Van Boom (Organic Chemistry; glycolipid synthesis) and Prof. Van Berkel (Biopharmaceutics; drug/gene targeting), he was in 1994, selected as one of 6 post-docs the Molecular Cardiology programme (a competitive 12 year career development track of the Netherlands Heart Foundation. In 2001, he received the NWO innovative research premium incentive (Vidi) and in 2003 the NHS Established Investigator award, to be appointed Professor of Therapeutic Gene Modulation in 2005. In 2007, he moved to Maastricht University to lead the Experimental Vascular Pathology group. Prof Biessen has a part time appointment at the Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen.

Erik Biessen’s current passion is to deploy systems medicine approaches, to understand and define critical innate immune pathways in human atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic comorbidities and to validate the relevance of these processes for disease progression by intervention studies in in vitro and in vivo models. Hereto, the group has developed a new high content microscopy based functionomics platform to measure macrophage functional profile at unprecedented resolution and speed and a technology pipeline for spatial mapping of macrophage phenotype and molecular context. Keywords of his research: systems medicine, bioinformatics, multispectral analysis, macrophage biology. Dr Biessen is partner of several H2020-ITN (EvolUtion, INTRICARE, CareSyan), and two Interreg programmes and is coordinator of H2020/ERA-CVD project (AtheroMacHete).

Department of Pathology
Verheylaan 10, 6229 HX Maastricht
Room number: 5M01.032
T: +31(0)43 387 46 35

  • 2024
    • Harlacher, E., Schulte, C., Vondenhoff, S., Schmitt-Kopplin, P., Diederich, P., Hemmers, C., Moellmann, J., Wollenhaupt, J., Veltrop, R., Biessen, E., Lehrke, M., Peters, B., Schlieper, G., Kuppe, C., Floege, J., Jankowski, V., Marx, N., Jankowski, J., & Noels, H. (2024). Increased levels of a mycophenolic acid metabolite in patients with kidney failure negatively affect cardiomyocyte health. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 11, Article 1346475.
    • Lu, C., Donners, M. M. P. C., de Baaij, J. B. J., Jin, H., Otten, J. J. T., Manca, M., van Zonneveld, A. J., Jukema, J. W., Kraaijeveld, A., Kuiper, J., Pasterkamp, G., Mees, B., Sluimer, J. C., Cavill, R., Karel, J. M. H., Goossens, P., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2024). Identification of a gene network driving the attenuated response to lipopolysaccharide of monocytes from hypertensive coronary artery disease patients. Frontiers in Immunology, 15.
    • Christ, A., Maas, S. L., Jin, H., Lu, C., Legein, B., Wijnands, E., Temmerman, L., Otten, J., Isaacs, A., Zenke, M., Stoll, M., Biessen, E. A. L., & van der Vorst, E. P. C. (2024). In situ lipid-loading activates peripheral dendritic cell subsets characterized by cellular ROS accumulation but compromises their capacity to prime naïve T cells. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 210, 406-415.
    • Wieland, E. B., Kempen, L. J., Donners, M. M., Biessen, E. A., & Goossens, P. (2024). Macrophage heterogeneity in atherosclerosis: A matter of context. European journal of immunology, 54(1), Article 2350464.
  • 2023
    • Wieland, E. B., Kempen, L. J. A. P., Lu, C., Donners, M. M. P. C., Biessen, E. A. L., & Goossens, P. (2023). Protocol for multispectral imaging on cryosections to map myeloid cell heterogeneity in its spatial context. STAR protocols, 4(4), Article 102601.
    • Lu, C., Donners, M. M. P. C., Karel, J., de Boer, H., van Zonneveld, A. J., den Ruijter, H., Jukema, J. W., Kraaijeveld, A., Kuiper, J., Pasterkamp, G., Cavill, R., Perales-Patón, J., Ferrannini, E., Goossens, P., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2023). Sex-specific differences in cytokine signaling pathways in circulating monocytes of cardiovascular disease patients. Atherosclerosis, 384, Article 117123.
    • Nagenborg, J., Jin, H., Ruder, A. V., Temmerman, L., Mees, B., Schalkwijk, C., Müller-Klieser, D., Berg, T., Goossens, P., Donners, M. M. P. C., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2023). GM-CSF-activated STAT5A regulates macrophage functions and inflammation in atherosclerosis. Frontiers in Immunology, 14, Article 1165306.
    • Ruder, A., Wetzels, S. M. W., Temmerman, L., Biessen, E. A. L., & Goossens, P. (2023). Monocyte heterogeneity in cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular Research, 119(11), 2033-2045.
    • Maas, S., Jin, H., Lu, C., Nagenborg, J., Manca, M., Karel, J., Cavill, R., Sikkink, C., Yu, B., Nadeau, S., Dos Santos, J., Gijbels, M., Mees, B., Smirnov, E., Sluimer, J., Martins, G., Van der Vorst, E., & Biessen, E. (2023). Identification Of A Prdm1-Regulated T-Cell Network Which Controls T-Cell Driven Plaque Inflammation In Human And Mouse Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, 379(S1), S11-S11.
    • van Kuijk, K., McCracken, I. R., Tillie, R. J. H. A., Asselberghs, S. E. J., Kheder, D. A., Muitjens, S., Jin, H., Taylor, R. S., Schreur, R. W., Kuppe, C., Dobie, R., Ramachandran, P., Gijbels, M. J., Temmerman, L., Kirkwoord, P. M., Luyten, J., Li, Y. M., Noels, H., Goossens, P., ... Sluimer, J. C. (2023). Human and murine fibroblast single-cell transcriptomics reveals fibroblast clusters are differentially affected by ageing and serum cholesterol. Cardiovascular Research, 119(7), 1509-1523.