Judith Sluimer

Associate professor

Dr Judith Sluimer defended her PhD thesis at Maastricht University in 2008, under supervision of Prof. Mat Daemen. She established the first proof of hypoxia in human and murine atherosclerosis and investigated the hypoxia-dependent formation and leaky phenotype of atherosclerotic plaque angiogenesis. After her PhD defense, she joined the lab of Prof. Ira Tabas (Columbia University, NYC, USA) in 2008 as a post-doctoral fellow to further her expertise in macrophage apoptosis, efferocytosis and autophagy (funded by the Netherlands Scientific Organisation (NWO, Rubicon), the international atherosclerosis society (IAS), and Maastricht University). Since 2010, Judith has established an independent research line to investigate pharmaceutical and genetic strategies to improve plaque oxygen levels and their impact on atherogenesis (NWO Veni) in the Department of Pathology of Maastricht UMC+. Her team showed a causal role of plaque hypoxia in atherogenesis, and its application for human plaque imaging. Specifically, mice deficient in oxygen sensors prolyl hydroxylase 1 (PHD1) and PDH2 showed very exciting phenotypes in atherosclerosis, conveying a favourable metabolic profile. In 2013, CARIM consolidated her tenure track. 

Judith’s team works on the overarching goal and vision is to revert atherosclerotic plaque destabilisation and ensuing clinical events by elucidating the role of cellular players and metabolic processes in atherosclerosis. She is currently focussing cellular O2 metabolism and autophagy as network member of the highly competitive (3% success rate) Leducq grant scheme for transatlantic networks of excellence, and as 2016 recipient of the Dr. Dekker senior postdoc fellowship from the Dutch Heart Foundation. Her group benefits from interdisciplinary expertise, a crucial condition for innovative science, through: 1) the Leducq network, and 2) a honorary scientist position at University of Edinburgh, whereshe advises on studies investigatingncRNAsin atherosclerosis. These interactions have led to an exciting new single cell sequencing data supporting heterogeneity of mesenchymal cells  in healthy and diseases vasculature (NWO VIDI, ERA-CVD). in addition to research and teaching, she has been mentor of BSc students in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences since 2011. Judith was local organizer of EM-EVBO conference (430 delegates) in Maastricht in 2019. She is treasurer of the European Vascular Biology Organization, and board member of the Strategic Board of the cardiovascular research institute Maastricht (CARIM) and the Dutch Endothelial cell Biology Society (DEBS), and editor of Cardiovascular research.

Department of Pathology
P. Debeyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht

  • 2020
    • Baardman, J., Verberk, S. G. S., van der Velden, S., Gijbels, M. J. J., van Roomen, C. P. P. A., Sluimer, J. C., Broos, J. Y., Griffith, G. R., Prange, K. H. M., van Weeghel, M., Lakbir, S., Molenaar, D., Meinster, E., Neele, A. E., Kooij, G., de Vries, H. E., Lutgens, E., Wellen, K. E., de Winther, M. P. J., & Van den Bossche, J. (2020). Macrophage ATP citrate lyase deficiency stabilizes atherosclerotic plaques. Nature Communications, 11(1), [6296]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20141-z
    • van Geffen, J. P., Swieringa, F., van Kuijk, K., Tullemans, B. M. E., Solari, F. A., Peng, B., Clemetson, K. J., Farndale, R. W., Dubois, L. J., Sickmann, A., Zahedi, R. P., Ahrends, R., Biessen, E. A. L., Sluimer, J. C., Heemskerk, J. W. M., & Kuijpers, M. J. E. (2020). Mild hyperlipidemia in mice aggravates platelet responsiveness in thrombus formation and exploration of platelet proteome and lipidome. Scientific Reports, 10(1), [21407]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78522-9
    • Tillie, R. J. H. A., van Kuijk, K., & Sluimer, J. C. (2020). Fibroblasts in atherosclerosis: heterogeneous and plastic participants. Current Opinion in Lipidology, 31(5), 273-278. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOL.0000000000000700
    • Legein, B., Janssen, E. M., Theelen, T., Gijbels, M., Walraven, J., Klarquist, J. S., Hennies, C. M., Wouters, K., Seijkens, T., Wijnands, E., Sluimer, J., Lutgens, E., Zenke, M., Hildner, K., Biessen, E., & Temmerman, L. (2020). Author Correction: Ablation of CD8α+ dendritic cell mediated cross-presentation does not impact atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic mice. Scientific Reports, 10(1), [8747]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65653-2
    • Hung, J., Scanlon, J. P., Mahmoud, A. D., Rodor, J., Ballantyne, M., Fontaine, M. A. C., Temmerman, L., Kaczynski, J., Connor, K. L., Bhushan, R., Biessen, E. A. L., Newby, D. E., Sluimer, J. C., & Baker, A. H. (2020). Novel Plaque Enriched Long Noncoding RNA in Atherosclerotic Macrophage Regulation (PELATON). Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 40(3), 697-713. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313430
    • Parma, L., Peters, H. A. B., Baganha, F., Sluimer, J. C., de Vries, M. R., & Quax, P. H. A. (2020). Prolonged Hyperoxygenation Treatment Improves Vein Graft Patency and Decreases Macrophage Content in Atherosclerotic Lesions in ApoE3*Leiden Mice. Cells, 9(2), [336]. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020336
  • 2019
    • Beldman, T. J., Malinova, T. S., Desclos, E., Grootemaat, A. E., Misiak, A. L. S., van der Velden, S., van Roomen, C. P. A. A., Beckers, L., van Veen, H. A., Krawczyk, P. M., Hoebe, R. A., Sluimer, J. C., Neele, A. E., de Winther, M. P. J., van der Wel, N. N., Lutgens, E., Mulder, W. J. M., Huveneers, S., & Kluza, E. (2019). Nanoparticle-Aided Characterization of Arterial Endothelial Architecture during Atherosclerosis Progression and Metabolic Therapy. ACS Nano, 13(12), 13759-13774. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b08875
    • Fontaine, M. A. C., Westra, M. M., Bot, I., Jin, H., Franssen, A. J. P. M., Bot, M., de Jager, S. C. A., Dzhagalov, I., He, Y-W., van Vlijmen, B. J. M., Gijbels, M. J. J., Reutelingsperger, C. P., van Berkel, T. J. C., Sluimer, J. C., Temmerman, L., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2019). Low human and murine Mcl-1 expression leads to a pro-apoptotic plaque phenotype enriched in giant-cells. Scientific Reports, 9, [14547]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51020-3
    • van Kuijk, K., Kuppe, C., Betsholtz, C., Vanlandewijck, M., Kramann, R., & Sluimer, J. C. (2019). Heterogeneity and plasticity in healthy and atherosclerotic vasculature explored by single-cell sequencing. Cardiovascular Research, 115(12), 1705-1715. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz185
    • Mahmoud, A. D., Ballantyne, M. D., Miscianinov, V., Pinel, K., Hung, J., Scanlon, J. P., Iyinikkel, J., Kaczynski, J., Tavares, A. S., Bradshaw, A. C., Mills, N. L., Newby, D. E., Caporali, A., Gould, G. W., George, S. J., Ulitsky, I., Sluimer, J. C., Rodor, J., & Baker, A. H. (2019). The Human-Specific and Smooth Muscle Cell-Enriched LncRNA SMILR Promotes Proliferation by Regulating Mitotic CENPF mRNA and Drives Cell-Cycle Progression Which Can Be Targeted to Limit Vascular Remodeling. Circulation Research, 125(5), 535-551. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.314876