Prof. 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 2013, CARIM consolidated her tenure track.
Judith’s team in the Department of Pathology of Maastricht UMC+ currently works on the overarching goal and vision is to revert vascular ageing, atherosclerotic plaque destabilisation and ensuing clinical events by elucidating the role of inflammatory and fibrotic cellular players.
She studied cellular oxygen metabolism and autophagy as network member of the highly competitive 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 through honorary scientist positions at RWTH Aachen and University of Edinburgh. These interactions have led to single cell sequencing data supporting heterogeneity of mesenchymal cells in healthy and diseased vasculature (NWO VIDI, ERA-CVD, Marie Curie fellowship, Humboldt fellowship). 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 the ESM-EVBO conference (430 delegates) in Maastricht in 2019. She is associate editor for several journals, treasurer of the European Vascular Biology Organization (2019-2025), Member of the Basic Science council European society for cardiology (ESC), board member of the CARIM division Blood, and she chairs CARIM’s Grants & Incentives team, and the faculty-wide committee that advises the dean on promotions to assistant and associate professorships (2020-2026).