Leon Schurgers


Initially trained in clinical chemistry and hematology at the University of Applied Science, Prof. Leon Schurgers obtained his PhD at the Department of Biochemistry within CARIM on the role of vitamin K1 and K2 on bone metabolism and cardiovascular disease. He worked as post-doc on a Dutch Heart Foundation grant on the role of matrix Gla-protein synthesized by vascular smooth muscle cell and calcification in collaboration with the group of Prof. Catherine Shanahan (Cambridge, UK).

In 2009, he was appointed on a tenured position at the Department of Biochemistry. After entering the Toptalent programme (Maastricht UMC+) in 2016, he was appointed as Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification in 2017. He is vice-chair of the department of Biochemistry.

The focus of his current work is elucidating the molecular mechanisms of vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDP) by which vascular calcification is initiated and propagated. Key cellular events include activation and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and the formation of extracellular vesicles containing VKDP. The regulation of VKDP biosynthesis, its sites of action and its putative relationship with VSMC phenotypic switching is insufficient to understand the pathogenesis of vascular calcification at a level that allows the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies for VKDP. Importantly, our work will help to understand the paradoxal observation that patients with low vitamin K-status during oral anticoagulant treatment develop enhanced vascular calcification and our results might provide new insights in prognostic and preventive measures.

He is Chairman of the steering scientific board on the world-wide quality assurance scheme for vitamin K detection and member of the scientific advisory boards of the Dutch Kidney foundation, the Dutch Thrombosis society and NWO Life Science and Health.

Department of Biochemistry
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: 4.314
T: +31(0)43 388 16 80

  • 2021
    • Dofferhoff, A. S. M., Piscaer, I., Schurgers, L. J., Visser, M. P. J., van den Ouweland, J. M. W., de Jong, P. A., Gosens, R., Hackeng, T. M., van Daal, H., Lux, P., Maassen, C., Karssemeijer, E. G. A., Vermeer, C., Wouters, E. F. M., Kistemaker, L. E. M., Walk, J., & Janssen, R. (2021). Reduced Vitamin K Status as a Potentially Modifiable Risk Factor of Severe Coronavirus Disease 2019. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 73(11), E4039-E4046. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1258
    • Groothof, D., Post, A., Sotomayor, C. G., Keyzer, C. A., Flores-Guerero, J. L., Hak, E., Bos, J. H. J., Schurgers, L. J., Navis, G. J., Gans, R. O. B., Eelderink, C., de Borst, M. H., Bakker, S. J. L., & Riphagen, I. J. (2021). Functional vitamin K status and risk of incident chronic kidney disease and microalbuminuria: a prospective general population-based cohort study. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 36(12), 2290-2299. https://doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfaa304
    • Hariri, E., Kassis, N., Iskandar, J. P., Schurgers, L. J., Saad, A., Abdelfattah, O., Bansal, A., Isogai, T., Harb, S. C., & Kapadia, S. (2021). Vitamin K-2-a neglected player in cardiovascular health: a narrative review. Open Heart, 8(2), [e001715]. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2021-001715
    • Kaesler, N., Schurgers, L. J., & Floege, J. (2021). Vitamin K and cardiovascular complications in chronic kidney disease patients. Kidney International, 100(5), 1023-1036. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2021.06.037
    • Florea, A., Morgenroth, A., Bucerius, J., Schurgers, L. J., & Mottaghy, F. M. (2021). Locking and loading the bullet against micro-calcification. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 28(12), 1370-1375. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487320911138
    • Rapp, N., Brandenburg, V. M., Kaesler, N., Bakker, S. J. L., Stohr, R., Schuh, A., Evenepoel, P., & Schurgers, L. J. (2021). Hepatic and Vascular Vitamin K Status in Patients with High Cardiovascular Risk. Nutrients, 13(10), [3490]. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103490
    • Kremer, D., Groothof, D., Keyzer, C. A., Eelderink, C., Knobbe, T. J., Post, A., van Londen, M., Eisenga, M. F., Schurgers, L. J., Berger, S. P., de Borst, M. H., Bakker, S. J. L., & TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort Studies (2021). Kidney Function-Dependence of Vitamin K-Status Parameters: Results from the TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort Studies. Nutrients, 13(9), [3069]. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093069
    • Jaminon, A. M. G., Akbulut, A. C., Rapp, N., Kramann, R., Biessen, E. A. L., Temmerman, L., Mees, B., Brandenburg, V., Dzhanaev, R., Jahnen-Dechent, W., Floege, J., Uitto, J., Reutelingsperger, C. P., & Schurgers, L. J. (2021). Development of the BioHybrid Assay: Combining Primary Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Blood to Measure Vascular Calcification Propensity. Cells, 10(8), [2097]. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10082097
    • Dahlberg, S., Schott, U., Eriksson, E. A., Tahirsylaj, Y., Schurgers, L., & Kander, T. (2021). Intravenous Vitamin K1 for the Correction of Prolonged Prothrombin Times in Non-Bleeding Critically Ill Patients: A Prospective Observational Study. Nutrients, 13(8), [2580]. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082580
    • Parikh, S., Ganizada, B., Debeij, G., Natour, E., Maessen, J., Spronck, B., Schurgers, L., Delhaas, T., Huberts, W., Bidar, E., & Reesink, K. (2021). Intra-Operative Video-Based Measurement of Biaxial Strains of the Ascending Thoracic Aorta. Biomedicines, 9(6), [670]. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9060670