21 December 2017

ERA-CVD grant Erik Biessen

Title: Macrophage heterogeneity in human and murine atherosclerosis: a therapeutic opportunity?

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of death in Europe. CVD research is a crucial area in health research, hence an effective coordination of research at national and EU level, increased cross-disciplinary interaction and research advancements are needed. By gathering their forces and funding
capacities so far 18 countries joined to set up a new ERA-Net Cofund action, dedicated to CVDIn AtheroMacHETE our team will zoom in on the most abundant immune cell type in the atherosclerotic plaque, the macrophage. We will dissect their transcriptional, ontogenic, and functional heterogeneity in atherosclerotic lesions in patients and in murine models of disease. This unprecedented deep characterization will enable us to identify essential gene programs and regulatory cues driving adverse macrophage functions in atherosclerosis and design and validate candidate drugs that target these cues in vitro, in murine models and eventually in the clinic. Thus AtheroMacHete is expected to pave the way to more precise anti-inflammatory treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Erik Biessen, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Joachim Schultze, LIMES Institute, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Michael Sieweke, Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Marseille, France