Paul Volders


Prof. Paul Volders, CARIM Principal Investigator and Cardiologist, coordinates the cardiogenetic care of patients with inherited cardiomyopathies, including those with inherited arrhythmias, at Maastricht UMC+. Within this clinical-experimental environment, the active research projects of his PI team focus on novel pathogenetic insights and improved management of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest.

Paul Volders defended his PhD thesis 'Cellular Mechanisms of Acquired Torsades de Pointes in the Hypertrophied Canine Heart: The Substrate and the Trigger' in Maastricht in 1999 (cum laude). Since 2015 he is Professor of Genetic Cardiology.

Traditionally, the Volders team has focussed on the electrophysiological characterisation of arrhythmia substrates in inherited cardiomyopathies and in acquired cardiac overload, compensated hypertrophy and failure. While these studies continue at the cellular, intact-animal and patient level, increasing research activities are directed to:

(1) intracellular signaling pathways determining ion-channel function;
(2) the genetic and genomic basis of cardiac arrhythmias; and
(3) systems biology to integrate the basic molecular and functional determinants of arrhythmia syndromes with the clinical characteristics of individual patients, to provide better risk management and treatment.

The group has active research connections with other CARIM PI groups and many international colleagues.

Prof. Paul Volders is a past ZonMw Veni and Vidi laureate, and a Dutch Heart Foundation Junior-Staff member. Currently, he participates as work-package leader in the CVON Consortium Project PREDICT, on predicting sudden cardiac arrest, and he is the research leader of the CVON Consortium Project VIGILANCE, on idiopathic ventricular fibrillation. Several of his team members achieved personal grants (ZonMw Veni, Dutch Heart Foundation junior postdoc). Besides, he ran multiple investigator-initiated studies that were funded by industry. He is a past-chairman of the ESC Working Group on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology (2012-2014), and a past Working-Group Representative at the Board of the European Heart Rhythm Association (2011-2018).

He is (co-)author on 90 scientific articles, with 5673citations and H-index of 39.

Department of Cardiology
P. Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht 
PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht
Room number: 3.C2.025
T: +31(0)43 387 51 06

  • 2016
    • Claes, G. R. F., van Tienen, F. H. J., Lindsey, P., Krapels, I. P. C., van den Enden, A., Hoos, M., Barrois, Y. E. G., Janssen, J., Paulussen, A. D. C., Sels, J-W. E. M., Kuijpers, S. H. H., van Tintelen, J. P., van den Berg, M. P., Heesen, W. F., Garcia-Pavia, P., Perrot, A., Christiaans, I., Salemink, S., Marcelis, C. L. M., ... van den Wijngaard, A. (2016). Hypertrophic remodelling in cardiac regulatory myosin light chain (MYL2) founder mutation carriers. European Heart Journal, 37(23), 1815-1822.
    • Baumert, M., Porta, A., Vos, M. A., Malik, M., Couderc, J-P., Laguna, P., Piccirillo, G., Smith, G. L., Tereshchenko, L. G., & Volders, P. G. A. (2016). QT interval variability in body surface ECG: measurement, physiological basis, and clinical value: position statement and consensus guidance endorsed by the European Heart Rhythm Association jointly with the ESC Working Group on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology. EP Europace, 18(6), 925-944.
    • Wellens, H., Lindemans, F. W., Houben, R. P., Gorgels, A., Volders, P. G., ter Bekke, R. M. A., & Crijns, H. J. (2016). Improving survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest requires new tools. European Heart Journal, 37(19), 1499-1503.
    • ten Sande, J. N., Postema, P. G., Boekholdt, S. M., Tan, H. L., van der Heijden, J. F., de Groot, N. M. S., Volders, P. G. A., Zeppenfeld, K., Boersma, L. V. A., Nannenberg, E. A., Christiaans, I., & Wilde, A. A. M. (2016). Detailed characterization of familial idiopathic ventricular fibrillation linked to the DPP6 locus. Heart Rhythm, 13(4), 905-912.
    • Clerx, M., Collins, P., De Lange, E., & Volders, P. G. A. (2016). Myokit: A simple interface to cardiac cellular electrophysiology. Progress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology, 120(1-3), 100-114.
  • 2015
    • Verstraelen, T. E., Ter Bekke, R. M., Volders, P. G., Masclee, A. A. M., & Kruimel, J. W. (2015). The role of the SCN5A-encoded channelopathy in irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 27(7), 906-913.
    • Groeneweg, J. A., Bhonsale, A., James, C. A., te Riele, A. S., Dooijes, D., Tichnell, C., Murray, B., Wiesfeld, A. C. P., Sawant, A. C., Kassamali, B., Atsma, D. E., Volders, P. G., de Groot, N. M., de Boer, K., Zimmerman, S. L., Kamel, I. R., van der Heijden, J. F., Russell, S. D., Cramer, M. J., ... Calkins, H. (2015). Clinical Presentation, Long-Term Follow-Up, and Outcomes of 1001 Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy Patients and Family Members. Circulation : Cardiovascular Genetics, 8(3), 437-446.
    • Cluitmans, M. J. M., Peeters, R. L. M., Westra, R. L., & Volders, P. G. A. (2015). Noninvasive reconstruction of cardiac electrical activity: update on current methods, applications and challenges. Netherlands Heart Journal, 23(6), 301-311.
    • Lau, D. H., Volders, P. G. A., Kohl, P., Prinzen, F. W., Zaza, A., Kaeaeb, S., Oto, A., & Schotten, U. (2015). Opportunities and challenges of current electrophysiology research: a plea to establish 'translational electrophysiology' curricula. EP Europace, 17(5), 825-833.
    • ter Bekke, R. M. A., Haugaa, K. H., van den Wijngaard, A., Bos, J. M., Ackerman, M. J., Edvardsen, T., & Volders, P. G. A. (2015). Electromechanical window negativity in genotyped long-QT syndrome patients: relation to arrhythmia risk. European Heart Journal, 36(3), 179-186.
  • 2014
    • Spätjens, R., Bebarova, M., Seyen, S. R. M., Lentink, V., Jongbloed, R. J., Arens, Y. H. J. M., Heijman, J., & Volders, P. G. A. (2014). Long-QT mutation p.K557E-Kv7.1: dominant-negative suppression of I-Ks, but preserved cAMP-dependent up-regulation. Cardiovascular Research, 104(1), 216-225.
    • Molina, C. E., Johnson, D. M., Mehel, H., Spätjens, R., Mika, D., Algalarrondo, V., Slimane, Z. H., Lechene, P., Abi-Gerges, N., van der Linde, H. J., Leroy, J., Volders, P. G. A., Fischmeister, R., & Vandecasteele, G. (2014). Interventricular Differences in beta-Adrenergic Responses in the Canine Heart: Role of Phosphodiesterases. Journal of the American Heart Association, 3(3), Article e000858.
    • van den Berg, M. P., van den Heuvel, F., van Tintelen, J. P., Volders, P. G. A., & van Gelder, I. C. (2014). Successful treatment of a patient with symptomatic long QT syndrome type 3 using ranolazine combined with a beta-blocker. International Journal of Cardiology, 171(1), 90-92.
  • 2013
    • Dirkx, E., Gladka, M. M., Philippen, L. E., Armand, A-S., Kinet, V., Leptidis, S., el Azzouzi, H., Salic, K., Bourajjaj, M., da Silva, G. J. J., Olieslagers, S., van der Nagel, R., de Weger, R., Bitsch, N., Kisters, N., Seyen, S., Morikawa, Y., Chanoine, C., Heymans, S., ... De Windt, L. J. (2013). Nfat and miR-25 cooperate to reactivate the transcription factor Hand2 in heart failure. Nature Cell Biology, 15(11), 1282-1293.
    • Zusterzeel, R., ter Bekke, R. M. A., Volders, P. G. A., Leijten, F. M. M., van den Wijngaard, A., Serroyen, J., & Gorgels, A. P. M. (2013). Right-Ventricular Enlargement in Arrhythmogenic Right-Ventricular Cardiomyopathy Is Associated with Decreased QRS Amplitudes and T-Wave Negativity. Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology, 18(6), 555-563.
    • Heijman, J., Zaza, A., Johnson, D. M., Rudy, Y., Peeters, R. L. M., Volders, P. G. A., & Westra, R. L. (2013). Determinants of Beat-to-Beat Variability of Repolarization Duration in the Canine Ventricular Myocyte: A Computational Analysis. PLoS Computational Biology, 9(8), Article e1003202.
    • Johnson, D. M., Heijman, J., Bode, E. F., Greensmith, D. J., van der Linde, H., Abi-Gerges, N., Eisner, D. A., Trafford, A. W., & Volders, P. G. A. (2013). Diastolic Spontaneous Calcium Release From the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Increases Beat-to-Beat Variability of Repolarization in Canine Ventricular Myocytes After beta-Adrenergic Stimulation. Circulation Research, 112(2), 246–256.
    • Cluitmans, M., Bonizzi, P., Karel, J., Volders, P., Peeters, R., & Westra, R. (2013). Inverse Reconstruction of Epicardial Potentials Improves by Vectorcardiography and Realistic Potentials. Computing in Cardiology, 40, 369-372.
  • 2012
    • Johnson, D. M., de Jong, M. M. J., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Carlsson, L. G., & Volders, P. G. A. (2012). Reduced Ventricular Proarrhythmic Potential of the Novel Combined Ion-Channel Blocker AZD1305 Versus Dofetilide in Dogs With Remodeled Hearts. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 5(1), 201-U328.
    • Heijman, J., Spätjens, R., Seyen, S. R. M., Lentink, V., Kuijpers, H. J. H., Boulet, I. R., de Windt, L. J., David, M., & Volders, P. G. A. (2012). Dominant-Negative Control of cAMP-Dependent I-Ks Upregulation in Human Long-QT Syndrome Type 1. Circulation Research, 110(2), 211–219.
    • Bons, J. A., Havekes, B., Volders, P. G., de Zwaan, C., Kema, I. P., Wodzig, W. K., & Menheere, P. P. (2012). Assay-specific pitfalls of catecholamine hplc assays. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 50(10), 1853-6.
    • ter Bekke, R. M. A., & Volders, P. G. A. (2012). Arrhythmogenic mechano-electric heterogeneity in the long-QT syndrome. Progress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology, 110(2-3), 347-358.
    • Cluitmans, M. J. M., Peeters, R. L. M., Volders, P. G. A., & Westra, R. L. (2012). Realistic training data improve noninvasive reconstruction of heart-surface potentials. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2012, 6373-6.
  • 2011
    • van den Wijngaard, A., Volders, P., van Tintelen, J. P., Jongbloed, J. D. H., van den Berg, M. P., Deprez, R. H. L., Mannens, M. M. A. M., Hofmann, N., van Slegtenhorst, M., Dooijes, D., Michels, M., Arens, Y., Jongbloed, R., & Smeets, B. J. M. (2011). Recurrent and founder mutations in the Netherlands: cardiac Troponin I (TNNI3) gene mutations as a cause of severe forms of hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Netherlands Heart Journal, 19(7-8), 344-351.
    • Cox, M. G. P. J., van der Zwaag, P. A., van der Werf, C., van der Smagt, J. J., Noorman, M., Bhuiyan, Z. A., Wiesfeld, A. C. P., Volders, P. G. A., van Langen, I. M., Atsma, D. E., Dooijes, D., van den Wijngaard, A., Houweling, A. C., Jongbloed, J. D. H., Jordaens, L. J. L. M., Cramer, M. J., Doevendans, P. A., de Bakker, J. M. T., Wilde, A. A. M., ... Hauer, R. N. W. (2011). Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy: Pathogenic Desmosome Mutations in Index-Patients Predict Outcome of Family Screening: Dutch Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy Genotype-Phenotype Follow-Up Study. Circulation, 123(23), 2690-2700.
    • Postema, P. G., Christiaans, I., Hofman, N., Alders, M., Koopmann, T. T., Bezzina, C. R., Loh, P., Zeppenfeld, K., Volders, P. G. A., & Wilde, A. A. M. (2011). Founder mutations in the Netherlands: familial idiopathic ventricular fibrillation and DPP6. Netherlands Heart Journal, 19(6), 290-296.
    • Laverty, H. G., Benson, C., Cartwright, E. J., Cross, M. J., Garland, C., Hammond, T. R., Holloway, C., McMahon, N., Milligan, J., Park, B. K., Pirmohamed, M., Pollard, C., Radford, J., Roome, N., Sager, P., Singh, S., Suter, T., Suter, W., Trafford, A. W., ... Valentin, J. P. (2011). How can we improve our understanding of cardiovascular safety liabilities to develop safer medicines?British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(4), 675-693.
    • Heijman, J., Volders, P. G. A., Westra, R. L., & Rudy, Y. (2011). Local control of β-adrenergic stimulation: Effects on ventricular myocyte electrophysiology and Ca2+-transient. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 50(5), 863-871.
    • Christiaans, I., Birnie, E., Bonsel, G. J., Mannens, M. M. A. M., Michels, M., Majoor-Krakauer, D., Dooijes, D., van Tintelen, J. P., Van den Berg, M. P., Volders, P. G. A., Arens, Y. H., van den Wijngaard, A., Atsma, D. E., Helderman-van den Enden, A. T. J. M., Houweling, A. C., de Boer, K., van der Smagt, J. J., Hauer, R. N. W., Marcelis, C. L. M., ... Wilde, A. A. M. (2011). Manifest disease, risk factors for sudden cardiac death, and cardiac events in a large nationwide cohort of predictively tested hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutation carriers: determining the best cardiological screening strategy. European Heart Journal, 32(9), 1161-1170.
  • 2010
    • Heijman, J., Rudy, Y., Westra, R. L., & Volders, P. G. A. (2010). Computational analysis of the downstream effects of beta-adrenergic stimulation on CaMKII in the canine ventricular myocyte (Abstract). Proc. of Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology, 16-19 Jul. 2010, Berlin, Germany.
    • Cox, M. G. P. J., van der Smagt, J. J., Noorman, M., Wiesfeld, A. C. P., Volders, P. G. A., van Langen, I. M., Atsma, D. E., Dooijes, D., Houweling, A. C., Loh, P., Jordaens, L. J. L. M., Arens, Y., Cramer, M. J., Doevendans, P. A., van Tintelen, J. P., Wilde, A. A. M., & Hauer, R. N. W. (2010). Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy Diagnostic Task Force Criteria Impact of New Task Force Criteria. Circulation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 3(2), 126-133.
    • Johnson, D. M., Heijman, J., Pollard, C. E., Valentin, J. P., Crijns, H. J., Abi-Gerges, N., & Volders, P. G. A. (2010). I(Ks) restricts excessive beat-to-beat variability of repolarization during beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 48(1), 122-130.
  • 2007
    • Donker, D. W., Maessen, J. G., Spatjens, R. L. H. M. G., van der Nagel, T., de Jong, M. M., Ramaekers, F. C., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Vos, M. A., & Volders, P. G. A. (2007). Serial left-ventricular biopsy sampling using a minimally invasive trans-thoracic approach in adult dogs. Pflugers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology, 454(6), 1043-1051.
    • Donker, D. W., Maessen, J. G., Verheyen, F., Ramaekers, F., Spatjens, R. L. H. M. G., Kuijpers, R., Rarnakers, C., Schiffers, P. M. H., Vos, M. A., Crijns, H. J. G. M., & Volders, P. G. A. (2007). Impact of acute and enduring volume overload on mechanotransduction and cytoskeletal integrity of canine left ventricular myocardium. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 292(5), H2324-H2332.
  • 2006
    • Stengl, M., Ramakers, C., Donker, D. W., Nabar, A., Rybin, A. V., Spatjens, R. L. H. M. G., van der Nagel, T., Wodzig, W., Sipido, K. R., Antoons, G., Moorman, A. F. M., Vos, M. A., & Volders, P. G. A. (2006). Temporal patterns of electrical remodeling in canine ventricular hypertrophy: Focus on I-Ks downregulation and blunted beta-adrenergic activation. Cardiovascular Research, 72(1), 90-100.
  • 2005
    • Donker, D. W., Volders, PGA., Arts, T., Bekkers, BBACM., Hofstra, L., Spatjens, RLHMG., Beekman, J. D. M., Borgers, M., Crijns, HJGM., & Vos, MA. (2005). End-diastolic myofiber stress and ejection strain increase with ventricular volume overload. Basic Research in Cardiology, 100(4), 372-382.
  • 2003
    • Thomsen, M. B., Volders, PGA., Stengl, M., Spatjens, RLHMG., Beekman, J. D. M., Bischoff, U., Kall, MA., Frederiksen, K., Matz, J., & Vos, MA. (2003). Electrophysiological safety of sertindole in dogs with normal and remodeled hearts. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 307(2), 776-784.
    • Stengl, M., Volders, PGA., Thomsen, M. B., Spatjens, RLHMG., Sipido, K. R., & Vos, MA. (2003). Accumulation of slowly activating delayed rectifier potassium current(I-Ks) canine ventricular myocytes. Journal of Physiology, 551(3), 777-786.
    • Volders, PGA., Stengl, M., van Opstal, JM., Gerlach, U., Spatjens, RLHMG., Beekman, J. D. M., Sipido, K. R., & Vos, MA. (2003). Probing the contribution of I-Ks to canine ventricular repolarization - Key role for beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation. Circulation, 107(21), 2753-2760.
  • 1999
    • Volders, PGA., Sipido, K. R., Vos, MA., Spatjens, RLHMG., Leunissen, JDM., Carmeliet, E., & Wellens, HJJ. (1999). Downregulation of delayed rectifier K+ currents in dogs with chronic complete atrioventricular block and acquired torsades de pointes. Circulation, 100(24), 2455-2461.
    • Volders, PGA., Sipido, K. R., Carmeliet, E., Spatjens, RLHMG., Wellens, HJJ., & Vos, MA. (1999). Repolarizing K+ currents I-TO1 and I-Ks are larger in right than left canine ventricular midmyocardium. Circulation, 99(2), 206-210.