Marc Van Bilsen

Associate professor

Dr Marc van Bilsen obtained a Master degree in Cellular Biology (University of Leiden) in 1982, and received his PhD degree at the Department of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine of the Maastricht University in 1988, where he studied the relation between cardiac lipid metabolism and tissue injury during myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. As a post-doc, he worked at the University California, San Diego, CA (UCSD), as a recipient of NATO-Science Fellowship award (NWO) and an American Heart Association award, on the regulation of gene transcription in cardiac hypertrophy (1990–1992). After his return to Maastricht he was appointed as Senior Investigator of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science (KNAW, 1993-1998). In 1998, he was awarded the Edmond Hustinx Price for Science by the Maastricht University and became appointed as Established Investigator by the Dutch Heart Foundation (NHS,1998-2003) to continue his studies on cardiac metabolism in hypertrophy, especially on the role of fatty acids as signaling molecules and regulators of cardiac gene expression. Since 1998, he holds the position of Associate Professor in Molecular Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Maastricht University.

Furthermore, he is currently appointed Chairman of the CARIM Education Programme Committee (EPC) and acts as PhD Coordinator for the CARIM graduate programme.

He has been principal investigator on several national and international grants on the topic of cardiac metabolic remodeling, including a Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) TOP-Program Grant (2004-2009) and an European integratedproject (EUGeneHeart, FP6 LifeSciHealth, 2006-2011). He (co)authored over 120 papers in the cardiovascular field. His current research interest focusses on the interplay between cardiac metabolism and inflammation in the development of cardiometabolic disease in general, and in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) in particular.

Department of Physiology
Universiteitsingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: 3.156
T: +31(0)43 388 12 04

  • 2020
    • Summer, G., Kuhn, A. R., Munts, C., Miranda-Silva, D., Leite-Moreira, A. F., Lourenco, A. P., Heymans, S., Falcao-Pires, I., & van Bilsen, M. (2020). A directed network analysis of the cardiome identifies molecular pathways contributing to the development of HFpEF. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 144, 66-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2020.05.008
    • Cuijpers, I., Simmonds, S. J., van Bilsen, M., Czarnowska, E., Miqueo, A. G., Heymans, S., Kuhn, A. R., Mulder, P., Ratajska, A., Jones, E. A., & Brakenhielm, E. (2020). Microvascular and lymphatic dysfunction in HFpEF and its associated comorbidities. Basic Research in Cardiology, 115(4), [39]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00395-020-0798-y
    • Verdonschot, J. A. J., Wang, P., Van Bilsen, M., Hazebroek, M. R., Merken, J. J., Vanhoutte, E. K., Henkens, M. T. H. M., Van Den Wijngaard, A., Glatz, J. F. C., Krapels, I. P. C., Brunner, H. G., Heymans, S. R. B., & Bierau, J. (2020). Metabolic Profiling Associates with Disease Severity in Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 26(3), 212-222. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.09.004
    • Liapi, E., van Bilsen, M., Verjans, R., & Schroen, B. (2020). tRNAs and tRNA fragments as modulators of cardiac and skeletal muscle function. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Cell Research, 1867(3), [118465]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.03.012
    • Verjans, R., van Bilsen, M., & Schroen, B. (2020). Reviewing the Limitations of Adult Mammalian Cardiac Regeneration: Noncoding RNAs as Regulators of Cardiomyogenesis. Biomolecules, 10(2), [262]. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10020262
  • 2019
    • Verjans, R., Derks, W. J. A., Korn, K., Soennichsen, B., van Leeuwen, R. E. W., Schroen, B., van Bilsen, M., & Heymans, S. (2019). Functional Screening Identifies MicroRNAs as Multi-Cellular Regulators of Heart Failure. Scientific Reports, 9, [6055]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41491-9
    • Rech, M., Kuhn, A. R., Lumens, J., Carai, P., van Leeuwen, R., Verhesen, W., Verjans, R., Lecomte, J., Liu, Y., Luiken, J. J. F. P., Mohren, R., Cillero-Pastor, B., Heymans, S., Knoops, K., van Bilsen, M., & Schroen, B. (2019). AntagomiR-103 and-107 Treatment Affects Cardiac Function and Metabolism. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 14, 424-437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2018.12.010
  • 2018
    • Aizpurua, A. B., Schroen, B., van Bilsen, M., & van Empel, V. (2018). Targeted HFpEF therapy based on matchmaking of human and animal models. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 315(6), H1670-H1683. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00024.2018
    • Hermans-Beijnsberger, S., van Bilsen, M., & Schroen, B. (2018). Long non-coding RNAs in the failing heart and vasculature. Non-coding RNA research, 3(3), 118-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ncrna.2018.04.002
    • Remels, A. H. V., Derks, W. J. A., Cillero-Pastor, B., Verhees, K. J. P., Kelders, M. C., Heggermont, W., Carai, P., Summer, G., Ellis, S. R., de Theije, C. C., Heeren, R. M. A., Heymans, S., Papageorgiou, A. P., & van Bilsen, M. (2018). NF-kappa B-mediated metabolic remodelling in the inflamed heart in acute viral myocarditis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1864(8), 2579-2589. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.04.022
    • Sorop, O., Heinonen, I., van Kranenburg, M., van de Wouw, J., de Beer, V. J., Nguyen, I. T. N., Octavia, Y., van Duin, R. W. B., Stam, K., van Geuns, R-J., Wielopolski, P. A., Krestin, G. P., van den Meiracker, A. H., Verjans, R., van Bilsen, M., Danser, A. H. J., Paulus, W. J., Cheng, C., Linke, W. A., ... Duncker, D. J. (2018). Multiple common comorbidities produce left ventricular diastolic dysfunction associated with coronary microvascular dysfunction, oxidative stress, and myocardial stiffening. Cardiovascular Research, 114(7), 954-964. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy038
    • Rech, M., Aizpurua, A. B., van Empel, V., van Bilsen, M., & Schroen, B. (2018). Pathophysiological understanding of HFpEF: microRNAs as part of the puzzle. Cardiovascular Research, 114(6), 782-793. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy049
    • Verdonschot, J. A. J., Hazebroek, M. R., Derks, K. W. J., Aizpurua, A. B., Merken, J. J., Wang, P., Bierau, J., van den Wijngaard, A., Schalla, S. M., Hamid, M. A. A., van Bilsen, M., van Empel, V. P. M., Knackstedt, C., Brunner-La Rocca, H-P., Brunner, H. G., Krapels, I. P. C., & Heymans, S. R. B. (2018). Titin cardiomyopathy leads to altered mitochondrial energetics, increased fibrosis and long-termlife-threatening arrhythmias. European Heart Journal, 39(10), 864-873. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehx808
    • Verjans, R., Peters, T., Beaumont, F., van Leeuwen, R., van Herwaarden, T., Verhesen, W., Munts, C., Bijnen, M., Henkens, M., Diez, J., de Windt, L. J., van Nieuwenhoven, F. A., van Bilsen, M., Goumans, M. J., Heymans, S., Gonzalez, A., & Schroen, B. (2018). MicroRNA-221/222 Family Counteracts Myocardial Fibrosis in Pressure Overload-Induced Heart Failure. Hypertension, 71(2), 280-288. https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10094
    • Rech, M., Luiken, J. J. F. P., Glatz, J. F. C., van Bilsen, M., Schroen, B., & Nabben, M. (2018). Assessing fatty acid oxidation flux in rodent cardiomyocyte models. Scientific Reports, 8, [1505]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19478-9
  • 2017
    • van Nieuwenhoven, F. A., Munts, C., op't Veld, R. C., Gonzalez, A., Diez, J., Heymans, S., Schroen, B., & van Bilsen, M. (2017). Cartilage intermediate layer protein 1 (CILP1): A novel mediator of cardiac extracellular matrix remodelling. Scientific Reports, 7, [16042]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-16201-y
    • van Bilsen, M., Patel, H. C., Bauersachs, J., Boehm, M., Borggrefe, M., Brutsaert, D., Coats, A. J. S., de Boer, R. A., de Keulenaer, G., Filippatos, G. S., Floras, J., Grassi, G., Jankowska, E. A., Kornet, L., Lunde, I. G., Maack, C., Mahfoud, F., Pollesello, P., Ponikowski, P., ... Lyon, A. R. (2017). The autonomic nervous system as a therapeutic target in heart failure: a scientific position statement from the Translational Research Committee of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. European journal of heart failure, 19(11), 1361-1378. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.921
    • Heggermont, W. A., Papageorgiou, A-P., Quaegebeur, A., Deckx, S., Carai, P., Verhesen, W., Eelen, G., Schoors, S., van Leeuwen, R., Alekseev, S., Elzenaar, I., Vinckier, S., Pokreisz, P., Walravens, A-S., Gijsbers, R., Van Den Haute, C., Nickel, A., Schroen, B., van Bilsen, M., ... Heymans, S. (2017). Inhibition of MicroRNA-146a and Overexpression of Its Target Dihydrolipoyl Succinyltransferase Protect Against Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy and Dysfunction. Circulation, 136(8), 747-761. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.024171
    • van Haare, J., Kooi, M. E., van Teeffelen, J. W. G. E., Vink, H., Slenter, J., Cobelens, H., Strijkers, G. J., Koehn, D., Post, M. J., & van Bilsen, M. (2017). Metformin and sulodexide restore cardiac microvascular perfusion capacity in diet-induced obese rats. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 16, [47]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12933-017-0525-7
  • 2016
    • Heggermont, W. A., Papageorgiou, A-P., Heymans, S., & van Bilsen, M. (2016). Metabolic support for the heart: complementary therapy for heart failure?European journal of heart failure, 18(12), 1420-1429. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.678
    • Summer, G., Kelder, T., Radonjic, M., van Bilsen, M., Wopereis, S., & Heymans, S. (2016). The Network Library: a framework to rapidly integrate network biology resources. Bioinformatics, 32(17), 473-478. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btw436
  • 2015
    • van Haare, J., Kooi, M. E., Vink, H., Post, M. J., van Teeffelen, J. W. G. E., Slenter, J., Munts, C., Cobelens, H., Strijkers, G. J., Koehn, D., & van Bilsen, M. (2015). Early impairment of coronary microvascular perfusion capacity in rats on a high fat diet. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 14, [150]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12933-015-0312-2
  • 2014
    • van Bilsen, M., & Planavila, A. (2014). Fatty acids and cardiac disease: fuel carrying a message. Acta Physiologica, 211(3), 476-490. https://doi.org/10.1111/apha.12308
    • van Bilsen, M., Daniels, A., Brouwers, O., Janssen, B. J. A., Derks, W. J. A., Brouns, A. E., Munts, C., Schalkwijk, C. G., van der Vusse, G. J., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2014). Hypertension Is a Conditional Factor for the Development of Cardiac Hypertrophy in Type 2 Diabetic Mice. PLOS ONE, 9(1), [e85078]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085078
    • Unsoeld, B., Kaul, A., Sbroggi, M., Schubert, C., Regitz-Zagrosek, V., Brancaccio, M., Damilano, F., Hirsch, E., Van Bilsen, M., Munts, C., Sipido, K., Bito, V., Detre, E., Wagner, N. M., Schaefer, K., Seidler, T., Vogt, J., Neef, S., Bleckmann, A., ... Hasenfuss, G. (2014). Melusin protects from cardiac rupture and improves functional remodelling after myocardial infarction. Cardiovascular Research, 101(1), 97-107. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvt235
  • 2013
    • Blaauw, E., Lorenzen-Schmidt, I., Babiker, F. A., Munts, C., Prinzen, F. W., Snoeckx, L. H., van Bilsen, M., van der Vusse, G. J., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2013). Stretch-Induced Upregulation of Connective Tissue Growth Factor in Rabbit Cardiomyocytes. Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research, 6(5), 861-869. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12265-013-9489-5
    • Heymans, S., Corsten, M. F., Verhesen, W., Carai, P., van Leeuwen, R. E., Custers, K., Peters, T., Hazebroek, M., Stoger, L., Wijnands, E., Janssen, B. J., Creemers, E. E., Pinto, Y. M., Grimm, D., Schurmann, N., Vigorito, E., Thum, T., Stassen, F. R., Yin, X., ... Schroen, B. L. (2013). Macrophage MicroRNA-155 Promotes Cardiac Hypertrophy and Failure. Circulation, 128(13), 1420-1432. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.001357
    • Hermida, N., Markl, A., Hamelet, J., Van Assche, T., Vanderper, A., Herijgers, P., van Bilsen, M., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Noppe, G., Beauloye, C., Horman, S., & Balligand, J-L. (2013). HMGCoA reductase inhibition reverses myocardial fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction through AMP-activated protein kinase activation in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular Research, 99(1), 44-54. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvt070
    • Planavila, A., Redondo, I., Hondares, E., Vinciguerra, M., Munts, C., Iglesias, R., Gabrielli, L. A., Sitges, M., Giralt, M., van Bilsen, M., & Villarroya, F. (2013). Fibroblast growth factor 21 protects against cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Nature Communications, 4, [2019]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3019
  • 2012
    • el Azzouzi, H., Leptidis, S., Bourajjaj, M., van Bilsen, M., Martins, P. A. D. C., & De Windt, L. J. (2012). MEK1 Inhibits Cardiac PPAR alpha Activity by Direct Interaction and Prevents Its Nuclear Localization. PLOS ONE, 7(6), [e36799]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036799
    • den Ruijter, H. M., Verkerk, A. O., Schumacher, C. A., Houten, S. M., Belterman, C. N. W., Baartscheer, A., Brouwer, I. A., van Bilsen, M., de Roos, B., & Coronel, R. (2012). A Diet Rich in Unsaturated Fatty Acids Prevents Progression Toward Heart Failure in a Rabbit Model of Pressure and Volume Overload. Circulation-Heart Failure, 5(3), 376-384. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.111.963116
    • Daniels, A., Linz, D., van Bilsen, M., Ruetten, H., Sadowski, T., Ruf, S., Juretschke, H-P., Neumann-Haefelin, C., Munts, C., van der Vusse, G. J., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2012). Long-term severe diabetes only leads to mild cardiac diastolic dysfunction in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. European journal of heart failure, 14(2), 193-201. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurjhf/hfr166
    • Bieghs, V., van Gorp, P. J., Wouters, K., Hendrikx, T., Gijbels, M. J., van Bilsen, M., de Bakker, J., Binder, C. J., Lutjohann, D., Staels, B., Hofker, M. H., & Sverdlov, R. (2012). LDL receptor knock-out mice are a physiological model particularly vulnerable to study the onset of inflammation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. PLOS ONE, 7(1), [e30668]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030668
  • 2011
    • el Azzouzi, H., Leptidis, S., Bourajjaj, M., Armand, A-S., van der Nagel, R., van Bilsen, M., Martins, P. A. D. C., & De Windt, L. J. (2011). Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor (PPAR) Gene Profiling Uncovers Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 as a PPAR alpha Target Gene in Cardioprotection. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(16), 14598-14607. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.220525
    • Sep, S., Rijvers, C., Smits, L., van Bilsen, M., Bekers, O., & Peeters, L. (2011). Early-pregnancy changes in maternal lipid profile in women with recurrent preeclampsia and previously preeclamptic women with normal next pregnancy. Reproductive Sciences, 18(10), 998-1004. https://doi.org/10.1177/1933719111401665
  • 2010
    • van Bilsen, M., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2010). PPARs as therapeutic targets in cardiovascular disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 14(10), 1029-1045. https://doi.org/10.1517/14728222.2010.512917
    • Daniels, A., van Bilsen, M., Janssen, B. J. A., Brouns, A. E., Cleutjens, J. P. M., Roemen, T. H., Schaart, G., van der Velden, J., van der Vusse, G. J., & van Nieuwenhoven, F. A. (2010). Impaired cardiac functional reserve in type 2 diabetic db/db mice is associated with metabolic, but not structural, remodelling. Acta Physiologica, 200(1), 11-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2010.02102.x
    • Blaauw, E., van Nieuwenhoven, F. A., Willemsen, P., Delhaas, T., Prinzen, F. W., Snoeckx, L. H., van Bilsen, M., & van der Vusse, G. J. (2010). Stretch-induced hypertrophy of isolated adult rabbit cardiomyocytes. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 299(3), H780-H787. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00822.2009
    • Georgiadi, A., Lichtenstein, L., Degenhardt, T., Boekschoten, M. V., van Bilsen, M., Desvergne, B., Muller, M., & Kersten, S. (2010). Induction of Cardiac Angptl4 by Dietary Fatty Acids Is Mediated by Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor beta/delta and Protects Against Fatty Acid-Induced Oxidative Stress. Circulation Research, 106(11), 1712-1721. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.110.217380
    • Bieghs, V., Wouters, K., van Gorp, P. J., Gijbels, M. J. J., de Winther, M. P. J., Binder, C. J., Lutjohann, D., Febbraio, M., Moore, K. J., van Bilsen, M., Hofker, M. H., & Shiri-Sverdlov, R. (2010). Role of scavenger receptor A and CD36 in diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in hyperlipidemic mice. Gastroenterology, 138(7), 2477-2486. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2010.02.051
    • Wouters, K., van Bilsen, M., van Gorp, P. J., Bieghs, V., Lutjohann, D., Kerksiek, A., Staels, B., Hofker, M. H., & Sverdlov, R. (2010). Intrahepatic cholesterol influences progression, inhibition and reversal of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in hyperlipidemic mice.Febs Letters, 584(5), 1001-1005. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2010.01.046
  • 2009
    • Tintu, A., Rouwet, E., Verlohren, S., Brinkmann, J., Ahmad, S., Crispi, F., van Bilsen, M., Carmeliet, P., Staff, A. C., Tjwa, M., Cetin, I., Gratacos, E., Hernandez Andrade, E., Hofstra, L., Jacobs, M. J., Lamers, W. H., Morano, I., Safak, E., Ahmed, A., & le Noble, F. (2009). Hypoxia induces dilated cardiomyopathy in the chick embryo: mechanism, intervention, and long-term consequences. PLOS ONE, 4(4), [e5155]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0005155
  • 2008
    • Wouters, K., van Gorp, P. J. J., Bieghs, V., Gijbels, M. J., Duimel, H., Lutjohann, D., Kerksiek, A., van Kruchten, R., Maeda, N., Staels, B., van Bilsen, M., Sverdlov, R., & Hofker, M. H. (2008). Dietary cholesterol, rather than liver steatosis, leads to hepatic inflammation in hyperlipidemic mouse models of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Hepatology, 48(2), 474-486. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.22363
    • Smeets, P. J., de Vogel van de Bosch, H. M., Willemsen, P. H., Stassen, A. P., Ayoubi, T., van der Vusse, G. J., & van Bilsen, M. (2008). Transcriptomic analysis of PPARalpha-dependent alterations during cardiac hypertrophy.Physiological genomics, 36(1), 15-23. https://doi.org/10.1152/physiolgenomics.90296.2008
  • 2006
    • Shiri-Sverdlov, R., Wouters, K., van Gorp, P. J. J., Gijbels, M. J. J., Noel, B., Buffat, L., Staels, B., Maeda, N., van Bilsen, M., & Hofker, M. H. (2006). Early diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in APOE2 knock-in mice and its prevention by fibrates. Journal of Hepatology, 44(4), 732-741. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2005.10.033
  • 2005
    • Wouters, K. A. M., Shiri-Sverdlov, R., van Gorp, P. J. J., van Bilsen, M., & Hofker, M. H. (2005). Understanding hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis: lessons from genetically modified apoe and ldlr mice. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 43(5), 470-479. https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.085
  • 2003
    • Hoeks, J., Hesselink, M. K. C., van Bilsen, M., Schaart, G., van der Vusse, G. J., Saris, W. H. M., & Schrauwen, P. (2003). Differential response of UCP3 to medium versus long chain triacylglycerols; manifestation of a functional adaptation. Febs Letters, 555(3), 631-637. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(03)01343-7
    • Schrauwen, P., Hoeks, J., Schaart, G., Kornips, C. F. P., Binas, B., van der Vusse, G. J., van Bilsen, M., Luiken, J. J. F. P., Coort, S. L. M., Glatz, J. F., Saris, W. H. M., & Hesselink, M. K. C. (2003). Uncoupling protein 3 as a mitochondrial fatty acid anion exporter. Faseb Journal, 17(15), 2272-2274. https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.03-0515fje