Stephane Heymans


Stephane Heymans is Professor of Cardiomyopathies and Head of the Centre for Heart Failure Research, Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University. He obtained his Medical Degree from the KU Leuven (Belgium) in 1995 and went on to get a PhD in Medical Sciences in 2000, studying the role of proteinases in acute myocardial infarction. In 2003, he joined the Department of Cardiology of Maastricht UMC+ as an academic medical specialist and in 2006 he took over the Multidisciplinary Cardiomyopathy Program (Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology departments).

In 2008, he established his independent research laboratory at Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht. His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of heart failure, looking at the interplay between inflammatory cells, fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes. Particular focus is on the role of non-structural matrix proteins, matrix turnover and non-coding RNAs.

Furthermore, he is Professor of 'Inflammation and Matrix Biology in Cardiomyopathies' at the University of Leuven and he is a board member of the ESC Heart Failure Association, ESC Working Group of Myocardial Function, ESC Heart Failure Association Committee on Diastolic Heart Failure and ESC Heart Failure Association Committee on Translational Research.


Department of Cardiology
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: G3.230
T: +31(0)43 388 43 04

  • 2018
    • van der Velden, J., Tocchetti, C. G., Varricchi, G., Bianco, A., Sequeira, V., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Hamdani, N., Leite-Moreira, A. F., Mayr, M., Falcao-Pires, I., Thum, T., Dawson, D. K., Balligand, J-L., & Heymans, S. (2018). Metabolic changes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathies: scientific update from the Working Group of Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology. Cardiovascular Research, 114(10), 1273-1280.
    • Poller, W., Dimmeler, S., Heymans, S., Zeller, T., Haas, J., Karakas, M., Leistner, D-M., Jakob, P., Nakagawa, S., Blankenberg, S., Engelhardt, S., Thum, T., Weber, C., Meder, B., Hajjar, R., & Landmesser, U. (2018). Non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases: diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives. European Heart Journal, 39(29), 2704–2716.
    • Fiedler, J., Baker, A. H., Dimmeler, S., Heymans, S., Mayr, M., & Thum, T. (2018). Non-coding RNAs in vascular disease - from basic science to clinical applications: scientific update from the Working Group of Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology. Cardiovascular Research, 114(10), 1281-1286.
    • Bauersachs, J., & Heymans, S. (2018). Scientific updates on the interaction of genes, epigenetics, and multicellularity in cardiovascular diseases: the Working Group of Myocardial Function of the ESC. Cardiovascular Research, 114(10), 1271-1272.
    • Suthahar, N., Meijers, W. C., Ho, J. E., Gansevoort, R. T., Voors, A. A., van der Meer, P., Bakker, S. J. L., Heymans, S., van Empel, V., Schroen, B., van der Harst, P., van Veldhuisen, D. J., & de Boer, R. A. (2018). Sex-specific associations of obesity and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels in the general population. European journal of heart failure, 20(8), 1205-1214.
    • 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.
    • De Ruysscher, D., Dingemans, A-M., Vooijs, M., & Heymans, S. (2018). PD-(L)1 Inhibition and Cardiac Damage: A Relevant Toxicity?Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 13(4), 478-479.
    • Loebel, M., Holzhauser, L., Hartwig, J. A., Shukla, P. C., Savvatis, K., Jenke, A., Gast, M., Escher, F., Becker, S. C., Bauer, S., Stroux, A., Beling, A., Kespohl, M., Pinkert, S., Fechner, H., Kuehl, U., Lassner, D., Poller, W., Schultheiss, H-P., ... Skurk, C. (2018). The forkhead transcription factor Foxo3 negatively regulates natural killer cell function and viral clearance inmyocarditis. European Heart Journal, 39(10), 876-887.
    • 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.
    • Deckx, S., Heggermont, W., Carai, P., Rienks, M., Dresselaers, T., Himmelreich, U., van Leeuwen, R., Lommen, W., van der Velden, J., Gonzalez, A., Diez, J., Papageorgiou, A-P., & Heymans, S. (2018). Osteoglycin prevents the development of age-related diastolic dysfunction during pressure overload by reducing cardiac fibrosis and inflammation. Matrix Biology, 66, 110-124.
    • Hazebroek, M. R., Krapels, I., Verdonschot, J., van den Wijngaard, A., Vanhoutte, E., Hoos, M., Snijders, L., van Montfort, L., Witjens, M., Dennert, R., Crijns, H. J. G. M., Brunner-La Rocca, H-P., Brunner, H. G., & Heymans, S. (2018). Prevalence of Pathogenic Gene Mutations and Prognosis Do Not Differ in Isolated Left Ventricular Dysfunction Compared With Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Circulation-Heart Failure, 11(3), [e004682 ].
    • Frantz, S., Falcao-Pires, I., Balligand, J-L., Bauersachs, J., Brutsaert, D., Ciccarelli, M., Dawson, D., de Windt, L. J., Giacca, M., Hamdani, N., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Hirsch, E., Leite-Moreira, A., Mayr, M., Thum, T., Tocchetti, C. G., van der Velden, J., Varricchi, G., & Heymans, S. (2018). The innate immune system in chronic cardiomyopathy: a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) scientific statement from the Working Group on Myocardial Function of the ESC. European journal of heart failure, 20(3), 445-459.
    • Lourenco, A. P., Leite-Moreira, A. F., Balligand, J-L., Bauersachs, J., Dawson, D., de Boer, R. A., de Windt, L. J., Falcao-Pires, I., Fontes-Carvalho, R., Franz, S., Giacca, M., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Hirsch, E., Maack, C., Mayr, M., Pieske, B., Thum, T., Tocchetti, C. G., Brutsaert, D. L., & Heymans, S. (2018). An integrative translational approach to study heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a position paper from the Working Group on Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology. European journal of heart failure, 20(2), 216-227.
    • Merken, J., Hazebroek, M., Van Paassen, P., Verdonschot, J., Van Empel, V., Knackstedt, C., Hamid, M. A., Seiler, M., Kolb, J., Hoermann, P., Ensinger, C., Brunner-La Rocca, H-P., Poelzl, G., & Heymans, S. (2018). Immunosuppressive Therapy Improves Both Short- and Long-Term Prognosis in Patients With Virus-Negative Nonfulminant Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy. Circulation-Heart Failure, 11(2), [004228].
    • 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.
    • Ferreira, J. P., Machu, J-L., Girerd, N., Jaisser, F., Thum, T., Butler, J., Gonzalez, A., Diez, J., Heymans, S., McDonald, K., Gyongyosi, M., Firat, H., Rossignol, P., Pizard, A., & Zannad, F. (2018). Rationale of the FIBROTARGETS study designed to identify novel biomarkers of myocardial fibrosis. Esc heart failure, 5(1), 139-148.
    • Kuepfer, L., Clayton, O., Thiel, C., Cordes, H., Nudischer, R., Blank, L. M., Baier, V., Heymans, S., Caiment, F., Roth, A., Fluri, D. A., Kelm, J. M., Castell, J., Selevsek, N., Schlapbach, R., Keun, H., Hynes, J., Sarkans, U., Gmuender, H., ... Kleinjans, J. (2018). A model-based assay design to reproduce in vivo patterns of acute drug-induced toxicity. Archives of Toxicology, 92(1), 553-555.
    • Gorter, T. M., van Veldhuisen, D. J., Bauersachs, J., Borlaug, B. A., Celutkiene, J., Coats, A. J. S., Crespo-Leiro, M. G., Guazzi, M., Harjola, V-P., Heymans, S., Hill, L., Lainscak, M., Lam, C. S. P., Lund, L. H., Lyon, A. R., Mebazaa, A., Mueller, C., Paulus, W. J., Pieske, B., ... de Boer, R. A. (2018). Right heart dysfunction and failure in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: mechanisms and management. Position statement on behalf of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. European journal of heart failure, 20(1), 16-37.
  • 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].
    • Afsar, B., Rossignol, P., van Heerebeek, L., Paulus, W. J., Damman, K., Heymans, S., van Empel, V., Sag, A., Maisel, A., & Kanbay, M. (2017). Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a nephrologist-directed primer. Heart Failure Reviews, 22(6), 765-773.
    • Riemersma, M., Hazebroek, M. R., Helderman-van den Enden, A. T. J. M., Salomons, G. S., Ferdinandusse, S., Brouwers, M. C. G. J., van der Ploeg, L., Heymans, S., Glatz, J. F. C., van den Wijngaard, A., Krapels, I. P. C., Bierau, J., & Brunner, H. G. (2017). Propionic acidemia as a cause of adult-onset dilated cardiomyopathy. European Journal of Human Genetics, 25(11), 1195-1201.
    • 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.
    • Caforio, A. L. P., Adler, Y., Agostini, C., Allanore, Y., Anastasakis, A., Arad, M., Boehm, M., Charron, P., Elliott, P. M., Eriksson, U., Felix, S. B., Garcia-Pavia, P., Hachulla, E., Heymans, S., Imazio, M., Klingel, K., Marcolongo, R., Cerinic, M. M., Pantazis, A., ... Linhart, A. (2017). Diagnosis and management of myocardial involvement in systemic immune-mediated diseases: a position statement of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Myocardial and Pericardial Disease. European Heart Journal, 38(35), 2649-2662.
    • 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.
    • Rienks, M., Carai, P., Bitsch, N., Schellings, M., Vanhaverbeke, M., Verjans, J., Cuijpers, I., Heymans, S., & Papageorgiou, A. (2017). Sema3A promotes the resolution of cardiac inflammation after myocardial infarction. Basic Research in Cardiology, 112(4), [42].
    • Woudstra, L., Biesbroek, P. S., Emmens, R. W., Heymans, S., Juffermans, L. J., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., & Krijnen, P. A. J. (2017). Lymphocytic myocarditis occurs with myocardial infarction and coincides with increased inflammation, hemorrhage and instability in coronary artery atherosclerotic plaques. International Journal of Cardiology, 232, 53-62.
    • Rienks, M., Papageorgiou, A., Wouters, K., Verhesen, W., van Leeuwen, R., Carai, P., Summer, G., Westermann, D., & Heymans, S. (2017). A novel 72-kDa leukocyte-derived osteoglycin enhances the activation of toll-like receptor 4 and exacerbates cardiac inflammation during viral myocarditis. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 74(8), 1511-1525.
    • Woudstra, L., Biesbroek, P. S., Emmens, R. W., Heymans, S., Juffermans, L. J., van der Wal, A. C., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., & Krijnen, P. A. J. (2017). CD45 is a more sensitive marker than CD3 to diagnose lymphocytic myocarditis in the endomyocardiurn. Human Pathology, 62, 83-90.
    • Smilde, B. J., Woudstra, L., Hing, G. F., Wouters, D., Zeerleder, S., Murk, J-L., van Ham, M., Heymans, S., Juffermans, L. J. M., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., Krijnen, P. A. J., & Emmens, R. W. (2017). Reply to the letter to the editor "Is colchicine really harmful in viral myocarditis?". International Journal of Cardiology, 229, 43-43.
    • Knackstedt, C., Heymans, S., & Brunner-La Rocca, H-P. (2017). ICD Implantation in Patients with Nonischemic Heart Failure. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(1), 91-92.
  • 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.
    • Verdonschot, J., Hazebroek, M., Merken, J., Debing, Y., Dennert, R., Brunner-La Rocca, H., & Heymans, S. (2016). Relevance of cardiac parvovirus B19 in myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy: review of the literature. European journal of heart failure, 18(12), 1430-1441.
    • Heymans, S., Eriksson, U., Lehtonen, J., & Cooper, L. T. . J. (2016). The Quest for New Approaches in Myocarditis and Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 68(21), 2348-2364.
    • Ferreira, J. P., Girerd, N., Pellicori, P., Duarte, K., Girerd, S., Pfeffer, M. A., McMurray, J. J. V., Pitt, B., Dickstein, K., Jacobs, L., Staessen, J. A., Butler, J., Latini, R., Masson, S., Mebazaa, A., Brunner-La Rocca, H., Delles, C., Heymans, S., Sattar, N., ... Rossignol, P. (2016). Renal function estimation and Cockroft-Gault formulas for predicting cardiovascular mortality in population-based, cardiovascular risk, heart failure and post-myocardial infarction cohorts: The Heart 'OMics' in AGEing (HOMAGE) and the high-risk myocardial infarction database initiatives. BMC Medicine, 14, [181].
    • Hensgens, K., Merken, J., Hazebroek, M., & Heymans, S. R. B. (2016). Chronic Q fever leads to dilated cardiomyopathy in a 48-year-old male. International Journal of Cardiology, 222, 705-706.
    • 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.
    • Smilde, B. J., Woudstra, L., Hing, G. F., Wouters, D., Zeerleder, S., Murk, J-L., van Ham, M., Heymans, S., Juffermans, L. J. M., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., Krijnen, P. A. J., & Emmens, R. W. (2016). Colchicine aggravates coxsackievirus B3 infection in mice. International Journal of Cardiology, 216, 58-65.
    • Deckx, S., Heymans, S., & Papageorgiou, A-P. (2016). The diverse functions of osteoglycin: a deceitful dwarf, or a master regulator of disease?Faseb Journal, 30(8), 2651-2661.
    • Pinto, Y. M., Elliott, P. M., Arbustini, E., Adler, Y., Anastasakis, A., Boehm, M., Duboc, D., Gimeno, J., de Groote, P., Imazio, M., Heymans, S., Klingel, K., Komajda, M., Limongelli, G., Linhart, A., Mogensen, J., Moon, J., Pieper, P. G., Seferovic, P. M., ... Charron, P. (2016). Proposal for a revised definition of dilated cardiomyopathy, hypokinetic non-dilated cardiomyopathy, and its implications for clinical practice: a position statement of the ESC working group on myocardial and pericardial diseases. European Heart Journal, 37(23), 1850-1858.
    • Gupta, S. K., Itagaki, R., Zheng, X., Batkai, S., Thum, S., Ahmad, F., Van Aelst, L. N., Sharma, A., Piccoli, M-T., Weinberger, F., Fiedler, J., Heuser, M., Heymans, S., Falk, C. S., Foerster, R., Schrepfer, S., & Thum, T. (2016). miR-21 promotes fibrosis in an acute cardiac allograft transplantation model. Cardiovascular Research, 110(2), 215-226.
    • Gast, M., Schroen, B., Voigt, A., Haas, J., Kuehl, U., Lassner, D., Skurk, C., Escher, F., Wang, X., Kratzer, A., Michalik, K., Papageorgiou, A., Peters, T., Loebel, M., Wilk, S., Althof, N., Prasanth, K. V., Katus, H., Meder, B., ... Poller, W. (2016). Long noncoding RNA MALAT1-derived mascRNA is involved in cardiovascular innate immunity. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, 8(2), 178-181.
    • Dennert, R., Streukens, B., Gommers, S., Heymans, S., & Bekkers, B. (2016). Perimyocarditis Complicated by Early Development of Constrictive Pericarditis. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 32(3), 395.e11-395.e12.
    • Peters, T., Beijnsberger, S., Beqqali, A., Bitsch, N., Nakagawa, S., Prasanth, K. V., de Windt, L. J., van Oort, R. J., Heymans, S., & Schroen, B. (2016). Long Non-Coding RNA Malat-1 Is Dispensable during Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Remodeling and Failure in Mice. PLOS ONE, 11(2), [e0150236].
    • Van Aelst, L. N. L., Summer, G., Li, S., Gupta, S. K., Heggermont, W., De Vusser, K., Carai, P., Naesens, M., Van Cleemput, J., Van de Werf, F., Vanhaecke, J., Thum, T., Waer, M., Papageorgiou, A. -P., Schroen, B., & Heymans, S. (2016). RNA Profiling in Human and Murine Transplanted Hearts: Identification and Validation of Therapeutic Targets for Acute Cardiac and Renal Allograft Rejection. American Journal of Transplantation, 16(1), 99-110.
    • Begieneman, M. P. V., Emmens, R. W., Rijvers, L., Kubat, B., Paulus, W. J., Vonk, A. B. A., Rozendaal, L., Biesbroek, P. S., Wouters, D., Zeerleder, S., van Ham, M., Heymans, S., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., & Krijnen, P. A. J. (2016). Ventricular myocarditis coincides with atrial myocarditis in patients. Cardiovascular Pathology, 25(2), 141-148.
  • 2015
    • Summer, G., Kelder, T., Ono, K., Radonjic, M., Heymans, S., & Demchak, B. (2015). cyNeo4j: connecting Neo4j and Cytoscape. Bioinformatics, 31(23), 3868-3869.
    • Ounzain, S., Micheletti, R., Arnan, C., Plaisance, I., Cecchi, D., Schroen, B., Reverter, F., Alexanian, M., Gonzales, C., Ng, S. Y., Bussotti, G., Pezzuto, I., Notredame, C., Heymans, S., Guigo, R., Johnson, R., & Pedrazzini, T. (2015). CARMEN, a human super enhancer-associated long noncoding RNA controlling cardiac specification, differentiation and homeostasis. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 89, 98-112.
    • Hazebroek, M. R., Kemna, M. J., Schalla, S., Sanders-van Wijk, S., Gerretsen, S. C., Dennert, R., Merken, J., Kuznetsova, T., Staessen, J. A., Brunner-La Rocca, H. P., van Paassen, P., Tervaert, J. W. C., & Heymans, S. (2015). Prevalence and prognostic relevance of cardiac involvement in ANCA-associated vasculitis: Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis and granulomatosis with polyangiitis. International Journal of Cardiology, 199, 170-179.
    • Corsten, M., Heggermont, W., Papageorgiou, A-P., Deckx, S., Tijsma, A., Verhesen, W., van Leeuwen, R., Carai, P., Thibaut, H-J., Custers, K., Summer, G., Hazebroek, M., Verheyen, F., Neyts, J., Schroen, B., & Heymans, S. (2015). The microRNA-221/-222 cluster balances the antiviral and inflammatory response in viral myocarditis. European Heart Journal, 36(42), 2909-U56.
    • Piers, S. R. D., Everaerts, K., van der Geest, R. J., Hazebroek, M. R., Siebelink, H-M., Pison, L. A. F. G., Schalij, M. J., Bekkers, S. C. A. M., Heymans, S., & Zeppenfeld, K. (2015). Myocardial scar predicts monomorphic ventricular tachycardia but not polymorphic ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Heart Rhythm, 12(10), 2106-2114.