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

  • 2015
    • Deckx, S., Carai, P., Bateman, J., Heymans, S., & Papageorgiou, A-P. (2015). Breeding Strategy Determines Rupture Incidence in Post-Infarct Healing WARPing Cardiovascular Research. PLOS ONE, 10(9), [e0139199].
    • Heymans, S., Gonzalez, A., Pizard, A., Papageorgiou, A. P., Lopez-Andres, N., Jaisser, F., Thum, T., Zannad, F., & Diez, J. (2015). Searching for new mechanisms of myocardial fibrosis with diagnostic and/or therapeutic potential. European journal of heart failure, 17(8), 764-771.
    • Papageorgiou, A-P., Heggermont, W., Rienks, M., Carai, P., Langouche, L., Verhesen, W., De Boer, R. A., & Heymans, S. (2015). Liver X receptor activation enhances CVB3 viral replication during myocarditis by stimulating lipogenesis. Cardiovascular Research, 107(1), 78-88.
    • Devaux, Y., Zangrando, J., Schroen, B., Creemers, E. E., Pedrazzini, T., Chang, C-P., Dorn, G. W. . II., Thum, T., & Heymans, S. (2015). Long noncoding RNAs in cardiac development and ageing. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 12(7), 415-425.
    • Diaz-Munoz, M. D., Bell, S. E., Fairfax, K., Monzon-Casanova, E., Cunningham, A. F., Gonzalez-Porta, M., Andrews, S. R., Bunik, V. I., Zarnack, K., Curk, T., Heggermont, W. A., Heymans, S., Gibson, G. E., Kontoyiannis, D. L., Ule, J., & Turner, M. (2015). The RNA-binding protein HuR is essential for the B cell antibody response. Nature Immunology, 16(4), 415-425.
    • Ounzain, S., Micheletti, R., Beckmann, T., Schroen, B., Alexanian, M., Pezzuto, I., Crippa, S., Nemir, M., Sarre, A., Johnson, R., Dauvillier, J., Burdet, F., Ibberson, M., Guigo, R., Xenarios, I., Heymans, S., & Pedrazzini, T. (2015). Genome-wide profiling of the cardiac transcriptome after myocardial infarction identifies novel heart-specific long non-coding RNAs. European Heart Journal, 36(6), 353-+.
    • Bryant, C. E., Gay, N. J., Heymans, S., Sacre, S., Schaefer, L., & Midwood, K. S. (2015). Advances in Toll-like receptor biology: Modes of activation by diverse stimuli. Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 50(5), 359-379.
  • 2014
    • Emmens, R. W., Woudstra, L., Papageorgiou, A., Carai, P., Smit, S., Seven-Deniz, S., Rozendaal, L., Paulus, W. J., Wouters, D., Zeerleder, S., Murk, J-L., van Ham, M. S., Heymans, S., van Rossum, A. C., Niessen, H. W. M., & Krijnen, P. A. J. (2014). Lymphocytes Infiltrate the Quadriceps Muscle in Lymphocytic Myocarditis Patients: A Potential New Diagnostic Tool. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 30(12), 1547-1554.
    • Elliott, P. M., Anastasakis, A., Borger, M. A., Borggrefe, M., Cecchi, F., Charron, P., Hagege, A. A., Lafont, A., Limongelli, G., Mahrholdt, H., McKenna, W. J., Mogensen, J., Nihoyannopoulos, P., Nistri, S., Pieper, P. G., Pieske, B., Rapezzi, C., Rutten, F. H., Tillmanns, C., ... Watkins, H. (2014). 2014 ESC Guidelines on diagnosis and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). European Heart Journal, 35(39), 2733-2779.
    • Jacobs, L., Thijs, L., Jin, Y., Zannad, F., Mebazaa, A., Rouet, P., Pinet, F., Bauters, C., Pieske, B., Tomaschitz, A., Mamas, M., Diez, J., McDonald, K., Cleland, J. G. F., Brunner-La Rocca, H-P., Heymans, S., Latini, R., Masson, S., Sever, P., ... Staessen, J. A. (2014). Heart 'omics' in AGEing (HOMAGE): design, research objectives and characteristics of the common database. Journal of biomedical research, 28(5), 349-59.
    • Westermann, D., & Heymans, S. (2014). Fibrosis or hypertrophy: let TIMPs decide. Cardiovascular Research, 103(2), 196-197.
    • Murdoch, C. E., Chaubey, S., Zeng, L., Yu, B., Ivetic, A., Walker, S. J., Vanhoutte, D., Heymans, S., Grieve, D. J., Cave, A. C., Brewer, A. C., Zhang, M., & Shah, A. M. (2014). Endothelial NADPH Oxidase-2 Promotes Interstitial Cardiac Fibrosis and Diastolic Dysfunction Through Proinflammatory Effects and Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(24), 2734-2741.
    • Leite-Moreira, A. F., Lourenco, A. P., Balligand, J-L., Bauersachs, J., Clerk, A., De Windt, L. J., Heymans, S., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Hirsch, E., Iaccarino, G., Kaminski, K. A., Knoell, R., Mayr, M., Tarone, G., Thum, T., & Tocchetti, C. G. (2014). ESC Working Group on Myocardial Function Position Paper: how to study the right ventricle in experimental models. European journal of heart failure, 16(5), 509-518.
    • Tarone, G., Balligand, J-L., Bauersachs, J., Clerk, A., De Windt, L., Heymans, S., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Hirsch, E., Iaccarino, G., Knoell, R., Leite-Moreira, A. F., Lourenco, A. P., Mayr, M., Thum, T., & Tocchetti, C. G. (2014). Targeting myocardial remodelling to develop novel therapies for heart failure A position paper from the Working Group on Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology. European journal of heart failure, 16(5), 494-508.
    • Beaumont, J., Lopez, B., Hermida, N., Schroen, B., Jose, G. S., Heymans, S., Valencia, F., Jose Gomez-Doblas, J., De Teresa, E., Diez, J., & Gonzalez, A. (2014). microRNA-122 down-regulation may play a role in severe myocardial fibrosis in human aortic stenosis through TGF-beta(1) up-regulation. Clinical Science, 126(7-8), 497-506.
    • Papageorgiou, A-P., & Heymans, S. (2014). Peroxidasin-like protein: expanding the horizons of matrix biology. Cardiovascular Research, 101(3), 342-343.
    • Rienks, M., Papageorgiou, A-P., Frangogiannis, N. G., & Heymans, S. (2014). Myocardial Extracellular Matrix An Ever-Changing and Diverse Entity. Circulation Research, 114(5), 872-888.
    • Hazebroek, M. R., Everaerts, K., & Heymans, S. (2014). Diagnostic approach of myocarditis: strike the golden mean. Netherlands Heart Journal, 22(2), 80-84.
    • Hazebroek, M. R., van Paassen, P., Weerwind, P. W., Cooper, L. T. . J., Uriel, N., Caliskan, K., de Vries, B., Maessen, J. G., Autschbach, R., Heymans, S., & Donker, D. W. (2014). A passionate endurance cyclist ultimately survives sudden death in right ventricular giant cell myocarditis. International Journal of Cardiology, 170(3), E74-E75.
    • Hohl, M., Ardehali, H., Azuaje, F. J., Breckenridge, R. A., Doehner, W., Eaton, P., Ehret, G. B., Fujita, T., Gaetani, R., Giacca, M., Hasenfuss, G., Heymans, S., Leite-Moreira, A. F., Linke, W. A., Linz, D., Lyon, A., Mamas, M. A., Oresic, M., Papp, Z., ... Maack, C. (2014). Meeting highlights from the 2013 European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Association Winter Meeting on Translational Heart Failure Research. European journal of heart failure, 16(1), 6-14.
  • 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.
    • Caforio, A. L. P., Pankuweit, S., Arbustini, E., Basso, C., Gimeno-Blanes, J., Felix, S. B., Fu, M., Helio, T., Heymans, S., Jahns, R., Klingel, K., Linhart, A., Maisch, B., McKenna, W., Mogensen, J., Pinto, Y. M., Ristic, A., Schultheiss, H-P., Seggewiss, H., ... Elliott, P. M. (2013). Current state of knowledge on aetiology, diagnosis, management, and therapy of myocarditis: a position statement of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases. European Heart Journal, 34(33), 2636-2648.
    • Witjas-Paalberends, E. R., Piroddi, N., Stam, K., van Dijk, S. J., Oliviera, V. S., Ferrara, C., Scellini, B., Hazebroek, M., ten Cate, F. J., van Slegtenhorst, M., dos Remedios, C., Niessen, H. W. M., Tesi, C., Stienen, G. J. M., Heymans, S., Michels, M., Poggesi, C., & van der Velden, J. (2013). Mutations in MYH7 reduce the force generating capacity of sarcomeres in human familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Cardiovascular Research, 99(3), 432-441.
    • Van Aelst, L. N. L., & Heymans, S. (2013). MicroRNAs as Biomarkers for Ischemic Heart Disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research, 6(4), 458-470.
    • Vanhoutte, D., van Almen, G. C., Van Aelst, L. N. L., Van Cleemput, J., Droogne, W., Jin, Y., Van de Werf, F., Carmeliet, P., Vanhaecke, J., Papageorgiou, A-P., & Heymans, S. (2013). Matricellular proteins and matrix metalloproteinases mark the inflammatory and fibrotic response in human cardiac allograft rejection. European Heart Journal, 34(25), 1930-1941.
    • Camporeale, A., Marino, F., Papageorgiou, A., Carai, P., Fornero, S., Fletcher, S., Page, B. D. G., Gunning, P., Forni, M., Chiarle, R., Morello, M., Jensen, O., Levi, R., Heymans, S., & Poli, V. (2013). STAT3 activity is necessary and sufficient for the development of immune-mediated myocarditis in mice and promotes progression to dilated cardiomyopathy. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 5(4), 572-590.
    • Leptidis, S., el Azzouzi, H., Lok, S. I., de Weger, R., Olieslagers, S., Kisters, N., Silva, G. J., Heymans, S., Cuppen, E., Berezikov, E., De Windt, L. J., & Martins, P. D. C. (2013). A Deep Sequencing Approach to Uncover the miRNOME in the Human Heart. PLOS ONE, 8(2), [e57800].
  • 2012
    • Heggermont, W. A., & Heymans, S. (2012). MicroRNAs Are Involved in End-Organ Damage During Hypertension. Hypertension, 60(5), 1088-1093.
    • Dennert, R., van Paassen, P., Wolffs, P., Bruggeman, C., Velthuis, S., Felix, S., van Suylen, R-J., Crijns, H. J., Tervaert, J. W. C., & Heymans, S. (2012). Differences in Virus Prevalence and Load in the Hearts of Patients with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy with and without Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 19(8), 1182-1187.
    • Hazebroek, M., Dennert, R., & Heymans, S. (2012). Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: possible triggers and treatment strategies. Netherlands Heart Journal, 20(7-8), 332-335.
    • Corsten, M. F., Schroen, B., & Heymans, S. (2012). Inflammation in viral myocarditis: friend or foe?Trends in Molecular Medicine, 18(7), 426-437.
    • Papageorgiou, A-P., & Heymans, S. (2012). Interactions between the extracellular matrix and inflammation during viral myocarditis. Immunobiology, 217(5), 503-510.
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., Wolfs, I. M. J., Stoger, L. J., van der Vorst, E. P. C., Pottgens, C. C. H., Heymans, S., Schroen, B., Gijbels, M. J. J., & de Winther, M. P. J. (2012). Hematopoietic miR155 Deficiency Enhances Atherosclerosis and Decreases Plaque Stability in Hyperlipidemic Mice. PLOS ONE, 7(4), [e35877].
    • Papageorgiou, A-P., Swinnen, M., Vanhoutte, D., VandenDriessche, T., Chuah, M., Lindner, D., Verhesen, W., de Vries, B., D'hooge, J., Lutgens, E., Westermann, D., Carmeliet, P., & Heymans, S. (2012). Thrombospondin-2 prevents cardiac injury and dysfunction in viral myocarditis through the activation of regulatory T-cells. Cardiovascular Research, 94(1), 115-124.
    • Jin, Y., Kuznetsova, T., Thijs, L., Schmitz, B., Liu, Y., Asayama, K., Brand, S-M., Heymans, S., Brand, E., Fagard, R., & Staessen, J. A. (2012). Association of Left Ventricular Mass With the AGTR1 A1166C Polymorphism. American Journal of Hypertension, 25(4), 472-478.
    • Schroen, B., & Heymans, S. (2012). Small but smart-microRNAs in the centre of inflammatory processes during cardiovascular diseases, the metabolic syndrome, and ageing. Cardiovascular Research, 93(4), 605-613.
    • Devaux, Y., Vausort, M., Goretti, E., Nazarov, P. V., Azuaje, F., Gilson, G., Corsten, M. F., Schroen, B., Lair, M-L., Heymans, S., & Wagner, D. R. (2012). Use of Circulating MicroRNAs to Diagnose Acute Myocardial Infarction. Clinical Chemistry, 58(3), 559-567.
  • 2011
    • He, B. J., Joiner, M. A., Singh, M. V., Luczak, E. D., Swaminathan, P. D., Koval, O. M., Kutschke, W., Allamargot, C., Yang, J., Guan, X., Zimmerman, K., Grumbach, I. M., Weiss, R. M., Spitz, D. R., Sigmund, C. D., Blankesteijn, W. M., Heymans, S., Mohler, P. J., & Anderson, M. E. (2011). Oxidation of CaMKII determines the cardiotoxic effects of aldosterone. Nature Medicine, 17(12), 1610-U125.
    • van Almen, G. C., Verhesen, W., van Leeuwen, R. E. W., van de Vrie, M., Eurlings, C., Schellings, M. W. M., Swinnen, M., Cleutjens, J. P. M., van Zandvoort, M. A. M. J., Heymans, S., & Schroen, B. (2011). MicroRNA-18 and microRNA-19 regulate CTGF and TSP-1 expression in age-related heart failure. Aging Cell, 10(5), 769-779.
    • van Almen, G. C., Swinnen, M., Carai, P., Verhesen, W., Cleutjens, J. P. M., D'hooge, J., Verheyen, F. K., Pinto, Y. M., Schroen, B., Carmeliet, P., & Heymans, S. (2011). Absence of thrombospondin-2 increases cardiomyocyte damage and matrix disruption in doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 51(3), 318-328.
    • Perino, A., Ghigo, A., Ferrero, E., More, F., Santulli, G., Baillie, G. S., Damilano, F., Dunlop, A. J., Pawson, C., Walser, R., Levi, R., Altruda, F., Silengo, L., Langeberg, L. K., Neubauer, G., Heymans, S., Lembo, G., Wymann, M. P., Wetzker, R., ... Hirsch, E. (2011). Integrating Cardiac PIP3 and cAMP Signaling through a PKA Anchoring Function of p110 gamma. Molecular Cell, 42(1), 84-95.
    • van de Vrie, M., Heymans, S., & Schroen, B. (2011). MicroRNA Involvement in Immune Activation During Heart Failure. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, 25(2), 161-170.
    • Eschenhagen, T., Force, T., Ewer, M. S., De Keulenaer, G. W., Suter, T. M., Anker, S. D., Avkiran, M., de Azambuja, E., Balligand, J. L., Brutsaert, D. L., Condorelli, G., Hansen, A., Heymans, S., Hill, J. A., Hirsch, E., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Janssens, S., de Jong, S., Neubauer, G., ... Shah, A. M. (2011). Cardiovascular side effects of cancer therapies: a position statement from the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. European journal of heart failure, 13(1), 1-10.
  • 2010
    • Rother, M., Krohn, S., Kania, G., Vanhoutte, D., Eisenreich, A., Wang, X., Westermann, D., Savvatis, K., Dannemann, N., Skurk, C., Hilfiker-Kleiner, D., Cathomen, T., Fechner, H., Rauch, U., Schultheiss, H-P., Heymans, S., Eriksson, U., Scheibenbogen, C., & Poller, W. (2010). Matricellular Signaling Molecule CCN1 Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Myocarditis by Acting as a Novel Immune Cell Migration Modulator. Circulation, 122(25), 2688-2698.
    • Leenders, J. J., Wijnen, W. J., Hiller, M., van der Made, I., Lentink, V., van Leeuwen, R. E. W., Herias, V., Pokharel, S., Heymans, S., de Windt, L. J., Hoydal, M. A., Pinto, Y. M., & Creemers, E. E. (2010). Regulation of Cardiac Gene Expression by KLF15, a Repressor of Myocardin Activity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(35), 27449-27456.
    • McCurdy, S., Baicu, C. F., Heymans, S., & Bradshaw, A. D. (2010). Cardiac extracellular matrix remodeling: Fibrillar collagens and Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC). Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 48(3), 544-549.
    • Schalla, S., Bekkers, S. C., Dennert, R., van Suylen, R. J., Waltenberger, J., Leiner, T., Wildberger, J., Crijns, H. J., & Heymans, S. (2010). Replacement and reactive myocardial fibrosis in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: comparison of magnetic resonance imaging with right ventricular biopsy. European journal of heart failure, 12(3), 227-231.
    • Vanhoutte, D., & Heymans, S. (2010). TIMPs and cardiac remodeling: 'Embracing the MMP-independent-side of the family'. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 48(3), 445-453.
    • Schellings, M. W. M., Vanhoutte, D., van Almen, G. C., Swinnen, M., Leenders, J. J. G., Kubben, N., van Leeuwen, R. E. W., Hofstra, L., Heymans, S., & Pinto, Y. M. (2010). Syndecan-1 Amplifies Angiotensin II-Induced Cardiac Fibrosis. Hypertension, 55(2), 249-U87.