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Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Positions


​​​Submission is closed now. The deadline for sending in applications was May 1st, 2018.

Below, you will find a short description of the 16 ESR research projects.​

Disease Mechanisms

Project 1.1 Genomics guided drug repositioning in Asthma  

Genomics guided drug repositioning in Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects approximately 300 million people worldwide. Despite progress in understanding this chronic disease, there has been no success in developing new drugs that target the underlying mechanisms rather than suppressing symptoms.  Asthma genetics may identify druggable targets that could allow for improved treatment of asthma by existing or novel drugs.  Our worldwide consortium recently published new asthma genes [Nat Genetics 2017, PMID: 29083406] and proposed to investigate existing drugs for a novel indication asthma.

In this project, the ESR (PhD student) will investigate genomics guided drug repositioning in asthma by analyzing these novel drug targets in existing dataset from asthma genomics , and by selecting the best candidates for further testing in the laboratory. The ESR will work in a multidisciplinary environment in the Groningen Research Insititute for Asthma and COPD in two departments; Pediatrics  UMCG and Pharmacy, University of Groningen. 

We are looking for an ESR candidate who is interested and skilled both in genomics and analysis of big data as well as the translation of these findings to experiments in cell or animal models.  The ESR is a team player, and eager to work in a multidisciplinary translational research institute.  

Desired disciplines:  

Medical Biology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacy



Potential secondment: 

Acquilo BV, Groningen (NL)

Project 1.2 The bile acid receptor as treatment in liver disease  

The bile acid receptor as treatment in liver disease

Clustered disorders associated with disrupted nutrient/energy homeostasis, including obesity, type II diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), are increasing worldwide. Susceptibility to develop these diseases may originate from early life (programming). In NAFLD, a progressive subtype exists, designated as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), that is recognized as an increasing cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Disturbed signaling of de bile acid receptor FXR in the gut-liver axis appears to contribute to the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Standard therapeutic interventions have not been established for NAFLD, but some new agents that modulate FXR signaling have shown promise as possible therapeutics. Yet, many steps, involving mechanistic studies in relevant animal models, are still required for tailoring pharmacotherapy to the dominant pathogenic pathways in a given patient, possibly with use of combination therapy. The ESR (PhD student) on the current project will contribute to the future direction in (personalized) treatment of patients with NAFLD and NASH, through application of newly developed mouse models generated by CRISPR-Cas technology, amongst others mice with humanized bile acid metabolism, and innovative methodologies to quantify metabolic fluxes in order to allow rapid and more accurate translation to the human situation.

Desired Disciplines

Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Pharmacy


Prof. Folkert Kuipers, PhD, Pediatrics and Laboratory Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen
Prof. Henkjan Verkade, MD PhD, Pediatrics, University Medical Center Groningen

Potential secondments

Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, USA
Pasteur Institute, Lille, France

Project 1.3 Epigenetic regulation of inflammatory response in Type 2 Diabetes  

Epigenetic regulation of inflammatory response in Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus typ-2 (DMT-II) is associated with chronic inflammation. The underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the chronic inflammation are still largely unknown and patients suffer from a limited range of therapeutic possibilities to effectively treat chronic inflammation. Recent research indicates that chronic inflammation is closely linked to changes in energy metabolism via protein acetylation of both histone and none-histone proteins. The ESR (PhD student) will develop methodology based on liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and stable isotope labelling to investigate how changes in energy metabolism affect protein acetylation dynamics and how they are correlated to aberrant gene expression. Experiments will be carried out in perfused tissue slices in a dedicated microfluidics device allowing precise control over nutrient delivery as well as sample collection. The developed method will be used to study anti-inflammatory effects of lysine deacetylase (KDAC) inhibitors by monitoring changes in protein acetylation patterns and downstream gene expression profiles. 

The ESR will be trained in analytical biochemistry, microfluidics, molecular biology and cell biology.

Desired Disciplines

Analytical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Pharmacy

Primary Supervisor

Prof. Rainer Bischoff, PhD, Analytical Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Daily Supervisor

Marcel Kwiatkowski, PhD, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Potential Secondments 

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany)

Project 1.4 Immune signatures in chronic inflammatory diseases: focus on Interleukin-6  

Immune signatures in chronic inflammatory diseases: focus on Interleukin-6


Hallmarks of Inflamm-aging are increased serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins. One of the key players in chronic inflammation and  inflamm-aging is Interleukin 6 (IL-6). Recently, data from the GiACTA trial demonstrated that Tocilizumab, a blocker of the IL-6 Receptor (IL-6R; CD126)1, is effective at achieving sustained, glucocorticoid-free remission in Giant Cell Arteritis GCA patients.  IL-6 levels are elevated in GCA, type 2 diabetes and IL-6 accelerates vascular inflammation and atherogenesis. The cellular mechanisms, however, by which IL-6 drives GCA and Type-2 diabetes disease progression, remain to be resolved. The ESR (PhD student) on this project aims to develop new tools for identifying patients with a pro-inflammatory phenotype who are at risk of vascular complications for personalized treatment options.

Bio repositories and patient cohorts

In 2010, we started up a well-defined prospectively follow-up cohort study in which we include between 10-30 newly diagnosed GCA and PMR patients per year. Presently the cohort contains 122 newly diagnosed GCA and PMR patients.  The type 2 diabetes cohort is  a large observational study of 903 patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care in Groningen. Clinical data and bio samples are available.

Desired disciplines 

Molecular biology, immunology and/or pharmacology. 
Candidates with experience in Flow cytometry and having affinity with complex data analysis are especially invited to apply for this position.


Potential secondments

Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands

INSERM, Institut National de la santé et de la recherché médicale, France


Project 1.5 Microfluidic endothelial disease models for precision medicine  

Microfluidic endothelial disease models for precision medicine

The endothelium is a thin layer of cells lining all blood and lymphatic vessels in the body. This dynamic layer controls to a large extent which compounds cross over from the blood in the circulatory system into tissue. A polysaccharide gel layer known as the glycocalyx covers the luminal surface of the endothelium and acts as a filtration barrier to control transport of proteins such as albumin out of blood vessels. Glycocalyx function in patients with diabetes, obesity, or chronic kidney disease is diminished, leading to enhanced albumin excretion from blood vessels, which in turn drives vascular inflammation and progressive organ function loss. Experimental studies have suggested that glycocalyx dysfunction is reversible, rendering the glycocalyx a promising therapeutic target. 

The ESR (PhD student) working on this project will develop new in vitro models for the glycocalyx to better be able to investigate this component of the vascular system. Ultimately, we believe that the glycocalyx could serve as a target for potential therapeutic intervention in renal and cardiovascular disease. These models will be based on microfluidics, as this technology enables ultra-small-volume liquid handling in the femtoliter to microliter range in tiny channels having effective diameters from 1 to 1000 micrometers.

Desired disciplines

Analytical Chemistry; Biomedical Engineering; Biotechnology


Prof. E.M.J (Sabeth) Verpoorte, PhD, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Project 1.6 Exocrine-endocrine interactions  

Exocrine-endocrine interactions

In Type 1 diabetes (T1D) it is well established that the insulin-producing beta cells in the islets of Langerhans located in the pancreas are destroyed by an auto-immune attack. However, the trigger for these events remains elusive. Pilot studies revealed cellular mixing of acinar cells from the exocrine pancreas with endocrine cells in the early stages of T1D in both human patient Islets and a rat model. Moreover, T1D patients have a reduced pancreas organ weight, which cannot only be explained by the loss of islets only. The ESR (PhD student) aims to elucidate whether initial exocrine damage can evoke an immune response by beta cells. This will be addressed in models currently available. In parallel, endocrine and exocrine cell-lines from healthy controls and T1D-patiens will be made. Read-outs will be the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines increased apoptosis, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This project will thus reveal whether exocrine pancreas malfunction can trigger T1D.

Desired disciplines

Molecular Biology, Biochemistry



Potential secondments

Leiden UMC (Netherlands)

University of Florida (USA)

Drug Development

Project 2.1 Design and synthesis of sulfotransferase inhibitors for diabetes  

Design and synthesis of sulfotransferase inhibitors for diabetes

Heparanase is a novel target for diabetes: To retain albumin, one of the main circulating blood proteins, in the vasculature the vessel is aligned with the polysaccharide layer glycocalyx that repels albumin. Small glycocalyx defects lead to albumin leakage into tissues, which in turn leads to macrophage recruitment, chronic inflammation and ultimately loss of organ function. In diabetes albumin leakage occurs often, is associated with glycocalyx loss, and with high morbidity and mortality. Drugs that lower albuminuria protect the patient from renal and cardiovascular disease progression. However, the efficacy to slow disease progression is low and novel interventions are highly desired. Glycocalyx breakdown is associated with heparanase I overactivity. Drugs that target the glycocalyx repair are not available and if successful would be a huge step forward in global diabetes health care.

In this project the ESR (PhD student) will be exposed to a mix of disciplinaries centered around drug design, including structure based drug design, synthesis and optimization of hit compounds, protein expression and crystallization, and biophysical screening methods.

Desired Discipline(s):

Synthetic organic chemistry, Pharmacy, MolecularBiology.


Prof. Alexander Dömling, PhD (Principle Investigator), Drug Design, University of Groningen
Prof. Matthew Groves, PhD, Drug Design, University of Groningen
Prof. Hiddo Heerspink, PhD, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen,
Prof. Gerrit Jan Poelarends, PhD, Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Groningen
Prof. D. v. Zee, PhD

Potential Secondments:

Pharmaceutical Companies such as Astra Zeneca, Novartis, Roche.

Project 2.2 Development of antibacterial drugs for diabetic infections  

Development of antibacterial drugs for diabetic infections

The β-lactam antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria. However, the efficacy of β-lactam antibiotics is severely impaired by several bacterial resistance mechanisms, most importantly hydrolytic inactivation by β-lactamases. Pathogens producing metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) are resistant to virtually all clinically used β-lactam antibiotics, including the last-resort antibiotics carbapenems. However, no inhibitors of MBLs are clinically approved so far. Hence, there is a need to develop selective MBL inhibitors as clinically relevant codrugs to restore the activity of β-lactam antibiotics. The ESR (PhD student) will design and develop new and smart antibacterial drugs, based on existing and novel inhibitors of MBLs, to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which are frequently encountered in diabetic patients. Newly synthesized compounds will be evaluated for their inhibitory properties, target selectivity and therapeutic potential. The most promising MBL inhibitors will be tested for their ability to restore the activity of β-lactam antibiotics in appropriate infection models. The project is supported by an existing network of collaborators within the Centre for Sustainable Antimicrobials (CeSAM), which comprises advanced facilities for fundamental research to develop novel antibiotics and therapeutic concepts to fight resistant bacterial strains as well as high-throughput (animal) testing and adequate patient-screening facilities.

Desired disciplines

Synthetic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy


Prof. Gerrit Jan Poelarends, PhD, Pharmaceutical Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Potential secondments

University of Uppsala (SE)

Syncom (NL)


Project 2.3 In-vitro Disease modeling in diabetic cardiomyopathy  

In-vitro Disease modeling in diabetic cardiomyopathy

The central scientific interest of our group is to unravel pathways leading to heart failure and identify novel treatment targets. Our ultimate goal is to bring these targets from the bench to the bedside and improve early diagnosis and outcome. Recently we identified a novel gene involved in the pathophysiology of heart failure with the use of stem cells, in vivo models and ultimately identified a novel biomarker in the clinical setting (Science Translational Medicine, 2017). 

For a new project we will focus on the effects of diabetes on the heart. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk to develop heart failure, the so called diabetic cardiomyopathy. We offer a challenging research project to develop an in vitro disease model for diabetic cardiomyopathy using human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. The ESR (PhD student) will simulate the effects of systemic diabetic circumstances on human cardiomyocytes and develop a 3D in vitro disease model. Ultimately this will unravel potential novel treatment targets in diabetic cardiomyopathy. The ESR will work in a dedicated and inspiring work environment in an inter-disciplinary group with both PhDs and postdocs from various disciplines including biologists, bio-engineers and physician-scientists. Opportunities include unraveling novel mechanistic targets in diabetic cardiomyopathy using in-vitro experiments, 3D human cardiac constructs as well as in a patient-setting at the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands. This project is performed in close collaboration with the National Heart Centre Singapore and a stay in Singapore during the ESR project is part of the possibilities.

We ask:

The ESR has a Master title in (bio)medical sciences or hold an MD degree. He/she is enthusiastic, ambitious and a team player. Experience with cell culture and stem cells or bioengineering is a pro, but not a necessity. Creative thinking, independent working capacities and good verbal and written English skills are imperative. If the ESR is a physician there may be possibilities to continue with a residency in cardiology at the University Medical Center Groningen. 

Desired discipline



  • Prof. Peter van der Meer, MD PhD, Cardiology and Thorax Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen
  • Jasper Tromp, PhD, Cardiology and Thorax Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen


Potential secondments

Prof. Dr. Carolyn S.P. Lam, National Heart Centre Singapore, Singapore


Drug Registration and Evaluation

Project 3.1 Personalised diabetes treatment decisions in primary care  

Personalised diabetes treatment decisions in primary care

Current clinical guidelines allow for some degree of personalized treatment for people with type 2 diabetes. Factors such as age and comorbidity as well as patient preferences and goals should be taken into account when prescribing glucose-regulating and cardiovascular medication treatment. Recent cross-sectional research indicates that this personalized approach is not yet common practice. This apparent lack of implementing personalized treatment needs further study. 

The aim of this project is to develop patient-oriented strategies and tools to support personalized decision making for people with type 2 diabetes. To this end, the ESR (PhD student) wants to (1) describe the current situation and its determinants, (2) develops a toolbox to support healthcare professionals and patients in making personalized decisions, (3) evaluates the feasibility and potential effects of implementing the toolbox in primary care. We plan to conduct cohort studies using a large real-world primary care diabetes population database (the GIANTT database), and additional interview/survey studies focusing on healthcare providers and patients. The GIANTT database includes longitudinal data from >60,000 people with type 2 diabetes. The ESR will be trained in state-of-the-art observational data analytic methods as well as other research methods. This project should result in support strategies for both healthcare providers and patients with type 2 diabetes to adopt more personalized treatment decision making in primary care.

Desired disciplines

(Pharmaco)Epidemiology, Medical, Pharmaceutical or Health Sciences. Candidates with affinity with both database analysis and survey studies and the willingness to learn Dutch are especially invited to apply for this position. 


Prof. Petra Denig, PhD, Clinical pharmacy and pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen

Potential secondments

University of Exeter (United Kingdom)

Project 3.2 Incorporating patient preferences in regulatory decisions for antidiabetic drugs  

Incorporating patient preferences in regulatory decisions for antidiabetic drugs

Favorable and unfavorable drug effects are weighed on a population level, and if the first outweigh the latter a positive ratio of benefit and risk can be assumed and the drug is approved. In diabetes, drugs are approved based on their effects on a single surrogate endpoint, the biomarker glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c, and if there is sufficient reassurance the drugs are not harmful (cardiovascular safety). Recent research shows that collecting evidence-based information based on individual patient preferences that consider multiple favorable and unfavorable effects is feasible and useful, can lead to improved adherence and could guide to a more patient-relevant value judgement of a drug’s effects.

In this project further knowledge and understanding of patient preferences will be developed, using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methodology to support regulatory decision-making. The ESR (PhD student) aims to study, from a regulatory perspective, how elicited patient preference information can be combined with clinical trial data to estimate the acceptability of currently available classes of antidiabetics drugs. He/she further aims to study what drug effects matter most to patients, HCPs and regulators. This information should lead to improved choices to use, prescribe and respectively approve and inform about drug’s effects.

The ESR for this position should hold a master’s degree in a relevant public health or social science discipline and a research agenda related to (clinical) epidemiology. Individuals should demonstrate interest in working across disciplines to understand health policy decision making as it applies to specific health care problems or fields.



Project 3.3 Cost-effectiveness of personalised diabetes treatment  

Cost-effectiveness of personalised diabetes treatment

Once lead compounds have been develped, tested and registered, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) comes as the next hurdle for reimbursement and clinical use. Next to HTA of newly registered compounds, HTA is targeting drugs used in daily practice to optimise its use, for example, using personalized strategies. Pharmacoeconomics form an essential part of HTA. The ESR (PhD student) on this project aims to use HTA-methods, in particular pharmacoeconomics, on the portfolio of diabetes drugs. This will comprise both new drugs (such as new generation insulines) as well as long existing drugs often used for diabetes patients, inclusive cardiovascular medications. Personalized strategies may involve genetics, risk scoring and biomarkers. Both trial data and real-world evidence are available for analysis.


Prof. Maarten J Postma, PhD, PharmacoEconomics, University Medical Center Groningen
Job FM van Boven, PhD, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen
Talitha L Feenstra. PhD, Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen


Backgrounds in pharmacy and econom(etr)ics and other disciplines are adequate, as long as the ESR has a strong sense for quantitative analysis and mathematical modelling, inclusive being acquainted with corresponding software and computer language(s) such as Basic, Excel and R.

Drug Application

Project 4.1 Integrating multiple effects of single drugs to tailor type 2 diabetes  

Integrating multiple effects of single drugs to tailor type 2 diabetes therapy

Drugs used in clinical practice to reduce cardiovascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes have effects on multiple cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, HbA1c, and cholesterol. Individual patients show a large variation in their response to a drug in each of these risk factors. Given the large variation in drug response in multiple cardiovascular risk factors one should combine the effects of a single drug on multiple risk factors in each individual to obtain a more accurate estimate of the ultimate drug effect on cardiovascular outcomes per patient. We therefore developed an algorithm, a so-called multiple risk Parameter Response Efficacy (PRE) score, to predict the potential long renal effect of a drug based on the composite of short term drug effects in individual patients in order to tailor optimal therapy. 

The aim of the ESR (PhD student) of this project is to test in a clinical practice setting the personalized PRE score. To this end, the PRE score will be tested in existing clinical practice databases as well as pilot tested in primary care practice in a pragmatic clinical trial. Results of this program should pave the way for more personalized type 2 diabetes care. 

Desired disciplines

Clinical Pharmacology, Endocrinology, Epidemiology.  Candidates with experience of managing patients with type 2 diabetes in clinical practice and having affinity with epidemiology and data analyses of large databases are especially invited to apply for this position.


Prof. Hiddo J. Lambers Heerspink, PhD, Clinical pharmacy and pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen

Potential Secondments

George Institute for International Health (USA)

PRA Health Sciences (Netherlands)

University of Michigan (USA)

Project 4.2 Biomarker signatures for disease and drug response prediction  

Biomarker signatures for disease and drug response prediction

Diabetes is a devastating disease which affects the micro- and macrovascular system, leading to retinopathy, kidney and cardiovascular disease. Patients with diabetes are often diagnosed with other morbidities. In these patients, the complications of diabetes are occur more frequently and are often more severe. 
Advancements in new analyses and detection technologies have fostered the discovery of many new biomarkers for diagnosis and prediction of diabetic complications. These so calles omic-technologies provide large amounts of data which can help to improve early prediction of diabetes and its complications. We are currently generating such data in large cohorts of patients in the general population to predict new-onset of diabetes and subsequent complications as well as in various diseased populations where diabetes is accompanied by other co-morbidities. 

The aim for de ESR (PhD student) on this project is to evaluate the performance of new and existing biomarkers for: (1) the prediction of development of diabetes, (2) the prediction of complications in patients with and without co-existing morbidities and (3) the prediction of biomarkers for drug efficacy discovered and evaluated in (1) and (2).

Collectively these studies should help to tailor treatment of diabetes and its complications. 

Desired disciplines

Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology, Endocrinology, Epidemiology. ESRs with experience of managing patients with type 2 diabetes in clinical practice and having affinity with epidemiology and analyses of large databases are especially invited to apply for this position. 


Prof. Stephan J.L. Bakker, MD PhD, Internal Medicine, Transplantation, University Medical Center Groningen
Prof. Gerjan Navis, MD PhD, Internal Medicine, Experimental and Transational Nephrology, University Medical Center Groningen
Prof. Hiddo J. Lambers Heerspink, PhD, Clinical pharmacy and pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen

Potential Secondments

University of Mannheim
GIANTT study

Project 4.3 Analysis of Lifestyle Patterns for Improvement of Diabetes Management  

Analysis of Lifestyle Patterns for Improvement of Diabetes Management

Lifestyle is a main driving force of diabetes and its complications. In the Lifelines cohort (n=160,000) we identified different  dietary patterns, independent of confounders. These patterns were strongly linked to (multi-) morbidity, demonstrating their clinical relevance. Moreover, their marked regional distribution supports the role of (socio-cultural) environmental factors. From this empirical basis the ESR (PhD student) on this project will analyze the role of lifestyle patterns as determinant of morbidity in diabetes,  their consequences for current management and for design of novel targeted strategies that account for preferences, habits and environmental factors. Thus, it will establish an intermediate level between generic approaches (one size fits all, ineffective) and individual prevention ( time consuming, expensive).  This will allow novel approaches towards better personalization of diabetes management, that are within reach with currently available technology at affordable costs.   

Desired disciplines

Epidemiology, Nutrition Science, Medicine, Health Science, Public Health


  • Prof. Gerjan Navis, MD PhD, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, University Medical Center Groningen
  • Louise Dekker, PhD, Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen

Potential secondments

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 

De Friesland Health Insurance, the Netherlands 

Project 4.4 Is atrial fibrillation a mechanism or a bystander in heart failure ?  

Is atrial fibrillation a mechanism or a bystander in heart failure ?

AF and heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) are vicious twins. Patients with AF and HFpEF are heterogeneous and share clinical risk factors, like hypertension, diabetes and obesity. These factors are linked, both to each other and to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. AF is an independent prognostic factor in patients with HFpEF. It is questioned whether it is AF itself that contributes to worse prognosis, or, instead, whether AF is just a bystander being a marker of more severe atrial and ventricular diseases. Extensive phenotyping to assess the presence of risk factors using (new) imaging techniques, measures of atrial myopathy, and of diastolic dysfunction, are essential.
The central hypothesis of our study project links AF (progression) with HFpEF (progression), and risk factors.


WP 1: Pathophysiology and prognostic significance of AF depends on severity of risk factors (clinical study)

WP 2: Atrial myopathy develops in association with and as marker of ventricular myopathy (experimental lab)

WP 3: Diabetes, hypertension and obesity play a pivotal role as risk factors for atrial and ventricular myopathy (clinical study and experimental lab)

WP 4: Personalized risk factor reduction reduces AF progression, atrial myopathy and severity of HFpEF (clinical study)

Desired discipline:

Medical degree; experience with experimental work


Prof. Isabelle C. van Gelder, MD PhD, Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen 
Michiel Rienstra, MD PhD, Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen 
Prof. Rudolf A. de Boer, MD PhD, Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen 
Prof. Adriaan A. Voors, MD PhD, Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen