The University of Maastricht was established in 1976 and is the youngest of the 13 public universities in the Netherlands. UM is the second best performing young university in Europe, ranking 6th in the latest Times Higher Education World University Ranking 100 under 50 years old. UM also holds a position in the Top 50 Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health Universities, ranked 45th (ranking 2nd in The Netherlands). Almost half of the student population and a third of academic staff at UM is non-Dutch. This makes UM by far the most international university in the Netherlands, and indeed among the most international universities on the European continent.
The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of the UM work closely together with the University Hospital Maastricht. Together they form the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC). One of the main research areas of the FHML is cardiovascular disease. All cardiovascular research is embedded in the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM). This is one of the largest cardiovascular research centers of Europe.
The project team at UM / CARIM has ample experience in the design, coordination, analysis and reporting of clinical studies related to sporadic SVDs. It hosts expertise on inflammatory mechanisms, hypertension and imaging in (pre-) clinical studies. UM will co-lead WP4 (Inflammatory mechanisms: immune cell binding and transmigration in SVDs) and contribute to WP 2 (Blood brain barrier integrity and perivascular flow) and WP5 (interventions).
Prof. Robert J. Oostenbrugge
Professor of Neurology, with a chair on Vascular Neurology, head of the Department of Neurology (UM)
Principal Investigator of CARIM and programme leader of Vascular Neurology within CARIM
Member of the Centers of Excellence in Neurodegeneration initiative, and member of the Dutch Section of Vascular Neurology;
Major field of research: stroke and SVDs; specific expertise in vascular inflammation/endothelial activation, imaging, cohort studies an acute stroke trials. the group oversees large cohorts with lacunar stroke and hypertension related SVDs with long term follow up (>200 patients).
Prof. Dr. Erik Biessen
Head of Experimental Vascular Pathology, coordinator pheno- and genotyping of immune cells
Principal Investigator at CARIM
Major field of research: cardiovascular immunology.
Dr Biessen is a leading expert in (cardio)vascular immune cell status, leucocyte dynamics and the dissection of underlying inflammation regulatory pathways in cardiovascular diseases.
Prof. Walter Backes
Medical Physicist, coordinator MR studies
Major field of research: MRI of neurological and vascular pathology. Expertise in perfusion and diffusion imaging, and functional MRI of brain networks.
Dr. Julie Staals
Neurologist, coordinator clinical studies
Group leader clinical
Field of research: clinical studies in sporadic SVDs. Expertise in structural MRI, hypertension and prospective observational clinical studies in sporadic SVDs. Dr. Staals developed the total burden of SVD MR score.