Kidney Moonshot - Leadership Team (LT)
Ton J Rabelink, MD, PhD, is professor of Medicine at the Leiden University Medical Center. He received his MD PhD degree from Utrecht University. After completing his residency and fellowships in internal medicine and nephrology he joined faculty of Utrecht Medical School in 1993. He subsequently became chairman of medicine in the University Hospital Utrecht from 1999 to 2004. In 2004 he moved to Leiden University Medical Center and became head of the department of Nephrology and Transplantation and in 2010 chairman of Medicine again. His main research interest has been in the area of vascular biology and its implications for renal function, and in regenerative therapies for kidney disease and diabetes. He coordinates the European-Australian consortium on stem cell based therapy for kidney disease (STELLAR) and is leading the Dutch National Science Agenda for regenerative medicine.
Marianne C. Verhaar is a Nephrologist and Professor of Experimental Nephrology at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. She is chair of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension and heads a research group in Experimental Nephrology. In 1992 she started her Ph.D. project at the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension in Utrecht. She received her Ph.D. degree in 1999 and from 2000 to 2008 she worked as a staff member of Vascular Medicine and since 2003, also as head of the research laboratory 'Regenerative Vascular Medicine / Renal and Vascular Biology' in UMC Utrecht. In 2015 she has been appointed chair of the UMC Utrecht Research Program Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells. Her research focuses on renal and vascular regeneration and involves translational studies from basic cell studies to clinical trials. Marianne Verhaar received several prestigious grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Dutch Heart Foundation, and the Dutch Kidney Foundation.
Carlijn Bouten is professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions at the department Biomedical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). She was trained in functional anatomy and biomechanics, as well as exercise physiology, at the department of Human Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam, and obtained her PhD degree in 1995 from the TU/e. She performed postdoctoral research at the Université Laval (Quebec), University of London, and Eindhoven University of Technology. In 1998 she became assistant professor in Cellular Biomechanics in the department of Mechanical Engineering, TU/e, and in 2002 she became associate professor of Tissue Engineering in the department of Biomedical Engineering, TU/e. Her research concentrates on new engineering approaches to regenerate the tissues of the cardiovascular system. A particular example is the development of a synthetic, bio-degradable heart valve prosthesis that ‘seduces’ the body to create a new, living heart valve at the site of implantation. The research is performed in close collaboration with material scientists, life scientists and clinicians, and mainly executed within public-private partnerships. She is recipient of the prestigious Aspasia (2002) and VICI (2003) career development awards of the Dutch National Science Foundation and theme-leader ‘Regenerative Medicine’ of the strategic area Health at TU/e.
Vanessa LaPointe is an Associate Professor in the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine. She first trained as a biomedical engineer at The Johns Hopkins University (USA), but moved into the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine during her PhD with Prof. Molly Stevens at Imperial College London. Currently, her group works at the interface of materials science and stem cell biology to better understand how biomaterials can influence cell fate.