DCVA Leadership Program 2020

A group of 15 talents has been selected as the future leaders in the cardiovascular arena. They are subject of the first edition of the DCVA Leadership Program, which officially started in September 2020.

Out of 59 applicants, the selection committee selected 15 talents, who are working on five relevant and present topics the DCVA partners encounter; evaluation of healthcare, implementation of research results, how to deal with data and registries, patient perspectives, and how to successfully make use of already existing technologies.

Meet the participants

Ilze Bot, PhD.
Associate professor, department of BioTherapeutics, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR), Faculty of Science, Leiden University.
Fundamental scientist working in the field of atherosclerosis. Focus on the mast cell, and its contribution to the development and progression of atherosclerosis.

Matthijs Cluitmans, MD, PhD
Assistant professor Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University and senior scientist at Digital Twin Department, Philips Research, Eindhoven.
Biomedical engineer and medical doctor working on diagnosis and therapy of patients with heart rhythm disorders.

Hanneke Rhodius- Meester, MD, PhD
Clinical geriatrician Geriatric Medicine Section, Department of Internal Medicine and Alzheimer Center Amsterdam and Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Neurology, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.
Optimizing diagnosis in memory clinics, for example by developing novel computer tools, using artificial intelligence, to support clinicians in diagnostic decisions.

Frances de Man, PhD
Associate professor, Department of Pulmonology, Amsterdam UMC, location VuMC
Performing clinical and preclinical research in the field of right heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Erik Klok, MD, PhD

Professor of Vascular Medicine, Department of Medicine – Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Leiden University Medical Center. Performing epidemiological studies and clinical trials in cardiovascular disease, focus on venous thromboembolism

Dick H.J. Thijssen, PhD
Associate professor, Department of Physiology, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen and Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
Focus on understanding and implementing the impact of physical activity in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Dayenne Zwaagman
Cardiovascular disease experience expert, Co-Founder of Hart4Onderzoek (charity) and communication specialist at the Heartcentre of Amsterdam UMC - location AMC.
Focus on Patient Advocacy: to prioritize their voice and needs, collect the individual experience in the medical industry to improve the system, and to raise money for research into rare cardiac diseases.

Mira Staphorst, PhD

Policy Advisor Dutch Heart Foundation, the Hague, The Netherlands and coordinator data-infrastructure pillar DCVA. Focus on projects that contribute to research quality and improvement of infrastructures in cardiovascular research.

Jorie Versmissen, MD, PhD
Internist vascular medicine and clinical pharmacology, Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacy, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
Combine clinic with research focussed on hypertension and cardiovascular complications of anticancer therapies. Special interest in all aspects of drugs from basic pharmacology to very clinically oriented issues such as drug adherence and policy like regulatory affairs and pricing.

Jeroen Schaap, MD, PhD, FESC
General cardiologist, Amphia Hospital in Breda, The Netherlands.
Specialized in non-invasive cardiac imaging, board member of the Dutch Network for Cardiovascular Research (WCN), performing research/clinical trials focussed on non-invasive cardiac imaging.

Joost Lumens, PhD
Associate Professor, CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). Chair of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on e-Cardiology
Biomedical engineer using computer models to study the interactions between the electrical, mechanical and hemodynamic functions of the heart and circulation.

Geert-Jan Geersing, MD, PhD,
General practitioner working in an inner-city practice in Amsterdam, and researcher (Associate Professor) UMC Utrecht, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Utrecht University.
Focusses on cardiovascular disease from a primary care perspective. Optimizing diagnostic pathways for early detection of cardiovascular disease and identification of optimized care and treatment strategies for long-term prevention of (re)occurrence of cardiovascular conditions.

Maryam Kavousi, MD, PhD

Associate Professor and Principal Investigator of Cardiometabolic Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam.
Focus on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease from a sex- and gender-specific perspective; covering the disease course from an asymptomatic phase, to advent of sub-clinical disease, to overt disease.

Linda van Laake, MD PhD
Clinical cardiologist specialized in advanced heart failure and associate professor, Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, scientific board member of the Netherlands Heart Institute.
Focus on (experimental) heart failure and repair at the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht

Barend Mees, MD PhD

Associate Professor and Consultant Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon, MUMC+ Maastricht. Clinical areas of interest: Endovascular treatment of complex aortic disease and peripheral arterial disease.
Research focus: vascular biology, tissue engineering and innovative endovascular techniques.
Secretary of the Dutch Society for Vascular Surgery. Co-director of European Vascular Course.

The participants have succesfully finished their first year in June 2021 and shared the results of their work with the DCVA partners, including an advice for next steps. If you are interested in the analyses of the complex health care challenges and the advice, please read below. In the second year of the program most teams will continue to contribute to the health care challenge in supporting next steps. The participants will also be trained by DCVA colleagues and experts on valorisation and public affairs and will visit international organisations to expand their networks for the DCVA.