Scientific Officer Annet defends her thesis and obtains doctorate

Monday, April 8, was the day: Scientific Officer Annet Linders defended her PhD thesis entitled “In vitro modeling of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity” after 5.5 years of research “In vitro modeling of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity” Annet has now been working for the foundation for six months. She answers scientific questions from carriers and takes care of scientific projects within the foundation.

Her research focused on the effect of chemotherapies (doxorubicin and ribociclib) on the heart. Doxorubicin is known to have a negative effect on heart function, but the effect of ribociclib is less well known. Ribociclib is a relatively new treatment (2017), while doxorubicin has been used to treat cancer since the 1960s.

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What was the effect?

For her research, they better captured one aspect of doxorubicin’s action in the heart, an accelerated aging process in heart muscle cells. To some extent, this also seemed to occur with treatment with ribociclib. We used cardiac muscle cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells for this study.

Induced pluripotent stem cells can be made from patients’ skin cells and are capable of forming almost all cells in the human body. So this means we can look at heart muscle cells from patients without taking them out of the heart. We grew these cells in a 3D environment and treated them in a manner similar to how patients are treated.

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Defending thesis

During a defense, professors related to the subject ask questions about the thesis. There were very interesting questions that led to fun discussions. A defense is public, so many family members, friends and colleagues attended. To conclude the ceremony, there was a party/reception at the Hourglass. It was an incredibly beautiful day (even the weather cooperated) to experience together with, colleagues, friends and family.

Key publications:

Evaluation of Senescence and Its Prevention in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity Using Dynamic Engineered Heart Tissues:

A review of the pathophysiological mechanisms of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity and aging:

Metabolic Maturation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes by Inhibition of HIF1α and LDHA:

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Peter van der Meer

Co-supervisor: Dr. Nils Bömer

Reading committee: Prof. Dr. Adriaan Voors, Prof. Dr. Robert Passier, Prof. Dr. Eva van Rooij

Promotion committee: Dr. Herman Silljé, Prof. Dr. Rudolf de Boer, Dr. Annemiek Walenkamp.

Photos were taken by Stephan Keereweer, of De Promotie Fotograaf.

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