Erik Biessen


Prof. Erik Biessen graduated with specialisations in Physical and Bio-Chemistry at Wageningen University. After a series of post-doctoral fellowships at Leiden University, in the labs of Prof. Van Boom (Organic Chemistry; glycolipid synthesis) and Prof. Van Berkel (Biopharmaceutics; drug/gene targeting), he was in 1994, selected as one of 6 post-docs the Molecular Cardiology programme (a competitive 12 year career development track of the Netherlands Heart Foundation. In 2001, he received the NWO innovative research premium incentive (Vidi) and in 2003 the NHS Established Investigator award, to be appointed Professor of Therapeutic Gene Modulation in 2005. In 2007, he moved to Maastricht University to lead the Experimental Vascular Pathology group. Prof Biessen has a part time appointment at the Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen.

Erik Biessen’s current passion is to deploy systems medicine approaches, to understand and define critical innate immune pathways in human atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic comorbidities and to validate the relevance of these processes for disease progression by intervention studies in in vitro and in vivo models. Hereto, the group has developed a new high content microscopy based functionomics platform to measure macrophage functional profile at unprecedented resolution and speed and a technology pipeline for spatial mapping of macrophage phenotype and molecular context. Keywords of his research: systems medicine, bioinformatics, multispectral analysis, macrophage biology. Dr Biessen is partner of several H2020-ITN (EvolUtion, INTRICARE, CareSyan), and two Interreg programmes and is coordinator of H2020/ERA-CVD project (AtheroMacHete).

Department of Pathology
Verheylaan 10, 6229 HX Maastricht
Room number: 5M01.032
T: +31(0)43 387 46 35

  • 2020
    • van Geffen, J. P., Swieringa, F., van Kuijk, K., Tullemans, B. M. E., Solari, F. A., Peng, B., Clemetson, K. J., Farndale, R. W., Dubois, L. J., Sickmann, A., Zahedi, R. P., Ahrends, R., Biessen, E. A. L., Sluimer, J. C., Heemskerk, J. W. M., & Kuijpers, M. J. E. (2020). Mild hyperlipidemia in mice aggravates platelet responsiveness in thrombus formation and exploration of platelet proteome and lipidome. Scientific Reports, 10(1), [21407].
    • Furmanik, M., Chatrou, M., van Gorp, R., Akbulut, A., Willems, B., Schmidt, H., van Eys, G., Bochaton-Piallat, M-L., Proudfoot, D., Biessen, E., Hedin, U., Perisic, L., Mees, B., Shanahan, C., Reutelingsperger, C., & Schurgers, L. (2020). Reactive Oxygen-Forming Nox5 Links Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypic Switching and Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Vascular Calcification. Circulation Research, 127(7), 911-927.
    • Cao, J., Goossens, P., Martin-Lorenzo, M., Dewez, F., Claes, B. S. R., Biessen, E. A. L., Heeren, R. M. A., & Balluff, B. (2020). Atheroma-Specific Lipids in ldlr(-/-) and apoe(-/-) Mice Using 2D and 3D Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 31(9), 1825-1832.
    • Zhang, H., Bredewold, E. O. W., Vreeken, D., Duijs, J. M. G. J., de Boer, H. C., Kraaijeveld, A. O., Jukema, J. W., Pijls, N. H., Waltenberger, J., Biessen, E. A. L., van der Veer, E. P., van Zonneveld, A. J., & van Gils, J. M. (2020). Prediction Power on Cardiovascular Disease of Neuroimmune Guidance Cues Expression by Peripheral Blood Monocytes Determined by Machine-Learning Methods. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(17), [6364].
    • Kerkhofs, D., van Hagen, B. T., Milanova, I. V., Schell, K. J., van Essen, H., Wijnands, E., Goossens, P., Blankesteijn, W. M., Unger, T., Prickaerts, J., Biessen, E. A., van Oostenbrugge, R. J., & Foulquier, S. (2020). Pharmacological depletion of microglia and perivascular macrophages prevents Vascular Cognitive Impairment in Ang II-induced hypertension. Theranostics, 10(21), 9512-9527.
    • Peters, L. J. F., Biessen, E. A. L., Hohl, M., Weber, C., van der Vorst, E. P. C., & Santovito, D. (2020). Small Things Matter: Relevance of MicroRNAs in Cardiovascular Disease. Frontiers in physiology, 11, [793].
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Daissormont, I., Aslani, M., Seijkens, T., Wijnands, E., Lutgens, E., Duchene, J., Santovito, D., Doering, Y., Halvorsen, B., Aukrust, P., Weber, C., Hoepken, U. E., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2020). Interruption of the CXCL13/CXCR5 Chemokine Axis Enhances Plasma IgM Levels and Attenuates Atherosclerosis Development. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 120(2), 344-347.
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2020). Letter by van der Vorst et al Regarding Article, "Anti-Inflammatory Effects of HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) in Macrophages Predominate Over Proinflammatory Effects in Atherosclerotic Plaques". Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 40(2), E31-E32.
    • Giamouridis, D., Gao, M. H., Lai, N. C., Guo, T., Miyanohara, A., Blankesteijn, W. M., Biessen, E. A. L., & Hammond, H. K. (2020). Urocortin 2 Gene Transfer Improves Heart Function in Aged Mice. Molecular Therapy, 28(1), 180-188.
  • 2019
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2019). SCRIBbling the role of endothelial polarity in atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular Research, 115(14), 1937-1939.