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).