Leon de Windt


Prof. Leon de Windt obtained a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology at Utrecht University in 1994, and a PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology at Maastricht University in 1999. Following a post-doctoral residence at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Jeffery Molkentin in Cincinnati OH, USA, he became group leader at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht. As of 2010, he was appointed as Professor of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology at Maastricht University and chairs a team including one associate professor, one tenure-track assistant professor and 15 PhD students. Leon is the recipient of several Awards, including a 2008 Fondation Leducq Transatlantic Network of Excellence; the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award of the ESC Council for Basic Cardiovascular Science and the 2012 Galenus Research Prize. In 2013, he received an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and became coordinator of Dutch Heart Foundation funded CVON-ARENA consortium to support his work. He received the Veni (2001), Vidi (2007) and Vici (2017) career development awards from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). In 2018, he became coordinator of the Dutch Heart Foundation funded DCVA-ARENA-PRIME consortium aimed to tackle inherited heart diseases. Since 2019 he coordinates the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Innovative Training Network 'TRAIN-HEART' (www.train-heart.eu).

His research focusess on the function of non-coding RNAs as epigenetic regulators of cardiac gene expression using genetic manipulation in (iPS-derived) cardiomyocytes and mouse models. More recently, his team exploits their academic findings towards rational therapy development for various genetic and acquired forms of heart failure in the Dutch spin-off company Mirabilis Therapeutics BV that he co-founded in 2015. The research is performed in close collaboration with chemists, life scientists, and clinicians, and often executed within public-private partnerships. Many alumni from his group have successfully started their own research laboratories, fulfill executive industrial functions or became clinician-researchers as the future generation of leaders in medicine (see: www.dewindtlab.com).


Department of Cardiology
Department of Molecular Biology and RNA Technology 
Universiteitsingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht

  • 2020
    • Bar, C., Chatterjee, S., Pires, I. F., Rodrigues, P., Sluijter, J. P. G., Boon, R. A., Nevado, R. M., Andres, V., Sansonetti, M., de Windt, L., Ciccarelli, M., Hamdani, N., Heymans, S., Videira, R. F., Tocchetti, C. G., Giacca, M., Zacchigna, S., Engelhardt, S., Dimmeler, S., ... Thum, T. (2020). Non-coding RNAs: update on mechanisms and therapeutic targets from the ESC Working Groups of Myocardial Function and Cellular Biology of the Heart. Cardiovascular Research, 116(11), 1805-1819. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvaa195
    • De Majo, F., Hegenbarth, J-C., Ruehle, F., Baer, C., Thum, T., de Boer, M., Duncker, D. J., Schroen, B., Armand, A-S., Stoll, M., & De Windt, L. J. (2020). Dichotomy between the transcriptomic landscape of naturally versus accelerated aged murine hearts. Scientific Reports, 10(1), [8136]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65115-9
    • Vonhoegen, I. G. C., el Azzouzi, H., Olieslagers, S., Vasilevich, A., de Boer, J., Tinahones, F. J., Martins, P. A. D. C., de Windt, L. J., & Murri, M. (2020). MiR-337-3p Promotes Adipocyte Browning by Inhibiting TWIST1. Cells, 9(4), [1056]. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9041056
  • 2019
    • Triposkiadis, F., Butler, J., Abboud, F. M., Armstrong, P. W., Adamopoulos, S., Atherton, J. J., Backs, J., Bauersachs, J., Burkhoff, D., Bonow, R. O., Chopra, V. K., de Boer, R. A., de Windt, L., Hamdani, N., Hasenfuss, G., Heymans, S., Hulot, J-S., Konstam, M., Lee, R. T., ... De Keulenaer, G. (2019). The continuous heart failure spectrum: moving beyond an ejection fraction classification. European Heart Journal, 40(26), 2155-2163. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz158
    • Calore, M., Lorenzon, A., Vitiello, L., Poloni, G., Beffagna, G., Dazzo, E., Polishchuk, R., Sabatelli, P., Doliana, R., Carnevale, D., Lembo, G., Bonaldo, P., de Windt, L. J., Braghetta, P., & Rampazzo, A. (2019). A novel murine model for arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy points to a pathogenic role of Wnt/b-catenin signaling and miRNA dysregulation. European Journal of Human Genetics, 27, 842-842.
    • Calore, M., Lorenzon, A., Vitiello, L., Poloni, G., Khan, M. A. F., Beffagna, G., Dazzo, E., Sacchetto, C., Polishchuk, R., Sabatelli, P., Doliana, R., Carnevale, D., Lembo, G., Bonaldo, P., De Windt, L., Braghetta, P., & Rampazzo, A. (2019). A novel murine model for arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy points to a pathogenic role of Wnt signalling and miRNA dysregulation. Cardiovascular Research, 115(4), 739-751. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy253
    • Raso, A., Dirkx, E., Philippen, L. E., Fernandez-Celis, A., De Majo, F., Sampaio-Pinto, V., Sansonetti, M., Juni, R., el Azzouzi, H., Calore, M., Bitsch, N., Olieslagers, S., Oerlemans, M. I. F. J., Huibers, M. M., de Weger, R. A., Reckman, Y. J., Pinto, Y. M., Zentilin, L., Zacchigna, S., ... De Windt, L. J. (2019). Therapeutic Delivery of miR-148a Suppresses Ventricular Dilation in Heart Failure. Molecular Therapy, 27(3), 584-599. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.11.011
    • Duygu, B., Juni, R., Ottaviani, L., Bitsch, N., Wit, J. B. M., de Windt, L. J., & Martins, P. A. D. C. (2019). Comparison of different chemically modified inhibitors of miR-199b in vivo. Biochemical Pharmacology, 159, 106-115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2018.11.013
  • 2018
    • el Azzouzi, H., & De Windt, L. J. (2018). If you like it, put a ring on it!Cardiovascular Research, 114(12), 1575-1577. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy190
    • Mohseni, Z., Spaanderman, M. E. A., Oben, J., Calore, M., Derksen, E., Al-Nasiry, S., De Windt, L. J., & Ghossein-Doha, C. (2018). Cardiac remodeling and pre-eclampsia: an overview of microRNA expression patterns. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 52(3), 310-317. https://doi.org/10.1002/uog.17516