Paula da Costa Martins

Associate professor

Dr Paula da Costa Martins has graduated in Biology at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, in Portugal. Afterwards, she moved to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, to work on cellular and molecular biology, focussing on the interactions between immune and endothelial cells, and their contribution to inflammation and atherosclerosis, at Sanquin Research, and for which she obtained her PhD at the University of Amsterdam. Subsequently, she followed her post-doctoral research at the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht, The Netherlands), studying the contribution of noncoding RNAs in the onset and development of heart disease.

She has been working at Maastricht University since 2010. The focus of her research is deciphering the contribution of non-coding RNAs, specially microRNAs, to the development and progression of cardiac disease. More specifically, she centres her research on understanding how different cardiac cell types communicate to influence each other’s phenotype and in a concerted manner contribute to pathologic cardiac remodelling. Her main interest is unveiling how cardiomyocytes send 'microRNA messages’ to cardiac endothelial cells and inflammatory cells via exosomes, to alter their angiogenic and inflammatory properties, respectively. In this way she expects to identify new gene targets or processes where one can intervene to prevent or cure heart disease.

Department of Cardiology
Department of Molecular Biology and RNA Technology 
Universiteitsingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
T: +31 (0)43 388 22 22

  • 2024
    • Beslika, E., Leite-Moreira, A., De Windt, L. J., & da Costa Martins, P. (2024). Large animal models of pressure overload-induced cardiac left ventricular hypertrophy to study remodelling of the human heart with aortic stenosis. Cardiovascular Research, 120(5), 461-475.
  • 2023
    • Cerqueira, R., Moreira-Costa, L., Beslika, E., Leite-Moreira, A., Silva, J., da Costa Martins, P. A., Leite-Moreira, A., Lourenço, A., & Mendes-Ferreira, P. (2023). A Minimally Invasive Model of Aortic Stenosis in Swine. Journal of visualized experiment, 2003(200), Article e65780.
    • Juni, R. P., Kocken, J. M. M., Abreu, R. C., Ottaviani, L., Davalan, T., Duygu, B., Poels, E. M., Vasilevich, A., Hegenbarth, J. C., Appari, M., Bitsch, N., Olieslagers, S., Schrijvers, D. M., Stoll, M., Heineke, J., de Boer, J., de Windt, L. J., & da Costa, P. A. (2023). MicroRNA-216a is essential for cardiac angiogenesis. Molecular Therapy, 31(6), 1807-1828.
    • Gyöngyösi, M., Alcaide, P., Asselbergs, F. W., Brundel, B. J. J. M., Camici, G. G., da Costa Martins, P., Ferdinandy, P., Fontana, M., Girao, H., Gnecchi, M., Gollmann-Tepeköylü, C., Kleinbongard, P., Krieg, T., Madonna, R., Paillard, M., Pantazis, A., Perrino, C., Pesce, M., Schiattarella, G. G., ... Davidson, S. M. (2023). Long COVID and the cardiovascular system - elucidating causes and cellular mechanisms in order to develop targeted diagnostic and therapeutic strategies: a joint Scientific Statement of the ESC Working Groups on Cellular Biology of the Heart and Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases. Cardiovascular Research, 119(2), 336-356. Article cvac115.
  • 2022
    • Videira, R. F., Koop, A. M. C., Ottaviani, L., Poels, E. M., Kocken, J. M. M., Dos Remedios, C., Mendes-Ferreira, P., Van De Kolk, K. W., Du Marchie Sarvaas, G. J., Lourenço, A., Llucià-Valldeperas, A., Nascimento, D. S., de Windt, L. J., De Man, F. S., Falcão-Pires, I., Berger, R. M. F., & da Costa Martins, P. (2022). The adult heart requires baseline expression of the transcription factor Hand2 to withstand right ventricular pressure overload. Cardiovascular Research, 118(12), 2688-2702.
    • Raso, A., Dirkx, E., Sampaio-Pinto, V., El Azzouzi, H., Cubero, R. J., Sorensen, D. W., Ottaviani, L., Olieslagers, S., Huibers, M. M., de Weger, R., Siddiqi, S., Moimas, S., Torrini, C., Zentillin, L., Braga, L., Nascimento, D. S., da Costa Martins, P. A., van Berlo, J. H., Zacchigna, S., ... De Windt, L. J. (2022). Author Correction: A microRNA program regulates the balance between cardiomyocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy and stimulates cardiac regeneration. Nature Communications, 13(1), Article 4977.
    • Fernandes, H., Zonnari, A., Abreu, R., Aday, S., Barão, M., Albino, I., Lino, M., Branco, A., Seabra, C., Barata, T., Leal, E. C., Tralhão, J. G., Gonçalves, L., de Jong, A., Peters, H. A. B., de Vries, M. R., da Costa Martins, P., Quax, P. H. A., & Ferreira, L. (2022). Extracellular vesicles enriched with an endothelial cell pro-survival microRNA affects skin tissue regeneration. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 28, 307-327.
    • Ottaviani, L., Juni, R. P., de Abreu, R. C., Sansonetti, M., Sampaio-Pinto, V., Halkein, J., Hegenbarth, J. C., Ring, N., Knoops, K., Kocken, J. M. M., Jesus, C. D., Ernault, A. C., El Azzouzi, H., Rühle, F., Olieslagers, S., Fernandes, H., Ferreira, L., Braga, L., Stoll, M., ... da Costa Martins, P. A. (2022). Intercellular transfer of miR-200c-3p impairs the angiogenic capacity of cardiac endothelial cells. Molecular Therapy, 30(6), 2257-2273.
    • Silva, J., & da Costa Martins, P. A. (2022). Non-Coding RNAs in the Therapeutic Landscape of Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy. Cells, 11(11), Article 1805.
    • Abreu, R., Albino, I., Barao, M., Branco, A., Fernades, H., Martins, P. D., & Ferreira, L. (2022). Microrna Enrichment Of Extracellular Vesicle Content For Diabetic Wound Treatment Potentiation. Tissue Engineering, 28, S363-S364.