Leiter: Dr. Emiel van der Vorst
The research group of Dr. Van der Vorst focusses on the interplay between lipids and the immune-system in the context of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recently, evidence is mounting, including from his own research that main driving factors of CVD, dyslipidemia and inflammation, are interdependent and that considerable crosstalk exists between these two. Combining his expertise on high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and chemokine receptors, he will investigate the interplay between these two factors. In addition, the interplay of various other lipids and lipid derivatives with key immunological factors will be investigated, hopefully elucidating new therapeutic targets.
Special interest of his research group also goes to a so far fairly neglected subgroup of patients in respect to cardiovascular risk, being chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. It has been clearly shown that CKD patients have a severely increased incidence of CVD, clearly demonstrated by the fact that almost half of the CKD patients die from CVD rather than from the primary kidney disease. Intriguingly, this increased CVD risk in CKD patients cannot be fully explained by the classical CVD risk factors like hypertension or dyslipidemia, suggesting the existence of CKD-specific cardiovascular risk factors. The aim is therefore to explore the role of immune-lipid crosstalk as pathological mechanism in CKD that could contribute to this increased CVD-risk.