Cardiovascular Tissue Regeneration

ESR project


Title of Project

Circadian Rhythms in Cardiac Repair

We offered

A 4-year PhD student position in the interdisciplinary area of regenerative medicine. The project will focus on the functional role of circadian (24 hour) rhythms in cell types relevant for cardiac repair.


The Department of Cardiology at the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht is in close collaboration with the  Department of Clinical Cardiology at the University Medical Center Utrecht. One of our main goals is to create innovative and improved heart failure therapies.


Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Many cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure and myocardial infarction, are associated with loss of functional cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells). Since the heart has a limited regenerative capacity, it is not able to replace these cardiomyocytes on its own. Dr. Van Laake’s team explores novel approaches to regenerate the heart using stem- and progenitor cells. A focus on the understanding of fundamental cardiac developmental – and repair processes will promote the recapitulation of cardiac differentiation in vitro. Currently, the team is investigating the influence of circadian or “day-night” rhythms on cardiac development and regeneration.

“Using fluorescent and bioluminescent reporter systems, we are unraveling the physiological and pathophysiological meaning of circadian oscillations in cardiac progenitor cells and stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in vitro and in vivo after transplantation in regenerative therapies. In addition, we study regeneration-related functional aspects of circadian oscillations in the normal and failing heart in humans and in mice. In vitro models of human heart tissue enable us to observe and manipulate the interaction of host and donor factors that are under control of the circadian clock.” Combining a variety of novel approaches together with a greater understanding of how heart development and repair work, you will join Dr. Van Laake’s team in creating better personalized heart failure therapies.

Contact person & more information

Dr. Linda W. Van Laake


This project is part of RESCUE, a multidisciplinary, intersectoral and interdisciplinary PhD training programme in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells organised by UMC Utrecht (coordinator) and Utrecht University. RESCUE is partly funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND scheme. There are specific requirements with regards to English language and mobility for candidates who would like to take part in this programme. More information