The grant has been given to Robert Passier, professor of Applied Stem Cell Technologies at the University of Twente, and Gert Jan Veenstra, professor of Molecular Developmental Biology at Radboud University. Working together, the scientists will try to understand how cells grow out to be heart cells and how they ripe to fully functional heart cells.
In full, the research project is dedicated to the ‘identification of molecular regulatory pathways for specification and maturation of human cardiac subtypes’. The responsible researchers believe that more knowledge on how human heart cells mature will lead to better understanding of heart diseases, as it could provide better in vitro models to study the diseases and to test medicines. It might also help decrease the number of animals used for research.
ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) funds health research in the Netherlands and closely cooperates with NOW (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). The ZonMW TOP grants are meant to support innovative lines of research in the biomedical and healthcare domains.