Research in the Janssen lab is focused around the contractile function of the heart muscle. One of the main projects is to further our understanding on how heart rate impacts on the mechanical properties of the heart to make it beat with more force, and also faster. The speed of contraction and relaxation are regulated, but this regulation is poorly understood. In human heart failure, the vast majority of patients suffer from a kinetic dysfunction, where the speed of the contraction and relaxation is impaired, specifically at high heart rates (i.e. during exercise). We study explanted human hearts, obtained form patients that get a heart transplant, and form non-failing donors of other organs who’s heart is not transplanted. From these human hearts, we study contractile function in many different protocols, focused at calcium handling, cross-bridge kinetics, and the impact of novel drugs.
A second large project is to further understand the contractile dysfunction of both the heart and skeletal muscles in patients with muscular dystrophy. In collaboration with several other labs, we are testing novel drugs, gene therapy, and other assays to further understand the disease, as well as to test potential avenues of treatment and cure.
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Education and Training
PhD, University of Utrecht, Netherlands/Wake Forest University
Post Doctoral, Albert-Ludwigs University, Germany