Our current research focuses on cellular inflammatory immune mechanisms and their regulation in atherosclerosis the main underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases including lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD). LEAD has an increasing prevalence due to aging of the human population but is understudied compared to other vascular beds. Similar to other atherosclerotic diseases, the risk factors are multiple (genetic factors, traditional risk factors, metabolic and inflammatory factors, socioeconomic factors) with different weighs of association as compared to e.g. coronary artery diseases (CAD). Diabetes mellitus is a strong risk factor, and its increasing prevalence contributes to the global epidemics of LEAD.  Atherosclerosis, as its underlying pathophysiology, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries, which is driven by modified lipids, and continuous recruitment of leukocytes into the activated intima. Intimal leukocyte infiltration but also immune cell functions are orchestrated by chemokines and their receptors.  Hence, understanding how chemokines and their receptors on particular cell populations are specifically involved in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis in LEAD will be a main topic of our future research projects. In parallel, we are planning a systematic and comparative analysis of LEAD patient samples by “omics” technologies. These 'omics' analyzes are used as basis for identifying specific differences (e.g. plaque composition, inflammation mediators) between LEAD and CAD patients, but also for localizing differences within the LEAD cohort (e.g. between the sexes or patients with and without Diabetes).


  • Chemokinelike receptor ChemR23 and its ligands Chemerin and Resolvin E15 in atherosclerosis and LEAD
  • Dendritic cells in LEAD disease pathology
  • Perivascular fat tissue specifically in LEAD
  • Neutrophilderived NET components in LEAD
  • (Genetic) differences between CAD and LEAD
  • Sex differences between CAD and LEAD risk
  • Atherosclerosis distribution pattern in LEAD

More information can be found on our group website.


Group Members: 3