Two Dekker grants for UMCG Cardiology Research Institute!

Daan Westenbrink (cardiologist) and Bernadet Santema (PhD-candidate) received a personal Dekker grant from the Dutch Heart Foundation to investigate the pathophysiology and treatment of heart failure.

Despite current heart failure therapies, patients with heart failure experience severe symptoms, frequent hospital admissions and still have a poor prognosis. The cardiac capacity to oxidize fats and sugars is severely impaired in patients with heart failure, which results in an engine that is “out of fuel” very quickly. Westenbrink will investigate whether sports drinks containing ketones or drugs that stimulate ketone production can function as a cardiac super fuel, by improving exercise performance in patients with heart failure. Because of the Dekker grant, Westenbrink can now expand his research group for several years.

Watch the video (in Dutch) below.

Santema received €140.000 which allows her to expand her PhD-program for two more years. She will focus on the two cardiovascular epidemics: heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in patients with heart failure, and importantly impairs patients’ quality of life and survival. Profound differences are observed between men and women with heart failure and atrial fibrillation, but there are important gaps in knowledge with regards to the underlying pathophysiology and treatment of the complex interplay between sex differences, atrial fibrillation and heart failure. The grant supports Santema to collaborate with a research group in Boston, where she will be working for half a year in 2020.

Watch the video (in Dutch) below.

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