Prof Joost Sluijter is a Medical Biologist and got his PhD in 2004 at the University Utrecht on “Collagen turnover in arterial disease”. After being a postdoctoral research fellow at Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI), he returned to the University Medical Centre Utrecht (the Netherlands) in 2006.  In his research group, they focus on stimulating cardiac regeneration, thereby using approaches that can lead to improved recovery of cardiac tissue upon injury. In recent years, they identified miRNAs that can push cell lineage specifications and how they could improve progenitor cell transplantation, specifically improving local delivery and cell retention. In this work, they have started to use 3D-bioprinting and advanced technologies of cardiac tissue engineering. His group substantially improved cell delivery to the myocardium, from which they also realized that most of the injected cell action was due to the potential paracrine actions. They therefore started to study the use of secreted vesicles by these cells as a novel approach to induce cardiac repair.

Prof Joost Sluijter is heading the Experimental Cardiology Laboratory and is nucleus member of the Regenerative Medicine program of the UMCU, he is the current past-chair of the ESC working group Cellular Biology of the Heart, has several editorial roles for journals, published >170 papers, and is awardee of an ERC consolidator grant.