18 June 2020

On 1 April, two new professors were added to the Cardiology department at Radboudumc. Jan Hein Cornel has been named by special appointment as professor of Inflammation in Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease, and Robert-Jan van Geuns has been appointed as the new professor of Interventional Cardiology. The newly appointed professors will give a new impulse to the research at the Department of Cardiology and the Cardiovascular Centre of Radboudumc into the causes and treatments of arteriosclerosis of the heart.

Jan Hein Cornel specialises in mechanisms of action and new clinical anti-inflammatory treatment options for both chronic and acute heart problems due to arteriosclerosis. At Radboudumc, Cornel focuses on inflammation of the vessel wall; based on this research topic, he will enter into a strategic collaboration involving Radboudumc, WCN (Werkgroep Cardiologische centra Nederland) and the Noordwest Hospital Group in Alkmaar and Den Helder. Central to this research is the progression of inflammation of the vessel wall and the consequences for its treatment. This special appointment was made possible by the three partners: Radboudumc, WCN and Noordwest.
Jan Hein Cornel (Harlingen, 1960) studied medicine at the University of Groningen, specialised in cardiology and worked at the Thorax Center, Dijkzigt hospital (now Erasmus MC) in Rotterdam. He received his doctorate in 1996 for research into myocardial viability in ischemic syndromes. Cornel has worked as a cardiologist at the Noordwest Hospital Group in Alkmaar and Den Helder since 1995. He was also a cardiology instructor at Noordwest.
Cornel’s expertise as a clinical trialist in large international studies is a valuable addition to the existing research lines at Radboudumc. In collaboration with WCN and Noordwest, Cornel is translating academic findings, through clinical trials, into clinical practice.
Robert-Jan van Geuns specialises in complex PCI (percutaneous coronary interventions). Van Geuns is an expert in complex PCI such as treatments for situations in which the veins in the heart are completely blocked (CTO – chronic total occlusion) or PCI must be used in acute situations where extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is required to support heart failure.

As professor of Interventional Cardiology, he will focus on the specification of the multidisciplinary assessment (together with the cardiac surgeons) and combined research looking at both the best indication methodology and a combination of early and late pharmacotherapy, in relation to the materials used during PCI. Important themes in this research will be the diagnosis and treatment of early arteriosclerosis and the treatment of acute and/or complex myocardial infarction.

Robert-Jan van Geuns (Son & Breugel, 1966) studied medicine at the University of Leiden, specialised in cardiology and interventional cardiology and obtained his doctorate in 2000 at Erasmus University on research into non-invasive coronary imaging with MRI and electron beam computed tomography. After his PhD, he continued to work as a cardiologist at Erasmus MC, where he was coordinator of the Interventional Cardiology department from 2012 to 2014. He was appointed in 2014 as professor by special appointment in Interventional Cardiology at Erasmus MC.

Since moving to Radboudumc, his primary remit has been to strengthen interventional cardiology research. He has since received grants, started building a new research group and held seminars on invasive imaging and physiology of the heart for an international audience.

Young researchers

These two professorial appointments will give young researchers, medical students and specialists in training an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with and contribute to this societally and scientifically important research.

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