Robert Passier, professor at the University of Twente (UT) and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), has been appointed as an ambassador of the Netherlands Heart Institute (NL-HI). In this capacity Passier will forge links between technical universities and university medical centres in the field of biomedical technology and applications for cardiovascular disease. The aim is to make new technologies more widely applicable and more quickly accessible to patients.
Medical innovations and advanced technologies have always played an important role within cardiology; examples of this would include the development and deployment of echocardiography, MRI scanning, implantable pacemakers, biological and mechanical heart valves, angioplasty, and slow-release drug-eluting stents. Many of these innovations owe their existence, to some extent, to intensive cooperation between technical universities and university medical centres. Against this background, the institute sees Passier’s appointment as an NL-HI ambassador as an opportunity to further strengthen this cooperation and to give it a more formal structure.
In his new capacity, Passier will also set up a working group made up of the representatives of relevant parties in the professional field, which will work to stimulate closer cooperation in this research area, share knowledge, set research priorities, and attract national and international research funding for national research programmes. The overall ambition is to make new technologies more widely applicable and more quickly accessible to patients.
Robert Passier is professor of Applied Stem Cell Technologies at the MIRA research institute of the University of Twente and at the Leiden University Medical Center. Passier is working there on ‘heart-on-a-chip’ technology that can be deployed to develop and test drugs combating coronary and vascular disease, knowledge which can also ultimately be applied in regenerative medicine. Thanks to his background and positions both in a technical university and in a university medical centre, Passier is ideally suited to forge links between the various disciplines involved.
Netherlands Heart Institute
The Netherlands Heart Institute is a cooperative research institute that brings together the eight Dutch academic hospitals to perform both fundamental and clinical cardiovascular research. The Institute also works closely with the Dutch Heart Foundation to promote collaboration between university medical centres, scientists and the business community.