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Principal Investigator

R. (Ruben) Bierings, PhD

  • Department
  • Hematology
  • Focus area
  • Endothelial cell biology, Von Willebrand factor (VWF) biosynthesis and secretion, Weibel-Palade body biogenesis and exocytosis, Rab GTPases and effectors , SNARE proteins, blood outgrowth endothelial cells
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My research focuses on how endothelial cells and platelets secrete hemostatic and inflammatory proteins from their secretory organelles, the endothelial Weibel-Palade bodies and the alpha- and dense granules in platelets. Our aim is to understand how defects in this system lead to bleeding abnormalities in patients.

Field(s) of expertise

  • Endothelial cell biology
  • Von Willebrand factor (VWF) biosynthesis and secretion
  • Weibel-Palade body biogenesis and exocytosis
  • Rab GTPases and effectors
  • SNARE proteins
  • Blood outgrowth endothelial cells

Education and career

Current and previous affiliations

  • 2018 - now Group Leader/Principal Investigator
    • Department of Hematology Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands 
  • 2013 - 2018 Group Leader Department of Molecular and Cellular Hemostasis
    • Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2011 - 2013 Senior Postdoc
    • Department of Plasma Proteins Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • 2007 - 2011 Career Development Fellow
    •  Divisions of Physical Biochemistry and Molecular Neuroendocrinology MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, United Kingdom
  • 2002 - 2007 PhD Candidate
    • Department of Plasma Proteins CLB-Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • 2001 - 2002 Junior Research Associate
    • Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA, USA


  • 2002 - 2007 PhD
    • Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands (October 17, 2007) Thesis title: “Sorting out the Weibel-Palade body” Promotor: Prof.dr. K. Mertens 
  • 1996 - 2002 MSc
    • Molecular Sciences, Wageningen University, Netherlands 


For publications, follow this link.

Teaching activities

Supervised theses as co-promoter

  • April 24, 2020 - Ellie Karampini
    • Title: “Weibel-Palade Body formation and release; An Odyssey through the secretory pathway”, University of Amsterdam
  • June 20, 2019 - Maaike Schillemans
    • Title: “Weibel-Palade body logistics: express delivery in the vasculature”, University of Amsterdam
  • June 18, 2014 - Dorothee van Breevoort
    • Title: “Tuning the SNAREs that regulate Weibel-Palade body exocytosis”, University of Amsterdam
  • April 11, 2014 - Kathinka van Hooren
    • Title: “Molecular mechanisms involved in Weibel-Palade body exocytosis”, University of Amsterdam


Scholarships, grants and awards

Project grants

  • 2019 Nationale Wetenschapsagenda SYMPHONY
    • “Orchestrating personalised treatment for patients with bleeding disorders” (co-applicant) 
  • 2018 Sanquin Product and Process Development Cellular Products (PPOC18-21)
    • “Pulling platelets to sites of vascular injury” (co-applicant) 
  • 2017 Dutch Thrombosis Foundation (TSN)
    • “The only way is up: polarized secretion of VWF and tethering by adhesion molecules” (head applicant) 
  • 2015 Dutch Thrombosis Foundation (TSN)
    • “Caught in a trap: Unravelling von Willebrand factor extracellular traps” (head applicant)
  • 2012 Landsteiner Foundation for Blood transfusion Research (LSBR)
    • “Vascular gatekeepers” (head applicant)

Personal grants and fellowships

  • 2017 Landsteiner Foundation for Blood transfusion Research (LSBR) Fellowship
    • “Von Willebrand factor secretion from Weibel-Palade bodies: pulling the strings in vascular disease” (personal grant) 
  • 2013 European Hematology Association (EHA) Research Fellowship
    • “Gatekeepers of the vasculature; regulation of Weibel-Palade body exocytosis by syntaxin binding protein 1 (STXBP1)” (personal grant) 
  • 2007 Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship

My Groups