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The department is involved in teaching, research and treatment of cardiovascular diseases with 5 focus areas: ischemic cardiovascular disease, congenital or acquired structural heart defects, arrhythmias and heart failure.

About our Department

Our research

What is the overall aim? 

The mission of the department of Cardiology is to make a significant scientific contribution to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease by 25% over the next 5-10 years. We aim to achieve this by performing translational research, clinical studies and population-based research in close collaboration with (inter)national partners and patient advocacy groups focusing on the key areas ischemic cardiovascular disease, congenital or acquired structural heart disease and as final common pathways arrhythmias and heart failure.

What are the focus areas of your research? (examples)

The department of Cardiology performs translational research, clinical studies, and population-based research in close collaboration with (inter)national partners and patient advocacy groups on 5 key areas: Ischemic cardiovascular disease, congenital or acquired structural heart defects, arrhythmias and heart failure.

Principal Investigators

Research lines

The department of Cardiology has 7 research groups which are all focused on 1 or more of the 5 key areas and are highly interconnected.

  1. Experimental Cardiology - Prof. dr. Dirk Jan Duncker
  2. ElectrophysiologyProf. dr. Natasja de Groot
  3. Cardiovascular Epidemiology - Prof. dr. Eric Boersma
  4. Congenital Cardiology - Prof. dr. Jolien Roos-Hesselink
  5. Intervention Cardiology - Prof. dr. Nicolas van Mieghem
  6. Heart Failure - PI to be appointed
  7. Biomedical EngineeringProf. dr. ir. Ton van der Steen


4D-Flow Echocardiography for Diastolic Functional Imaging of the Left Ventricle

Developing the next generation of blood flow imaging: 4D-flow echocardiography. By fully quantifying cardiac hemodynamics we can learn more about heart failure and detect it earlier.

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AMPHORA – Acoustic markers for enhanced remote sensing of radiation doses

This European ERC-OPEN-FET project is aiming at testing and development of acoustic contrast agents for detection of radiation dosis. The project spans the range from idea, through development of new agents, to in vitro validation and in vivo safety measurements.

Atherosclerosos Biomechanics

Biomechanics and Atherosclerosis

This research project studies the influence of biomechanical stress on the development, progression and rupture of atherosclerotic plaques.

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Biomechanics and congenital cardiovascular disease

This research project studies the influence of biomechanical stress on the cardiovascular system in the presence of congenital malformations.

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Biomechanics in Congenital Cardiology

We aim to unravel the etiology of cardiovascular complications in patients with congenital heart disease and to advance personalized treatment of these patients.

A microbubble


Targeted microbubble vibrations to accurately diagnose and treat cardiac device-related bacterial biofilm infections (ERC starting grant Kooiman)



Drug delivery through microbubbles: the quest for the missing link (VIDI Kooiman)

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Cardiac Mechanics

This multidisciplinary project is performed by a team of engineers and clinicians from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Cardiology, Pediatric Cardiology and Radiology.

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EFFECTS - Echocardiographic Tissue Stiffness measurements

EFFECTS delivers a technique for early diagnosis of heart failure by measuring the stiffening of the heart, through non-invasive ultrasound imaging.

FUSION study: Coronary CT with FFRct

This study evaluates the value of adding advanced FFRct assessment to CT scans of coronary arteries.

human disease model for atherosclerosis

Human disease model for atherosclerosis

We tissue engineer human disease models for atherosclerosis to unravel the process of atherosclerotic plaque rupture and to identify new imaging biomarkers.

Imaging atherosclerotic plaque lipidomics in vivo

Imaging atherosclerotic plaque lipidomics in vivo

(Vici Van Soest)


MIFFY- Monitoring infant brain perfusion by echography

MIFFY delivers a technique for early diagnosis of brain perfusion failure by measuring the flow, stiffness and anatomy with non-invasive ultrasound imaging.

Molecular Imaging of Atherosclerosis

Molecular imaging of atherosclerosis

We develop new diagnostic imaging, aimed at targeting inflammation and calcification with radionuclide imaging, to assess atherosclerotic plaque composition.

MRAME – Mixed Reality Supporting Advanced Medical Education

Application of mixed reality technology in advanced medical education – a new method of teaching clinical skills



Photoacoustic imaging of Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation Part of the NWO Perspectief consortium iMIT



This project focusses on new echography to measure the blood flow inside the heart wall, such that the interventions in the Cath lab can be better monitored.

Rapid Innovation of Minimally Invasive Instruments

Rapid Innovation of Minimally Invasive Instruments

This project is part of the Medical Delta and primarily is a collaboration between the MISIT group of the 3mE faculty at TU Delft, Surgery at LUMC, and the BME group of the Thorax Center at Erasmus MC.

Seeing the heart attack

Seeing the heart attack (and more) before it happens

I aim to develop new imaging technologies to visualize vulnerable plaques and other disease at early stage.

Petri dish

Sonobactericide to treat bacterial infective endocarditis

This project is using ultrasound and microbubbles for sonobactericde (Erasmus MC fellowship Kooiman)

Ultrasound scan


This project is developing novel phospolipid-coated microbubbles, i.e. ultrasound contrast agents, for ultrasound molecular imaging and drug delivery.

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  • a unique experimental intervention room, allowing state of the art cardiovascular intervention studies in human-sized pigs
  • facilities for cardiovascular histopathology and molecular biology research, a scanning electron microscope
  • own biobanking infrastructure within the Triallab of the Clinical Chemistry department
  • a fast framing digital camera for up to 25 Million frames per seconds, which can be linked to a confocal microscope
  • two optical labs, an ultrasound lab, facilities for MALDI imaging and a lab for cell culturing
  • CUBE research facility for functional ultrasound brain imaging


  • Many departments in the Erasmus MC
  • The 16 Cardiovascular ACEs
  • Dutch Cardiovascular Alliance
  • TU Delft 
  • Netherlands Heart Institute

News, events and awards


The department of Cardiology is the driving force behind COEUR  (Cardiovasculaire Onderzoeksschool Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), the cardiovascular research school of the Erasmus MC. COEUR offers a cardiovascular research education program, consisting of courses, seminars and lectures, see www.coeur.nl.

Additionally, there are monthly research meetings between PI’s and PhD candidates from all cardiovascular ACEs to discuss research developments, common interests and potential joint projects and grant applications. And there is an annual Cardiovascular meeting, for which all departments/ Academic Centers of Excellence (ACEs) within Erasmus MC that are involved in cardiovascular research are invited.

These activities serve as a platform for – and acts to stimulate – collaborations between PI’s, postdocs and PhD candidates within the Erasmus MC. The formation of the ACEs has further stimulated the interaction between the clinical, translational and more basic scientists around specific cardiovascular themes. 

Awards and grants

  • FEHRA, fellow of the European Heart Rhythm Association (N.M.S. de Groot, S. Yap)
  • Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics highly cited researcher 2014-2018 (top 1% worldwide) (H. Boersma)
  • Erasmus MC Fellowship (N.M.S. de Groot, K. Kooiman, K. van der Heiden, J.J. Wentzel).
  • NWO VENI (K. Kooiman, T. Wang, K. van der Heiden).
  • NWO VIDI (N.M.S. de Groot, K. Kooiman, H.J. Vos, K. van der Heiden).
  • NWO VICI (G. van Soest).
  • Dutch Heart Foundation Dekker Grant (N.M.S. de Groot, C.P. Teuwen, K. van der Heiden).
  • ERC Starter Grant (K. Kooiman, J.J. Wentzel)
  • Marie Curie Fellowship (A. Akyildiz)
  • LEaDing Fellow (H. Barrett)
  • ICIN fellowship (K. Kooiman)


BSc & MSc students

For bachelor students

Education (lectures, practicals, patient demonstrations) in the general curriculum of the Erasmus MC MD Bachelor programme, including three Minors: Cardiovascular diseases, Congenital heart disease and Lung transplantation.

Development, content and teaching of lectures and practicals in the bachelor course ‘Clinical Technology’ at TU Delft (Medical Delta).

Youth educational programs Mini Med School, Junior Med School and Erasmus University College.

For master students

For master students, we provide education (lectures, practicals, patient demonstrations) in the general curriculum of the Erasmus MC MD Master programme and two Research Masters: Transcatheter Valve Program and Translational Electrophysiology.