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Profile picture of Jolanda Wentzel
Principal Investigator

Dr. ir. J.J. (Jolanda) Wentzel, PhD

Associate professor, Head of Biomechanics Laboratory

  • Department
  • Cardiology
  • Focus area
  • Biomechanics, Shear stress, Atherosclerosis, Congenital heart disease, Intravascular imaging



Research interests

Jolanda Wentzel is Associate Professor and head of the Biomechanics Laboratory in the group of Biomedical Engineering of the Cardiology Department, Thoraxcenter, ErasmusMC, Rotterdam, NL. Her interest is to investigate the influence of biomechanical forces on the changes in the cardiovascular system observed during life. Her main focus is on atherosclerotic (vulnerable) plaque progression, destabilization and cardiovascular events with the ultimate goal to identify the patient at risk for future cardiovascular events. Recently, gender based differences of cardiovascular disease got her attention as well. Furthermore, she is interested in biomechanical aspects of congenital heart disease to improve treatment and outcome of these patients. Her studies are in the domain of cardiovascular biomechanics with a special interest in fluid mechanics. She applies a broad spectrum of methodologies including image based modeling, intravascular and non-invasive imaging, and 3D histology of patients and pre-clinical models of atherosclerosis.

Current projects

  • Shear stress related plaque progression and destabilization in patients
  • Determining the influence of lipid profiling on atherosclerotic plaque progression
  • Linking MRI-based shear stress calculations to human carotid plaque composition
  • Biomechanical aspects of the cardiovascular system – congenital heart disease
  • Fluid dynamics in patients with congenital heart disease
  • Gender related in hemodynamics and cardiovascular disease

Field(s) of expertise

  • Atherosclerotic plaque biology
  • Cardiovascular biomechanics
  • Finite element modeling
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • MRI
  • congenital heart disease
  • Gender
  • Statistics/population studies

Education and career

Wentzel obtained her PhD degree at the ErasmusMC Rotterdam on January 19th 2000 with the thesis entitled “Shear stress and the vessel wall; In vivo studies applying 3D finite element modeling”. In her thesis she described the development of a new 3D reconstruction technique of coronary arteries based on fusion of biplane angiography and intravascular ultrasound. This new technique allowed her to investigate the relationship between shear stress and the cardiovascular pathologies using computational fluid dynamics. With the ErasmusMC fellowship, she continued her studies as a post-doc in the lab investigating the role of shear stress in the ‘vulnerable plaque’ concept. She received the Dutch Atherosclerosis Society Fellowship that allowed her to broaden her studies at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA to investigate the role of shear stress in plaque progression using MRI. Upon return, she received multiple research grants and started collaboration with various companies to translate her work into clinical practice. In 2005 she was appointed Assistant Professor and six years later Associate Professor at the Biomedical Engineering Department of the ErasmusMC, where she heads the Biomechanics Laboratory since then. With the ERC starting grant, that was awarded to her in 2012, she started two large studies on the mutual interplay between plaque composition, various shear stress related new parameters and blood biomarkers to further unravel cardiovascular disease.


Teaching activities

Dr Wentzel successfully supervised 7 PhD students as co-promotor (1 cum laude) and for 4 PhD students she served as a co-supervisor. 3 PhD students are finishing their thesis currently. She supervised many Bsc and Msc students from different schools and (technical) universities.

She is coordinator of the Cardiology part of the Minor “geneeskunde voor technische studenten” (2010- uptill now)

Lectured for Clinical Technology Master (Delft University of Technology / Erasmus MC)

Other positions

Editorial board:

  • Associate Editor Frontiers in Medicine, topic “six differences in atherosclerotic plaque formation, vulnerability and cardiovascular events.”
  • Guest editor Special issue Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, topic” Novel methods to Advance Diagnostic and Treatment Value of Medical Imaging for Cardiovascular Disease”
  • Guest editor Special issue Thrombosis and Haemostasis March 2016
  • Editorial board member Eurointervention 2006-2012

(Inter)national societies:

  • Co-founder and co-organizer of the International symposium on Biomechanics in Vascular Biology and Cardiovascular Disease( www.shearstresssymposium.nl (2006-till now)
  • European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Atherosclerosis & Vascular biology 2016-2020;
  • Co-organizer of the Vulnerable plaque meeting (2017-2019)
  • Organizer of many symposia for the European Society of Cardiology

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • ERC starting grant from the European Research Council (2012)
  • Erasmus University fellowship (2001)
  • Dutch Atherosclerosis Society fellowship (2000)
  • Dr E. Dekker fonds (1994) – student award

My Groups