Ton Rabelink

Over the last 10 years the focus of my group has been on endothelial cell biology. Areas that have been covered include the intracellular signaling of endothelial cells (in particular eNOS function and uncoupling) and the role of endothelial progenitors in endothelial regeneration and repair. More recently we included research topics on the interaction of endothelial cells with surrounding stromal cells and the role of glycocalyx and glyco-landscapes of endothelial cell signaling. Our research involves basic science as well as the development of clinical tools to assess clinical function in patients. In general, research in the vascular nephrology group can be grouped in two themes: a) the impact of cardiovascular risk factors on the integrity of the vasculature and b) dysfunction of the (micro)vasculature as a rate limiting factor in end-organ disease. Being situated in the department of Nephrology, the vascular nephrology research line has actively pursued the translation of vascular biology to the field of kidney diseases. One line that has spun off is the research on tissue engineering of a vascular access graft which has been funded by the Biomedical Materials Program. Another translation is the role of endothelial biology in progression of kidney disease. Again this work has involved basic science as well as clinical studies.

Both with respect to endothelial cell biology and progression of kidney disease, diabetes has been a main focus for translation. This is due to the fact that the increased prevalence of chronic kidney is primarily driven by non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. While initially mostly focused on endothelial cell biology and progression of kidney disease, in recent years a separate research line has evolved based on the islet cell transplantation unit that we have set up. The goal here is to also work on curing diabetes, and not only on prevention/treatment of complications.

Dr. Rabelink was coordinator of STELLAR, an EU financed research consortium interested in developing an alternative to renal replacement therapy using stem cell based therapy for kidney repair.

Find more elaborate information on my activities here and, Regenerative Medicine research at LUMC here and my publications on my publons account here.