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Cardiovascular diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases
Infection and immunity
Translational Research IT (TraIT)
Assessment of Plaque at Risk by Non-invasive (Molecular) Imaging and Modeling (ParisK)
Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Mat J.A.P. Daemen (Maastricht UMC / AMC; University of Amsterdam)
CTMM Program manager: Erna Erdtsieck-Ernste
Rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque is the main cause of the clinical symptoms of cardiovascular diseases such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. For a ‘plaque at risk’, the risk of rupture is determined by morphological, molecular, biological and biomechanical parameters of the plaque. Focusing on the carotid artery, the ParisK consortium will construct technological and translational platforms in which several novel imaging modalities will be advanced, validated and added to existing non-invasive imaging modalities to measure one or more parameters of plaque at risk. The data will be integrated to develop a novel heuristic algorithm that gives the predicted risk of rupture of an individual plaque, which will be validated in subsequent clinical studies.

Professor Daemen - Mat Daemen.jpg

Prof. Dr. Mat J.A.P. Daemen 
“Since we know that acute cardiovascular events such as an acute myocardial infarction and stroke are caused by rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, there is a real need to develop tools, such as plaque imaging, that can predict plaque rupture. The ParisK consortium, which integrates the efforts of the top academic and industrial groups in the Netherlands working on plaque imaging, will translate the current molecular and biological knowledge of atherosclerosis into validated diagnostic imaging methods for detecting the risk of plaque rupture. As a result, it will accelerate the development of innovative products and solutions.”
Prof. Dr. Mat J.A.P. Daemen has expertise in the molecular regulation of plaque (in)stability and is professor and chairman of Pathology in the Maastricht University Medical Center. He is the Scientific Director of CARIM, the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht. He was one of the founding fathers of CTMM and a co-founder of the Dutch Atherosclerosis Society and biotech company ACS Biomarkers. He is co-spokesman of the international graduate school EUCAR, a collaboration with the cardiovascular research Institute IMCAR in Aachen, and program leader the EU sponsored European Vascular Genomics Network and Cardiorisk.
Industrial partners
  • Esaote Europe BV
  • Philips Electronics Nederland BV
  • Pie Medical Imaging BV
  • VisualSonics Inc
Academic partners
  • Erasmus Medisch Centrum (EMC),
  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (EUR)
  • Leids Universitair Centrum (LUMC), Leiden,
  • Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Maastricht,
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e), Eindhoven,
  • University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht,


The CTMM Parisk project will also receive additional contribution from the Netherlands Heart Foundation.
Status of the Parisk project end of 2009: PDF (download)
Parisk project presentation at the CTMM Annual Meeting 2010: PDF (download)
In response to the first call for project proposals in 2007, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) announced on April 1, 2008, that nine first-call projects would receive research funding amounting to a total of 150 million Euro. On March 10, 2009, it announced that eight new project proposals, submitted in the fall of 2008 in response to the second call for proposals, will receive funding amounting to a total of almost another 100 million Euro.
All Dutch university medical centers, plus several universities, a broad spectrum of small and medium-sized enterprises, major industry leaders including Philips and DSM, and the Dutch Government are involved.
The funding is provided by the Dutch government, industry and academia. The research is focused firmly on the ‘translational’ aspects of molecular medicine so that results can be applied as quickly as possible to actual patient care.
Parisk is one of the projects from the second call.
Update: 13-02-2012




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