Pieterjan Dierickx, PhD

MPI-HLR and Cardiopulmonary Institute (CPI)
Independent Research Group Leader


 

Circadian regulation of cardiometabolism lab

Dr. Pieterjan Dierickx will be joining the MPI-HLR in Bad Nauheim as an independent research group leader in June, 2022. Dr. Dierickx completed his PhD in the groups of Prof. Dr. Niels Geijsen and Linda van Laake at the Hubrecht Institute (The Netherlands), where he developed stem-cell based models to study development of the circadian clock during directed cardiomyocyte differentiation. In 2017 he joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Mitchell Lazar at UPenn (US) as a Postdoctoral researcher to study the role of the circadian nuclear receptors REV-ERBα/β in the heart.

The Dierickx lab is interested in how the circadian clock drives rhythmic processes in the heart. Circadian rhythms coordinate many aspects of behavior and physiology (e.g., fasting/feeding cycles, sleep to wake transitions and body temperature) to be in synchrony with the 24-hour rotation of the earth. In humans, disruption of these rhythms is highly associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease development. The indispensability of clock proteins in the heart is mechanistically illustrated by our recent findings that REV-ERB loss in cardiomyocytes specifically leads to dilated cardiomyopathy and premature death in mice.

 

Projects in the lab are centered around an integrated approach combining next-generation sequencing techniques, whole-body physiology analysis in specialized mutant mouse lines and the use of in vitro cardiac models. We aim to develop cardiometabolic insufficiency treatment strategies and will use data from human patients to better understand how deregulation of the clock contributes to heart disease. Investigating how the circadian clock and its intricate connection to rhythmic metabolic programs can be deployed to tackle prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HF will be the overarching goal.

We are looking for passionate people to join our team! Experience with animal models, cell culture and/or bioinformatic analysis of next-gen data (e.g. single nuclei RNA-seq/ATAC-seq/Cut&Run) would be a great plus.

Informal inquiries are welcome and should be sent to pieterjan.dierickx@mpi-bn.mpg.de.

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