Charissa van den Brom

DR.ING., (Principal Investigator)


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a dedicated, enthusiastic, passionate and hard-working scientist, with extended experience within the field of cardiovascular research. I am project leader within the Laboratory of Experimental Intensive Care & Anesthesiology (LEICA) and research manager of the research line ‘Perioperative Care’ of the departments of Anesthesiology (0.5 fte) and Intensive Care Medicine (0.5 fte). I am thankful that I received the opportunity to develop from postdoctoral researcher to assistant professor and principal investigator since the completion of my scientific dissertation in 2014 and start an independent research line in the translational field of perioperative vascular function and organ protection in the critically ill.

My research line focuses on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular complications related to disturbances in tissue perfusion. My group and I work from the concept that leakage of vessels result in edema formation, disturbances in microcirculatory perfusion and organ injury. We investigate the pathophysiological processes underlying microvascular failure and focus on finding new targets for therapeutics to protect or restore organ function. My research is innovative as the concept of therapeutically targeting the endothelium in microvascular failure is novel in critical illness as the importance of microcirculatory perfusion has only recently been emphasized and no effective therapies are available. Previously, I have found that microcirculatory perfusion disturbances coincide with vascular leakage and organ injury in animal models of critical illness. Interestingly, I have been able to reduce vascular leakage and restore microcirculatory perfusion by therapeutically activating a system involved in regulation of vascular leakage, supporting the importance of restoring microvascular integrity in organ protection.

Worldwide there are not many labs studying the pathophysiological processes of perioperative microvascular failure, microcirculatory perfusion disturbances and organ injury in critical illness. The unique competences in my lab lies within the combination of state of the art physiological measurements with molecular biology of lung and kidney tissues and the use of innovative strategies. These strategies include amongst others a Tie2 loss of function mouse model and plasma from critically ill patients in combination with an in vitro endothelial permeability assay. Although extracorporeal membrane oxygenation/cardiopulmonary bypass is a complicated technique, I was able to create a set-up to study extracorporeal circulation in rats, which is a very unique technique worldwide. In addition, my team and I have extensive experience in measurements of microcirculatory perfusion in rats and mice by intravital microscopy of the cremaster and contrast echography of the kidneys, and in patients with a hand-held side-stream darkfield (SDF) imaging camera.

In combination with the extensive knowledge on vascular function, endothelial permeability and critical illness, my lab is essential for the development of clinically applicable interventions targeting the endothelium to improve microcirculatory perfusion to protect organ function in critical illness. Together with (inter)national collabollarations, the combination of preclinical and clinical expertise, my work will contribute to enhanced knowledge regarding microvascular failure in critical illness and we will optimize treatment strategies that can be clinically used to restore microvascular integrity and organ function. This knowledge might be generally implemented in the field of anesthesiology and intensive care medicine.


Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine

Education/Academic qualification

Basiscursus Regelgeving en Organisatie voor Klinisch onderzoekers (BROK), Nederlandse Federatie van Universitair Medische Centra

Award Date: 30 Sept 2019

PhD, Dietary modulation of the effects of sevoflurane on myocardial perfusion, function and ischemic injury in rats

Award Date: 31 Jan 2014

Master, Biomedical Sciences, VU University

Award Date: 30 Jun 2005

Bachelor, Biochemistry, Hogeschool Utrecht

Award Date: 30 Jun 2003

External positions

Guest editor Frontiers in Medicine

Apr 2021 → …

Member Intensive Care Medicine Experimental Journal review club, European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), Brussels, Belgium

22 Sept 2020 → …

Member program committee Cardiovascular Research master, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1 Sept 20191 Sept 2022

Member editorial board Cardiovascular Diabetology

Jan 2016 → …


  • R Medicine (General)
  • Anesthesiology
  • Intensive Care
  • Physiology
  • Critical illness
  • QP Physiology
  • Vascular biology
  • Microcirculation
  • Endothelium

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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