Menno de Winther

(Principal Investigator), Prof. PhD

1994 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Inflammation is a hallmark of many aspects of cardiovascular disease. In atherosclerosis inflammation correlates with plaque progression, severity and stability. The abundance of inflammatory cells, and more specifically macrophages often as lipid laden foam cells, associates with key features of plaque instability and circulating inflammatory markers are good predictors of clinical disease outcome.

In my group we study the molecular regulation of macrophages, and their precursors monocytes, in cardiovascular disease, with a specific focus on atherosclerosis. We investigate regulation of macrophage subtypes, ranging from disease promoting pro-inflammatory macrophages to cells with an anti-inflammatory phenotype that can dampen atherosclerosis progression and stabilize plaques. We are using a unique approach of cellular murine and human monocyte and macrophage tools combined with state-of-the-art mouse models and cells and tissue samples from cardiovascular disease patients to cover the complete axis from fundamental mechanistic work to translational studies.

The work in my group is currently particularly focusing on the following aspects of monocyte and macrophage regulation in cardiovascular disease:

1) Epigenetic processes that control monocytes and macrophages in disease
2) Cellular energy metabolism as a target to regulate cellular phenotype
3) Cytokines and signaling pathways that control monocytes and macrophages
4) Consequences of dyslipidemia for cellular function

With our studies we aim to identify the mechanisms that underlie the dysfunctioning of monocytes and macrophages in cardiovascular disease to better understand disease development, identify markers and makers of disease and to find new approaches for diagnosis and treatment.



Vascular Immune Cell Biology

Research interests

Macrophages, monocytes, innate immunity, epigenetics, atherosclerosis, immunometabolism, cytokines

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • QR180 Immunology
  • QP Physiology


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