The Institute for Regenerative Medicine welcomes Sandra Loerakker as Visiting Professor, starting 1 October 2020. There is already a long-standing collaboration with IREM professors Emmert and Hoerstrup, as recently shown with a joint review in Nature Reviews Cardiology. Sandra holds the ERC Starting Grant "MechanoSignaling: Predicting cardiovascular regeneration". She will work closely together with Professor Maximilian Emmert and Professor Simon Hoerstrup, IREM, and will co-supervise a PhD student.
Sandra Loerakker is an Associate Professor based in the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Netherlands. Her expertise is in modeling the mechanobiology of native and engineered tissues using integrated computational and experimental methods. The ultimate goal of her research is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the biological mechanisms responsible for soft tissue development, homeostasis, and disease, and to translate those findings into novel therapies in the field of regenerative medicine. She primarily focuses on understanding how mechanical factors drive soft tissue growth and remodeling at different spatial and temporal scales. Examples of her research include the computational analysis of growth and remodeling of native cardiovascular tissues; the analysis and prediction of in vivo remodeling of engineered cardiovascular tissues; systematic investigations of the potential impact of implant design on the remodeling of engineered tissues; the establishment of in vitro platforms to experimentally analyze soft tissue growth and remodeling; and the development of computational models to understand and predict the interplay between mechanics and cell-cell signaling in growth and remodeling.
Sandra Loerakker was trained in Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). In 2015, she was appointed as Assistant Professor in Modeling in Mechanobiology at the TU/e department of Biomedical Engineering, focusing on understanding the mechanobiology of native and engineered tissues using integrated computational and experimental methods. From May 2016 – April 2017, supported by a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University (USA). She received an ERC Starting Grant in 2018 to explore the interplay between mechanics and cell-cell signaling in the context of cardiovascular regeneration. In 2019, she was promoted to Associate Professor.
Fioretta ES, Motta SE, Lintas V, Loerakker S, Parker KK, Baaijens FPT, Falk V, Hoerstrup SP & Emmert MY. Next-generation tissue-engineered heart valves with repair, remodelling and regeneration capacity. Nat Rev Cardiol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41569-020-0422-8
Emmert MY, Schmitt BA, Loerakker S, Sanders B, Spriestersbach H, Fioretta ES, Bruder L, Brakmann K, Motta SE, Lintas V, Dijkman PE, Frese L, Berger F, Baaijens FPT, Hoerstrup SP. Computational modeling guides tissue-engineered heart valve design for long-term in vivo performance in a translational sheep model. Sci Transl Med. 2018 May 9;10(440):eaan4587. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan4587. PMID: 29743347.