Loyola Heart Researcher Pays Homage to His Mentor

News Archive July 16, 2012

Loyola Heart Researcher Pays Homage to His Mentor

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Pieter P. de Tombe, PhD, one of the world's leading heart failure researchers, says he owes a lot to his mentor and fellow Dutchman, Dr.  Dr. Henk ter Keurs.

De Tombe is director of the Cardiovascular Research Center of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He worked in ter Keurs' labs at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the University of Calgary in Canada, where de Tombe earned his doctorate.

"Henk gave us superb scientific training," de Tombe said. "He was very enthusiastic about science. He instilled a curiosity about how things worked and an excitement for designing experiments. He mentored many scientists around the world and we all owe him a great deal."

Loyola University Chicago and the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta recently co-sponsored a symposium in Alberta in honor of ter Keurs' 70th birthday. Researchers from the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Israel and the Netherlands paid homage to ter Keurs by presenting their latest findings in basic cardiology research.

"It was a true pleasure to listen to the talks and to see that students I had the privilege to work with are now among the leading scientists and clinicians in their fields," ter Keurs said.

De Tombe studies heart failure at the cellular level. In heart failure patients, heart cells contract only about 18 percent as much as healthy heart cells. Certain proteins suppress the ability of heart cells to contract. The goal of his research is to develop new drugs that would block these proteins, thereby allowing the cell to contract normally again.

De Tombe is the James R. DePauw professor of Physiology and chair of the Department of Physiology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.
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