Research at FHML
The healthcare of the future focuses not only on patients, but also on individuals who are at risk of developing certain diseases. That is why the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) primarily focuses on research on health, health risks, and disease prevention. Researchers study the entire continuum from health to illness. This integrated approach to healthcare is characteristic of the research and education at FHML.
The multidisciplinary research conducted by FHML focuses on a range of themes or research programs that are carried out in close collaboration with the hospital (the faculty and the hospital together form Maastricht UMC+) and other faculties of Maastricht University. The research programs are housed within eight institutes.
Research & Impact
On this page, we share stories from FHML/MUMC+ that showcase the (potential) impact of our research. Interested in featuring your research here? Send an email to the science editorial team.
Vascular biologist Judith Sluimer was appointed professor of cardiovascular pathophysiology in October 2020. In her inaugural lecture, she alluded both to the importance of oxygen in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels as well as to the ‘fresh air’ she believes academia is always in need of.
Diversity is not the exception, but the norm
The white heterosexual middle-aged man is implicitly the norm in medical education materials. But not for much longer, if Albertine Zanting has her way
How to prevent muscle loss in the ICU
People who have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a while lose a significant amount of muscle mass and, consequently, muscle strength. Julia Bels studies how nutrition can help ICU patients in preserving and strengthening their muscles.
Making impact with a digital twin heart
At the CARIM research institute (school for cardiovascular diseases) in Maastricht, a group of researchers – led by Joost Lumens - is working with ‘het digitale tweelinghart’ (the digital twin heart): a computer model that simulates the human heart.
Growing mini-tumors in a dish, what can you do with them?
Metastatic cancer is difficult to treat, but research using mini-tumors brings personalized treatment closer. Prof.Dr. Peter Peters explains how to create mini-tumors and what you can do with them.
To accurately describe the experienced quality of care in nursing homes from the perspective of the resident, the Academic Workplace for Elderly Care (AWO-L) developed Connecting Conversations (Ruimte voor Zorg).
Just as good, but with less?
In oncology, treatments are more often added than reduced. In her research, Prof. Dr. Marjolein Smidt wants to make a distinction within such a package deal between the gains in survival and quality of life of the different components.
Researchers have succeeded in measuring activity in surgically removed brain tissue for six days. This opens up possibilities for scientific research on brain biopsies on a chip, which could reduce the use of laboratory animals.
Sensation of simulation
Prof. Dr. Joost Lumens uses a virtual computer model to replicate the complex dynamics of the heart in real-time. With such simulations, he aims to gain a better understanding of the functioning and diseases of the heart.
Healing bones with a cookbook
Claudia del Toro Runzer studies ways to restore the self-healing ability of bones that no longer heal themselves after a fracture. In this video, she explains how she uses the body's own mailcarrier to give bone its self-healing capacity back.
Two-sided cataract surgery saves costs
Performing cataract surgery in both eyes on the same day instead of with a two-week interval is equally safe but more cost-effective and patient-friendly. At a national level, annual cost savings of up to €27 million can be achieved.
Saving more lives with less money
Roger Rennenberg doesn't go for spectacular new treatments that make headlines. However, ambition is not lacking because by focusing on improving the quality and safety of healthcare, he wants to save more lives with less money.
A breath of fresh air
Without healthy blood vessels, our body is unable to supply oxygen to all parts of the body. Therefore, Prof. Dr. Judith Sluimer investigates the development of atherosclerosis down to the level of individual cells to develop better treatments.
Complementary feeding, yes or no?
Young parents were long advised to exclusively breastfeed their baby for the first six months to reduce the risk of food allergies and eczema. However, the KOALA study shows that the reality is somewhat more nuanced than that.
Mimicking human tissue
Hydrogels are a special kind of material naturally present in the human body, which facilitate cell growth into tissues. Researchers at Maastricht University are able to replicate hydrogels and use them to accurately mimic human tissue.
A healthy future for children with obesity
Prof. Dr. Anita Vreugdenhil wants to improve health care for children with obesity. She studies whether children with severe obesity, for whom lifestyle interventions do not work, can be helped with a gastric reduction surgery.
Could humans ever regenerate?
Bones do not always heal themselves after a large fracture. Prof. dr. Martijn van Griensven studies bone regeneration. He uses scaffolds and stem cells to let bone tissue grow and investigates how to stimulate bone growth.
Making more bone about it
Dr. Sabine van Rijt is developing a new type of biomaterial for patients with bone cancer. The composite material, based on nanoparticles and polymers, kills cancer cells and instructs the body to regrow surgically removed bone.
Treating skin cancer without surgery
Making an impact in people's lives and on society as a whole is what Prof. Dr. Klara Mosterd aims to achieve with her research on skin cancer and the clinical treatment of patients. And that can also be done without surgery.
Improved primary care
The population is rapidly aging, there is a shortage of healthcare workers, and the workload of general practitioners continues to increase. Rowan Smeets investigated three ways to improve the situation in general practices.
Chronic abdominal pain
Many people with a chronic inflammatory bowel disease suffer from persistent abdominal pain. Due to limited knowledge about this form of chronic pain, gastroenterologist Dr. Zlatan Mujagic is trying to better understand it.
Shared decision making
When doctors and patients make treatment decisions together, it is beneficial for patients and the healthcare system as a whole. Researchers are investigating how to improve the process of shared decision-making for low-literacy patients.
Hybrid ablation: a team operation
The treatment called 'hybrid ablation' leads to better results in persistent atrial fibrillation compared to the standard treatment, catheter ablation. Approximately twice as many patients are symptom-free after one year.
Genetics in early development
To help people in having healthy children, Dr. Masoud Zamani Esteki is studying the genetic development of embryos. In this video, he explains how he investigates embryonic development before and during pregnancy.
Learning and leading differently
Public health leaders have been divorced from science. Prof. Dr. Katazyna Czabanowska focuses on developing public health leaders driven by values of social justice, inclusion and equity address the challenges affecting health and well-being.
Lorenzo Moroni is developing technology to create biological substitutes for heart chambers in space using magnetic and acoustic levitation. This research on 3D tissue will be conducted in space, at the International Space Station (ISS).
Dealing with chronic pain
The impact of chronic pain is somewhat overlooked. Pain is often seen as a symptom rather than a disease. Researchers and healthcare professionals are collaborating in the Pain Rehabilitation Limburg network to help people in this regard.