De Ruiter Group - Clinical anatomy and cardiovascular development

Marco is the group leader of the section Clinical Anatomy within the department. The central focus of his research is the development and pathomorphology of the heart, with emphasis on the cardiovascular outflow tract of the heart.

To provide better mechanistic insights in the pathomorphology of patients our human studies are paralleled by studies in well-defined mouse and chicken models to unravel the role of extracardiac contributors (second heart field, neural crest and epicardium) in the differentiation and maturation of the aortic root. The analyses include a range of immunohistochemistry and molecular biological approaches (single-cell sequencing), in combination with (genetic cre-lox system and non-genetic fluorescent dye microinjections) cell lineage tracing techniques, genetic models for bicuspid aortic valves and transposition of the great arteries, laser dissection microscopy, in vitro flow experiments, electrophysiology, optical mapping and ultrasound evaluations of embryonic cardiac function. With these techniques, we explore the hypothesis that processes essential for normal embryonic cardiovascular patterning and differentiation are also involved in the maintenance and repair of the heart and vessel wall. Small deviations in the signaling processes can result in congenital cardiovascular malformations seen perinatal, but also in increased susceptibility of cardiovascular pathology seen in adults.

Our team

  • Marco C. de Ruiter (PI, Professor)


  • Janine van Gils, PhD
  • Lisa Koorman, PhD
  • Margot Bartelings, MD, PhD

PhD Students

  • Marloes Knol, MD
  • Ruben Methorst
  • Tamara Borsboom
  • Thomas Bos, MD
  • Michiel Blok

Research technicians

  • Bert Wisse
  • Conny van Munsteren


  • Btissam Saidi