Christian M.A.H. Freund PhD

Senior Researcher

Area(s) of interest


Christian Freund studied biology in Mainz and Brussels and carried out a PhD in Berlin. He was awarded a PhD in 2006 for a thesis on the role of NF-κB in cardiac hypertrophy in vivo.
In 2006 he became postdoc in the group of Christine Mummery at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, investigating ways to improve the efficiency of differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to cardiomyocytes. He showed that insulin plays an important role as it inhibits cardiac differentiation and induces hESC toward the neuronal lineage instead. Beside improving differentiation systems, he is also working on the identification of novel regulators of cardiac development. A microarray analysis revealed a number of potential candidates of which several are currently being functionally characterized. These novel pathways will help to improve cardiac differentiation systems.
Recently he started to reprogram human somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). The aim is to generate iPS from patients with genetic heart defects. Differentiation of iPS into cardiomyocytes will facilitate research on understanding mechanisms of cardiac disease as well as its rescue through genetic engineering or drug based therapy.


Leiden University Medical Center
Building 2

Einthovenweg 20
2333 ZC Leiden
Tel: 71 526 9351

P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands