Young@Heart Board

Daan Westenbrink (UMCG)Chair

Daan Westenbrink is a clinical cardiologist and a translational scientist at the department of experimental cardiology at the University Medical Center Groningen. He is specialized in heart failure and his research group focusses on mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure, always connecting clinical observations with preclinical research. Throughout his career, talent development programs have allowed him to combine clinical cardiology with fundamental research.  He is passionate to offer young talented scientists similar opportunities to thrive. 


Isabella Kardys (Erasmus MC) Secretary 

Isabella Kardys is an MD PhD cardiovascular epidemiologist, and associate professor at the department of cardiology of Erasmus MC. She combines elements from fundamental science with modern epidemiological methodologies to enable personalized risk assessment in patients with cardiovascular disease, and to develop decision making tools that are fit for clinical application. She has a particular interest in the role of serially measured blood biomarkers. She avidly enjoys helping young ambitious investigators to pursue their goals in research and beyond.

Anthal Smits (TU/E)  – Outreach

Anthal Smits is a Biomedical Engineer and Assistant Professor of ImmunoRegeneration at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research group focuses on the development of biomaterials that modulate the immune response, and particularly macrophages, in order to locally induce regeneration of diseased cardiovascular tissues. He aims to bridge the gap between technological innovations and their clinical application by bringing people from different scientific disciplines together. He is passionate about the mentoring of talented young researchers in order to stimulate their professional development beyond scientific skills.


Anneline te Riele (UMCU)  – PR & Communication

Anneline te Riele is a cardiology fellow and clinical scientist at the University Medical Center Utrecht. She is fascinated by sudden cardiac death in inherited cardiomyopathies: an intriguing paradox of a deathly event among those feeling full of life. In her research, she uses advanced data science methods to improve early detection and risk stratification of these diseases. She is committed to promoting the successes of the next generation of cardiovascular talents both in and outside of academic medicine.


Diederik Kuster (Amsterdam UMC)Grant Development

Diederik Kuster is assistant professor at the department of Physiology of Amsterdam UMC. He uses his training is in chemistry, combined with knowledge of physiology and biophysics to unravel disease mechanisms in cardiomyopathies. The main focus of this research is to understand regulation of contraction and relaxation and build new tools to measure this. The chance to guide and inspire young scientist to become independent thinkers with exciting careers in and outside academia is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.


Past Board Members

  • Rik Vos (Erasmus MC) – LinkedIn
  • Linda van Laake (UMCU) – LinkedIn
  • Faith Arslan (Antonius Ziekenhuis) – LinkedIn
  • Johan Verjans (University of Adelaide)LinkedIn
  • Roland van Kimmenade (Radboud UMC)LinkedIn

Board and Scientific Council Membership 

The board membership is for at least 2 years. To ensure continuity of Y@H, the first term of the current board members may be extended to max. 3 years. The scientific council provides and appoints future candidates. Scientific council members are committed and active participation is expected. Representation of gender and Dutch university medical centers is pursued, but is subjected to the applications.