Leon Schurgers, PhD is professor of biochemistry of vascular calcification and vice chair of the department of biochemistry, which is part of the Cardiovascular Research Institute CARIM, Maastricht University. He also is chair of the Stem Cell Reseach University Maastricht (SCRUM) department. He did his PhD thesis at CARIM on the role of vitamin K1 and K2 in bone metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Schurgers is currently working on Vitamin K Research. His research work includes molecular biology, biochemistry, animal and human nutrition, pharmacology, and clinical studies in the fields of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. His project line aims to elucidate the role of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in vascular remodeling and calcification, and how this is initiated and propagated. Key cellular events of SMCs include phenotypic switching, oxidative stress, inflammation and formation of extracellular vesicles. The regulation of vitamin K-dependent protein biosynthesis, its sites of action and its putative relationship with remodeling and calcification is insufficient to understand the pathogenesis of vascular ageing at a level that allows the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies.
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