Diederik Kuster, PhD
VU University Medical Center Amsterdam
Dr. Kuster’s research has focused on understanding molecular changes that underlie cardiac muscle function, hypertrophy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As a PhD student, he studied changes in transcription factors that drive physiological and pathological hypertrophy in swine. Afterwards, he switched to the department of Physiology as a postdoc to focus on the function of cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C). Combining biochemistry, mass-spectrometry and muscle mechanics, he identified a novel phosphorylation site on cMyBP-C, which was phosphorylated by GSK3β, and which increased the kinetics of contraction. His current research at the VUmc focuses on molecular changes in HCM mouse models and human patient samples. Combining biochemical and biophysical techniques with in vivo and in vitro measurements of cardiac/cardiomyocyte function, he aims to elucidate the still elusive HCM pathophysiology.