In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

Portrait of two new SOT nucleus members: Dr. Carolina Balbi & Dr. Jan Willem Buikema

Basic Science

Dr. Carolina Balbi 

Carolina Balbi.jpg

Area of expertise: Paracrine communication, extracellular vesicles, heart fibrosis, cardiac repair and regeneration
Dr. Balbi started her research on paracrine communication in cardiovascular disease during her PhD at University of Genoa, Italy. As a PhD student she investigated the role of human amniotic fluid stem cells secretome as therapeutic tool for myocardial infarction. After her PhD degree, in 2018 she moved as PostDoctoral fellow in the Cellular and Molecular Cardiology lab of the Laboratories for Translational Research at Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino-Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (ICCT-EOC), Switzerland. Here she continued her research on the therapeutic and regenerating potential of extracellular vesicles from human cardiac mesenchymal progenitor cells on different cardiovascular disease. In 2021 she got her first research grant, from Swiss Heart Foundation, becoming project leader in the lab. Her current research is aimed to understand the role of circulating extracellular vesicles in healthy and
pathological conditions. She recently developed a 3D model of human heart combining iPS-derived cardiomyocyte, cardiac fibroblast and aortic endothelial cell; a fundamental tool to upgrade the results obtained during her research.


Dr. Jan Willem Buikema

Jan Willem Buikema.jpg

Since 2009 Dr. Jan Willem Buikema has studied the effects of embryonic Wnt signals on growth of the ventricular chambers and pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Scientifically, Jan Willem is interested in the molecular targets for the prevention and/or cure of diverse genetic forms of cardiomyopathy in men and women. Unlike, most current medical treatments in heart failure, the future of patient-tailored therapies acknowledge the diversity between patients and will lead to “one-pill-per-patient” regimens. Dr. Jan Willem Buikema combines his research interest as a cardiologist at the Amsterdam Heart Center, specialized in heart failure treatment. Previously, Dr. Buikema trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and Utrecht Medical Center. At a national level Jan Willem is involved in Young @ Heart;  Heart and the Dutch Cardiovascular Alliance. Jan Willem is excited to join SoT and promotes diversity and inclusivity among ESC.