Sara Vandenwijngaert, PhD

Sara’s research focuses on the role of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in cardiovascular disease. As a PhD student (KU Leuven, Belgium), she studied the role of the cGMP-degrading enzyme phoshodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy. Currently, she is investigating the potential of the cGMP-synthesizing enzyme soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) as a therapeutic target in chemotherapy-induced heart disease. In addition, she is studying the post-transcriptional regulation of the gene encoding atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) by microRNAs. Sara is also investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the association between genetic variants in the gene encoding the ANP-receptor (NPR1) and hypertension.