Clinician-scientist, specialized internist-endocrinologist, Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
Liesbeth Winter is a clinician-scientist, specialized internist-endocrinologist at the LUMC with a special focus on Bone and Mineral disorders. She combines clinical activities with teaching and research.
Her main research projects are linked to the top referral care of the Leiden Center for Bone Quality where research and optimal clinical care are integrated, within the deparment of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology.
Besides various clinical studies in metabolic bone diseases, (complex) osteoporosis, diagnostics such as microindentation, and patient empowerment (together with dr. N.M. Appelman-Dijkstra), Liesbeth Winter holds a specific research line on translational bone research with prof dr P.C.N. Rensen (metabolic aspects of vascular diseases), and prof dr O.C. Meijer (molecular neuroendocrinology of corticosteroids).
This research focuses on the circadian rhythm of bone, and its relation with glucocorticoids, with the aim to prevent the negative effects of disturbed circadian rhythm and glucocorticoid treatment on bone.
Amongst other prizes, Liesbeth Winter was rewarded a Leiden University Elise Mathilde Fund (2017), Grant from Arthritis Foundation (2019), and Praesidium Libertatis Grant (2020). She is elected member of the European Calcified Tissue Society Academy.
The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) is a university medical center for research, education and patient care with a strong scientific orientation and ranks as the 6th best medical research institute in Europe (Shanghai-ARWU 2045 & 2015). Researchers at LUMC work together around 7 medical research profiles.
The LUMC hosts core facilities including fully equipped animal facilities, e.g. with fully automated metabolic cages for indirect calorimetry (Sable Systems), EchoMRI, and isotope labs. In addition, LUMC hosts dedicated facilities for e.g. cell culture, FACS analysis, histology (atherosclerosis), lipidology, and metabolomics/lipidomics. Extensive experience in genome and metabolome wide association studies as well as various systems biology approaches is available.
Keywords: glucocorticoid, bone, circadian rhythm, microCT, histology
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are essential to treat various inflammatory diseases, but they are detrimental to bone, causing osteoporosis with fractures. Because of the long half-life of the commonly used synthetic GCs compared to endogenous GCs, patients treated with synthetic GCs have severely disturbed or absent circadian GC rhythms, which are essential for healthy bone metabolism.
In fact, we recently demonstrated in mice that not only the dosage of GCs, but also flattening GC rhythm contributes to osteoporosis. This is a novel finding opening a complete new direction to find preventive measures for patients who receive treatment with GCs.
Within this project we will investigate in a mouse model whether reintroduction of a GC rhythm can preserve bone rhythmicity, and thereby bone quality and strength.
Position: 4 years fully funded by CSC. Read more project details in the linked PDF file.