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Antoinette Ouwerkerk

Antoinette Ouwerkerk, PhD at Amsterdam UMC

My name is Antoinette van Ouwerkerk and I did my masters in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University, and currently I am a PhD at Amsterdam UMC. I am looking into the epigenetics of atrial fibrillation (AF), linking GWAS-identified variants and regulatory DNA to pinpoint causal variants.

The project that has been funded by the RACE V YTP grant is an in-depth study into the effect of a coding mutation in the cardiac transcription factor TBX5 found in a family with AF. Using a mouse model we will determine the effect of this point-mutation on expression in different cell populations of the heart with single cell RNA-seq. With this experiment we expect to find (altered) expression of direct and indirect target genes of TBX5 in cardiomyocyte sub-populations, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Moreover, we will map the binding sites of the mutated transcription factor on the DNA, giving valuable insight into the potential mechanisms through which this mutation can add to AF development. I am very happy to get this wonderful opportunity to work with the RACE V consortium and contribute to the study of AF!