Making the GYM project a reality

The GYM project is embedded in research school MHeNS and connects with research school GROW of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University, having ample expertise in mitochondrial, neuromuscular and oncological disorders. In a recent external review of GROW, the mitochondrial research of the team of Bert Smeets was considered of exceptional quality. The required infrastructure for stem cell culture, genetic modification and next-generation sequencing is present at the Department of Toxicogenomics. The patient-related research and clinical trials are carried out by the Smeets team, together with different departments of the Maastricht University Medical Center, more specifically Neurology and the Clinical Trial Center Maastricht (CTCM). The project leader Bert Smeets has extensive experience in leading and participating in national and international projects, including EU and Interreg projects.

A huge contribution

Regenerative medicine is one of the spearheads of Maastricht University, illustrated by major investments in the MERLN Institute and in large public/private initiatives such as RegMedXB. Regenerative medicine aims to heal patients by restoring tissues and organs, making transplants no longer necessary. The GYM project will strengthen and expand the ambition of Maastricht University to get and maintain a strong position in translational research in this field. And GYM will strongly benefit from what has been established so far. We will translate the scientific findings on muscle stem cell therapy into a viable company for the production of the medicinal product, established as part of the project. This company can become a key player in regenerative medicine, exactly in line with the ambitions not only of Maastricht University, but of the entire Euregio Meuse-Rhine. GYM expects to play a pioneering role and thereby contribute to making the region even more attractive for top researchers and companies, resulting in economic activity and improving the socio-economic situation.