Prof. Dr. Reinier Boon


Prof. Dr. Reinier Boon

Goethe University Hospital
Institute for Cardiovascular Regeneration
Theodor-Stern-Kai 7
69590 Frankfurt am Main


Research areas: aging, non-coding RNA

Reinier Boon is DZHK Professor for RNA Therapeutics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. He studies the role of non-coding RNAs in the aging process of the cardiovascular system, with particular focus on endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes.

Research focus

Prof. Boon’s group studies cardiovascular aging in order to understand which processes in the heart and blood vessels contribute to a deterioration of the cardiovascular system over time. His work is focused on understanding, on a molecular level, what happens in endothelial cells lining blood vessels and in heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). Recently discovered molecules that control cellular processes, called non-coding RNAs, are studied in the context of cardiovascular aging. Several of these non-coding RNAs play a role in aging-induced cell death of cardiomyocytes as well as aging-induced dysfunction of endothelial cells as Prof. Boon’s team has discovered. The goal of this work is to identify mechanisms behind cardiovascular aging and to exploit this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics to counteract the detrimental effects of aging on the cardiovascular system.

Major achievements and awards

  • European Society of Cardiology, Outstanding Achievement Award (2019)
  • European Research Council ERC Starting Grant (2015)
  • Franz-Maximilian Groedel Research Prize of the German Cardiac Society (2014)
  • Dutch-German Meeting of the molecular cardiology working groups, Young Investigator Award (2013)
  • American Heart Association, Melvin L. Marcus Young Investigator Award (2010)

Key publications

Hofmann P, Sommer J, Theodorou K, Kirchhof L, Fischer A, Li Y, Perisic L, Hedin U, Maegdefessel L, Dimmeler S, Boon RA. Long non-coding RNA H19 regulates endothelial cell aging via inhibition of Stat3 signaling. Cardiovasc Res. 2019. 115(1):230-242.PMID: 30107531

Manavski Y, Lucas T, Glaser SF, Dorsheimer L, Günther S, Braun T, Rieger MA, Zeiher AM, Boon RA*, Dimmeler S*. Clonal Expansion of Endothelial Cells Contributes to Ischemia-Induced Neovascularization. Circ Res. 2018. 122:670-677. PMID: 29358229

Manavski Y, Abel T, Hu J, Kleinlützum D, Buchholz CJ, Belz C, Augustin HG, Boon RA*, Dimmeler S*. Endothelial transcription factor KLF2 negatively regulates liver regeneration via induction of activin A. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017. 114(15):3993-3998. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1613392114. PMID: 28348240

Boon RA, Jaé N, Holdt L, Dimmeler S. Long Noncoding RNAs: From clinical genetics to therapeutic targets? J Am Coll Cardiol, 2016. 67:1214-26. PMID: 26965544

Boon RA, Hofmann P, Michalik KM, Lozano-Vidal N, Berghäuser D, Fischer A, Knau A, Jaé N, Schürmann C, Dimmeler S. Long Noncoding RNA Meg3 controls endothelial cell aging and function: implications for regenerative angiogenesis. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2016. 68:2589-2591. PMID: 27931619

Doddaballapur A, Michalik KM, Manavski Y, Lucas T, Houtkooper RH, You X, Chen W, Zeiher AM, Potente M, Dimmeler S, Boon RA. Laminar shear stress inhibits endothelial cell metabolism via KLF2-mediated repression of PFKFB3. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 2015. 35:137-45. PMID: 25359860

Michalik KM, You X, Manavski Y, Doddaballapur A, Zörnig M, Braun T, John D, Ponomareva Y, Chen W, Uchida S, Boon RA*,Dimmeler S*. The long noncoding RNA MALAT1 regulates endothelial cell function and vessel growth. Circ Res, 2014. 114:1389-97. PMID: 24602777

Boon RA, Iekushi K, Lechner S, Seeger T, Fischer A, Heydt S, Kaluza D, Treguer K, Carmona G, Bonauer A, Horrevoets AJ, Didier N, Girmatsion Z, Biliczki P, Ehrlich JR, Katus HA, Müller OJ, Potente M, Zeiher AM, Hermeking H, Dimmeler S. MicroRNA-34a controls cardiac aging and function. Nature, 2013. 495:107-10. PMID: 23426265

Hergenreider E, Heydt S, Tréguer K, Böttger T, Horrevoets AJ, Zeiher AM, Scheffer MP, Frangakis AS, Yin X, Mayr M, Braun T, Urbich C, Boon RA*, Dimmeler S*. Atheroprotective communication between endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells via miRNAs. Nat Cell Biol, 2012. 14:249-256. PMID: 22327366

Boon RA, Seeger T, Heydt S, Fischer A, Hergenreider E, Horrevoets AJ, Vinciguerra M, Rosenthal N, Sciacca S, Pilato M, van Heijningen P, Essers J, Brandes RP, Zeiher AM, Dimmeler S. MicroRNA-29 in aortic dilation: implications for aneurysm formation. Circ Res, 2011. 109:1115-1119. PMID: 21903938

*these authors contributed equally