Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research group focusses on translational gastroenterology, in particular in inflamatory bowel disease (IBD). In close collaboration with the clinical gastroentrology and the department of surgery, several research lines have been developed combining clinical questions and basic research, all aimed at improving the efficacy of currently avaible therapeutic options and development of new interventions.

Specific research topics include:

-The effector mechanisms of current IBD medication

In IBD, nearly all commonly used medication is effective in a subset of patients, but not in all. Currently the choice of drug is often a matter of trial and error, due a lack of information regarding the efffector mechanisms of the various medications. We have focussed on the elucidation of these mechanims, in order to both improve the existing medication and predict which patient requires which treatment. This includes the evaluation of the effects of genetic polymorphisms in autophagy related genes on disease pathways and response to thiopurines, as well as the elucidation of the effector mechanim of anti-TNF. This last research has already resulted in the identification of new anti-TNF combination therapy, for which a clinicial trial will start soon.

- Involvement of extra-intestinal tissues in disease

Although the main location of IBD is the intestine, both complaints and symptoms also occur outside the gastrointestinal tract. In collaboration with the department of surgery, my group investigates the role of the mesentry in the development of disease and post-surgical healing. This results in a unique combination of basic data supporting surgical approaches, reducing complications and reinterventions.

In addition to their inestinal complaints, many IBD patients suffer from extreme fatigue, even during periods of remission. We have recently started a project studying the biology leading to this fatigue, with the ultimate aim of developing medication targeting both intestinal inflammation and fatigue.


Pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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