Rinse Weersma

Prediction session11.30-13.00

Profile

Prof R.K.Weersma is a clinical scientist and head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the University Medical Center Groningen. His research and clinical work focuses on chronic immune mediated diseases of the gastrointestinal tract like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease).  His previous research focused on disease susceptibility and gene identification and has shifted to the understanding of how the identified genetic variants lead to disease and their influence on disease behaviour. The emphasis lies on integrating “multi-omics” data with high resolution clinical data by making use of both population based (LifeLines) and disease specific (Parelsnoer and 1000IBD) biobanks. In recent years he has been working on the role of the gut microbiome in both health and disease (LifeLines 10K Metagenome project). 

The gut microbiome in health and disease

The gut microbiome (the collection of micro-organisms in the gut) is increasingly being recognized as playing an important role in health and disease. It fulfils a number of important functions:  it aids in digesting our food, synthesizes amino acids, trains our immune system and helps resist gastrointestinal infections. While previous research on the gut microbiome was limited, current sequencing technologies and progress in bioinformatics allows for in-depth analyses of the entire eco-system within the gut. Both disease cohorts and population biobanks are important to study the role of the gut microbiome on disease.  In recent years we started to learn the influence of numerous factors like diet and commonly used drugs on the gut microbiome composition.  Furthermore, gut microbial features harbour diagnostic potential. Experiences and results from gut microbiome analyses within the LifeLines 10K Metagenome Project and the Groningen 1000IBD cohort will be shared.

Find the presentation of Rinse Weersma here (PDF)