Seminar, Jonas Halfvarson, Novel biomarker identification in IBD
Thursday December 7
Department of Gastroenterology, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Jonas Halfvarson is a Consultant Gastroenterologist specialising in IBD at Örebro University Hospital, Sweden. He graduated as MD at Uppsala University, Sweden, before training in gastroenterology at Örebro University Hospital. He undertook research with Professor Gunnar Järnerot and obtained his PhD, entitled ‘Inflammatory bowel disease in twins; Studies of genetics and environmental factors’ in 2004. Part of his PhD was done at the University of Oxford, UK with Professor Derek Jewell. Today his research focuses on biomarkers in IBD, both from a clinical and from a mechanistic perspective, the latter using twin studies to disentangle the influence of genetic predisposition and exposure to environmental factors. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, as well as contributed to several books on IBD. He has served as vice director for the Swedish national PhD and Postdoctoral program for translational gastroenterology and heads the taskforce for genetics and pathophysiology at the Swedish Organisation for the Study of IBD and is the Scientific Director of the Swedish IBD registry (SWIBREG). Today he is appointed Associate Professor at Örebro University and combines his time in clinical practice with his positions at the University. Dr Halfvarson was named a Rising Star in Gastroenterology at the United European Gastroenterology (UEGWeek) in 2011 and is a board member of the International Organization for the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD).
Novel biomarker identification in IBD – is the inflammation caused by nature or nurture?
Jonas Halfvarson will talk about his research, which aims to disentangle the influence of genetic predisposition and early environmental exposure in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), i.e. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He aims to accomplish this by characterizing the early preclinical stage of the disease in the twin model, including aspects of the microbial composition and the subclinical inflammation. Based on a deeper mechanistic understanding he also aims to identify biomarkers that can be used to diagnose the diseases (diagnostic biomarkers) and to foresee who will progress to a severe disease status (prognostic biomarkers).