Key Research Topics

Key Research Topics

Click on the research field of your choice for more detailed information.

Key Research Topics of gastrointestinal diseases

Gastrointestinal oncology
This research concentrates mainly on cancer of the oesophagus, colon, pancreas and bile duct. Translational research is focusing on the origins of the malignities in known high-risk groups. Endoscopy plays an important role in both the identification and the treatment of tumours. AMC also houses the Colorectal Carcinoma Expertise Centre, where studies are being conducted into, for example, mass screening for bowel cancer.

Neuroimmunology: neurogastroenterology and inflammatory bowel diseases
This covers studies of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as of irritable bowel syndrome, post-operative ileus and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. The work includes investigations into how signals from the nervous system regulate the immune system and influence the development of abdominal inflammations.

Hepatology
Viral infections of the liver, bile production and cholestasis are topics of research here, as are metabolic disorders of the liver, such as obesity-induced fatty liver disease. Better treatments for liver diseases are being developed; these treatments include gene therapy, cell therapy and a bioartificial liver that is capable of taking over the organ’s function in the event of acute failure. Also being investigated are therapies for primary biliary cirrhosis and liver fibrosis, and work is underway to unravel the mechanism responsible for cholestasis-associated itching. New medicines and drug combinations for viral hepatitis (especially hepatitis C) are also being tested.

Key Research Topics of metabolic disorders

Fatty acid metabolization, glucose management and peroxisomal disorders
The research in this field covers both the genetic and the enzymatic analysis of disorders that affect the energy metabolism and the functioning of peroxisomes, as well as their analysis in vivo using stable isotopes. Conditions under scrutiny include congenital metabolic disorders – such as Refsum’s disease, primary hyperoxaluria type 1, mevalonate kinase deficiency and fatty acid oxidation disorders, and those metabolic disorders that play a part in such diseases as diabetes mellitus.

Hormonal control of gene expression and lipid metabolism
Under this heading fall studies that focus on the central nervous system’s contribution to the metabolic effects of hyperthyroidism in the liver and fatty tissues, and those that examine the relationship between metabolic disorders and such psychological conditions as depression and schizophrenia.

Lysosomal storage disorders: Sphinx
The Amsterdam Lysosome Center Sphinx is a multidisciplinary research partnership within AMC in the field of lysosomal storage disorders. It conducts both innovative translational research and clinical studies of such conditions as Gaucher’s disease, Fabry’s disease and MPS (mucopolysaccharidosis) I. Coverage will be extended to include other such disorders for which new therapeutic opportunities are appearing, for example MPS III, MPS IV and Niemann-Pick disease types A/B and C.