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PhD J.E. Seppen

Position
Assistant Professor
Main activities
Education
Specialisation
Microbiome, metabolome, metabolism, detoxification, Gene Therapy.
Focus of research

How diet affects intestinal bacterial composition and metabolism and induces remission in Crohn’s disease.

The intestinal microbiome has been implicated in a plethora of human diseases. How the microbiome influences these processes is still largely unknown. We investigate the role of the microbiome and microbial products in inducing remission in Crohn's disease. To this end studies on the compsition of the microbiome and metabolome of patients with Crohn's disease are carried out. From these studies the causal relationship between specific microbes or metabolites and intestinal inflammation should be elucidated.

Therapy with sporulating bacteria

Bacterial spores are resistant to gastric acid, bile salts and pancreatic secretions, they survive passage through the upper gastrointestinal tract and are able to germinate in the intestine after oral administration. Restoring the disturbed microbiome and inducing remission in Crohn's disease by administration of probiotics is considered to be ineffective, likely because probiotics are generally not very well adapted to the human gut or poorly delivered because they cannot survive transit through the upper gastrointestinal tract. We investigate if bacterial spores, either anaerobes that are associated with remission in Crohn's disease or genetically modified sporulating bacteria producing immune modulating compounds, are a potential treatment for Crohns's disease.