Comprehensive medical PhD dissertation presents predictors of inflammatory bowel disease

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A PhD dissertation consisting of more than 1100 pages and covering a total of 31 chapters. UMCG PhD-candidate Arno Bourgonje (26) probably wrote the most voluminous medical PhD dissertation ever published in the Netherlands. Under the supervision of four professors from the UMCG departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Pathology and Medical Biology, Bourgonje conducted doctoral research on the predictive value of biomarkers for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Among many other intriguing findings, he identified an important new biomarker that is able to reflect the severity of intestinal inflammation in patients with IBD and may hold great potential for development of a home-based monitoring test for patients with IBD. Leveraging data from the Lifelines population-based cohort, he is also actively performing research into preclinical IBD, i.e. identifying early biomarkers of the disease in order to be able to predict which individuals are at high risk of developing IBD in the future.