My research in a nutshell
I am interested in understanding why dogs (and cats) suffer from chronic diseases associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and weight loss, which is very similar to human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like for example Crohn's disease. As there seem to be many factors involved I am trying to apply new treatment concepts, and investigate potential causes (for example the changes in the "flora" of the gut compared to healthy dogs). I am also keen to understand how to better gage clinical severity or "activity" of these disorders, by applying measures through questionnaires and clinical scores, specifically assessing behaviour and abdominal (tummy) pain. Our group is also keen to find a way of assessing causes of these diseases with regards to the gut immune system, which seems to be malfunctioning in a lot of these cases. This means that we look at a lot of different things in gut biopsies or might even be able to measure immune function "in the petry dish" to later apply this new information to a clinical scenario. Ultimately, all of this should lead to better treatment options in the future, by better understanding of causes of these chronic inflammatory gut conditions.