SciCom
28April2022

Report on the 10th SciCom Workshop at ECCO'22

Isabelle Cleynen, SciCom Member

Isabelle Cleynen 
© ECCO

This year we celebrated the 10th edition of the SciCom Workshop. What better way to do this than by looking ahead at future therapeutic IBD targets?

To set the scene, Marc Ferrante took us through the limitations of current IBD therapies, including the therapeutic ceiling, lack of information on niche indications (e.g. anal fistula, pouchitis), drugs that become available despite many remaining questions, and safety and economic aspects. However, there is a bright future ahead, with many opportunities to explore, such as the need for novel drugs with better efficacy, thinking beyond anti-inflammatory drugs, head-to-head trials, using drugs more efficiently, considering other aetiological factors, precision medicine and more.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Congress News, Volume 17, Issue 1, ECCO'22

28April2022

ECCO Fellowships and Grants Report

Sebastian Zeissig, SciCom Chair


Sebastian Zeissig 
© ECCO

One of the main goals of ECCO is to promote IBD-related basic and clinical research as well as to foster interaction and productive collaboration among European research groups working in the IBD field. To achieve this goal, ECCO supports numerous funding schemes with different scopes including ECCO Fellowships, Grants, and Travel Awards.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Congress News, Volume 17, Issue 1, ECCO'22

28April2022

Call for applications for ECCO Fellowships, Grants and Travel Awards

Sebastian Zeissig, SciCom Chair

Sebastian Zeissig 
© ECCO

Dear ECCO Members and Friends, 

ECCO has established Fellowships, Grants and Travel Awards to encourage and support young physicians in their careers and to promote innovative research in IBD.   

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Volume 17, Issue 1

16December2021

Fostering excellent science in IBD surgery

Michel Adamina, S-ECCO Chair

Michel Adamina
© ECCO

Surgery is based on several principles that hold true across specialties and time trends: knowledge of the disease at hand and the surgical anatomy; understanding of the patient’s needs and values; interpersonal and communication skills; professionalism and practice-based learning in the decision to perform and the execution of a surgical procedure; and broad competencies in postoperative care and follow-up, in particular when treating patients with chronic diseases. Science, on the other hand, is led by curiosity and honesty with the desire to build knowledge and understanding of our world. In a world with limited resources and with care practice increasingly focusing on the individual needs of patients, tailored treatment is increasingly sought after. Hence, fostering excellent science in IBD surgery may translate into a quest for value-based, innovative ways of approaching disease states for which many possible treatment options exist.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 4

17September2021

ECCO Multi-Year Research Grant Synopsis: Konrad Aden & Bram Verstockt

Konrad Aden and Bram Verstockt, ECCO Multi-Year Research Grant Awardees

JAK-STAT-driven immunometabolism as a novel principle in the pathophysiology of Ulcerative Colitis


Konrad Aden
© Konrad Aden


Bram Verstockt
© ECCO

Janus kinase (JAK) inhibition is a novel therapeutic approach in the management of Ulcerative Colitis (UC). However, the role of JAK inhibition with respect to cell-specific immunometabolic properties is not known.

The overall aim of this multi-year research proposal is to generate deeper understanding of the interplay of JAK inhibition and immunometabolic properties in the intestinal mucosa at a cellular level and thereby to open up new avenues in biomarker development and novel targeted interventions in UC. This aim is being pursued by (i) identifying immunometabolomic signatures of JAK inhibition in UC patients using multi-omics analysis of longitudinal therapy response cohorts and (ii) modelling the impact of two metabolic principles, namely amino acide (e.g. tryptophan) and short-chain fatty acids (e.g. butyrate), on the efficacy of JAK inhibition in ex vivo organisms.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 16, Issue 3

17September2021

Report on the 9th SciCom Workshop at ECCO'21

Yves Panis, SciCom Member

Yves Panis
© ECCO

Precision medicine in IBD 

The ninth edition of the SciCom Workshop, held during the 16th Congress of ECCO, was dedicated to recent advances in "Precision medicine in IBD", covering different aspects from disease prevention to prediction of disease course and therapeutic responses and potential strategies for disease cure.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Congress News, ECCO'21, Volume 16, Issue 3

29April2021

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Roksana Maria Pirzgalska

Roksana Maria Pirzgalska, ECCO Grant Awardee

A NEUROEPITHELIAL APPROACH TO INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Roksana Maria Pirzgalska
© Roksana Maria Pirzgalska

Aim of research

Deregulation of the gut mucosa is an under-appreciated aspect of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and metabolic syndrome. We hypothesise that brain-derived signals modulate mucosal physiology by regulating both immune responses in the gut and the absorptive capacity of intestinal cells. We aim to understand the function of this proposed brain–gut circuit and to what extent this information can be harnessed from a clinical perspective.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 16, Issue 2

29April2021

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: M. Nabil Quraishi

M. Nabil Quraishi, ECCO Grant Awardee

A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH FOR IDENTIFICATION OF HOST AND MICROBIAL MECHANISMS AND DRUGGABLE TARGETS FOR THE TREATMENT OF PSC-IBD

M. Nabil Quraishi
© M. Nabil Quraishi

Aim of research

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare hepatobiliary manifestation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that is associated with significant and disproportionate unmet needs and a higher all-cause mortality compared with IBD alone. Unfortunately, no medical therapy has been proven to slow disease progression in PSC-IBD, and liver transplantation is the only life-saving intervention for patients.

We recently identified distinct mucosal transcriptomic profiles in PSC-IBD with regard to bile acid metabolism, bile acid signalling and a central role of enteric dysbiosis. Data from other groups have shown that oral vancomycin attenuates colonic inflammation and improves biochemical markers of cholestasis in PSC. In our study, we hypothesise that oral vancomycin attenuates colonic mucosal inflammation in PSC-IBD by restoring gut microbiota-mediated bile acid homeostatic pathways. We aim to identify druggable gut microbial and host molecular pathways associated with bile acid-mediated colonic mucosal inflammation in PSC-IBD.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 16, Issue 2

29April2021

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Charlotte Hedin

Charlotte Hedin, ECCO Grant Awardee

DEFINING AND SUPPORTING MUCOSAL HEALING IN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Charlotte Hedin
© Charlotte Hedin

Aim of research

One goal of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) treatment is complete endoscopic/histological mucosal healing (MH). The treatments currently used to achieve MH almost universally act through immunosuppression, with side-effects of infection and cancer. Therapeutic strategies that directly promote MH are lacking, partly due to poor understanding of the dynamics and different phases of MH. Better knowledge of the stages of MH may also inform optimal timing of therapeutic interventions.

The aims of this project are to generate an in-depth dynamic molecular characterisation of patients with acute, active UC and to follow the development of this profile into either MH or eventual non-response with consequent surgery. The molecular data will be linked to detailed registration of diet during inflammation and healing and to durability of remission.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 16, Issue 2

29April2021

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Shai Bel

Shai Bel, ECCO Grant Awardee

THE ROLE OF AUTOPHAGY IN LIMITING IBD-ASSOCIATED AIEC-INDUCED INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION

Shai Bel
© Shai Bel

Aim of research

While the aetiology underlying the development of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) is unclear, evidence points to an interaction between host genetics, such as mutations in autophagy genes, and environmental factors, such as bacterial infections. Multiple studies have identified an adherent-invasive Escherichia coli pathotype (AIEC) that attaches to intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in patients with IBD but not in healthy subjects. It is thought that AIEC exploits the intestinal inflammation in patients with IBD to attach to the IECs, intensifying the pre-existing inflammation. Studies in vitro have shown that functional autophagy is crucial to eliminate AIEC infection. Here, we aim to identify how, and in which compartment of the intestine, autophagy protects the host from AIEC-associated pathologies in vivo and to determine whether artificially enhancing the autophagy process is a viable therapeutic avenue for patients with IBD and intestinal AIEC colonisation.

Posted in ECCO News, SciCom, Committee News, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports, Volume 16, Issue 2

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