IBD Research Fellows

toerToer Stevens, PhD candidate

Toer Stevens finished his medical degree at the University of Antwerp in 2016. During his study, for four years he has done research on the diagnosis of coagulopathy after traumatic brain injury. After his graduation, he started his PhD candidacy at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, under supervision of prof. Dr. G. D’Haens and Dr. M. Wildenberg. His research will mainly focus on the identification of biomarkers within the field of inflammatory bowel disease. One of the main objectives is the identification of predictive biomarkers for therapy response. The aim is to facilitate in the path towards the commonly accepted goal of creating a tailored, more personalised, managing strategy in the care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Marileen Prins, PhD candidate

Marileen Prins graduated Medical School at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. Consecutively, she started her PhD project under the supervision of dr. Manon Wildenberg. Her PhD focusses on the function of autophagy in dendritic cells in the intestine of Crohn’s Disease patients.

Elsa van Wassenaer, PhD-candidate

Elsa van Wassenaer graduated in Medicine at the University of Groningen in 2018. During her studies she conducted research with Prof. Benninga, pediatric gastroenterologist at the AMC. After her graduation, she commenced her PhD-course at the department of Gastroenterology and Pediatric Gastroenterology, under supervision of Prof. D’Haens, Prof. Benninga, and dr. Koot. She will focus on improving non-invasive monitoring of pediatric IBD patients (RAINBOW-studies). Also she coordinates the SPARE-trial in the AMC. This trial investigates the optimal treatment strategy for Crohn’s Disease patients who are in remission.

Floris de Voogd, PhD-candidate

Floris de Voogd studied Medicine at the VU University in Amsterdam and graduated in 2018. After his graduation, he worked as a resident (ANIOS) in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Alkmaar. In 2015 during previous research in Christchurch, New Zealand he gained interest in IBD. As of July 2018 he started a PhD-fellowship with prof. dr. D’Haens and dr. Gecse. His main research focus is the use and implementation of point-of-care intestinal ultrasonography. Intestinal ultrasonography enables the gastroenterologist to immediately visualize inflammation of the bowel in IBD during the outpatient clinic. Another focus of his research is the development of personalized anti-TNF therapy in ulcerative colitis.

Vincent Joustra, PhD-candidate

Vincent Joustra finished his medical degree at the VU University Amsterdam in December 2018. During his study he conducted retrospective research to identify risk factors for post-operative recurrence in Crohn’s Disease. In January 2019, he started his PhD candidacy at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, under the supervision of prof. Dr. G. D’Haens, prof. Dr. W. de Jonge and Dr. P. Henneman.
His research will mainly focus on the identification and validation of predictive biomarkers for treatment response in Crohn’s Disease using a multi-omics approach. The ultimate goal is to develop a mainly epigenetic driven algorithm to predict success or failure to biological treatment.

Melanie Bénard, PhD-candidate

Melanie Bénard studied medicine and psychology at the University of Amsterdam. She graduated medical school in 2017. After her graduation she worked as a residence at the department of Gastroenterology in Alkmaar. In July 2019 she started her PhD project that focusses on the microbiome and fecal transplantation for patients with ulcerative colitis, under supervision of prof. dr. Ponsioen en dr. Hugenholtz. She coordinates the TURN2 trial which addresses the efficacy and safety of fecal transplantation of specially selected fecal donors.

Djuna de Jong, PhD-candidate

Djuna de Jong obtained her medical degree at the University of Amsterdam in 2018. During her studies, she conducted research in disease activity of the (pre-)pouch in the Amsterdam UMC (location AMC), and endoscopic scores in ulcerative colitis in Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London. In January 2019 she started her PhD candidacy under the supervision of Prof. dr. D’Haens, Prof. dr. Ponsioen and dr. Duijvestein. Her research will mainly focus on stopping anti-TNF treatment in Crohn’s Disease patients (CEASE-trial) and new therapies for the treatment and prevention of pouchitis.

Job Saris, PhD-candidate

Job Saris has obtained his medical degree at the University of Amsterdam in 2018. During his studies, he conducted research in the field of cholestatic liver diseases, aiming to uncover the pathogenesis of pruritus. After his graduation, he started his PhD candidacy at the Amsterdam UMC – location AMC, under the supervision of dr. J. Grootjans, Prof. G. D’Haens and dr. M. Wildenberg. His research will mainly focus on the role of the peritoneal (abdominal cavity) immune system in patients suffering Crohn’s disease and patients suffering gastrointestinal cancer. The aim is to uncover the role of the peritoneal immune system and add to potential new (therapeutic) insights.

Marte Becker, PhD-candidate

Marte Becker obtained her medical degree at the University of Amsterdam in 2018. During her studies, she conducted research on the effect of infliximab on fibrosis in Crohn’s Disease patients. After graduating, she started her PhD candidacy in the Tytgat Institute under the supervision of dr. Wildenberg, dr. Buskens and Prof. dr. de Jonge. Her research will mainly focus on the development of fistulizing disease in patients with Crohn’s Disease. The goal of her research is to find genes that may play a role in the occurrence of fistulas and to find a suitable treatment for this. Next to this Marte will try to map the distribution of immune cells in the mesenteric fat tissue in IBD patients.

Anne Snijder, PhD-candidate

Anne Snijder obtained her medical degree at the University of Groningen. After graduating she worked as a resident (ANIOS) at the emergency department and department of gastroenterology, internal medicine and pulmonary diseases. In 2018 she started her joint doctorate at the Amsterdam UMC and University Hospital Leuven. In the Amsterdam UMC she works at the department of gastroenterology and abdominal surgery under the supervision of prof. dr. D’Haens, prof. dr. Bemelman and dr. Buskens. The projects focus on the multidisciplinary approach of IBD, in specific perianal fistulas in Crohn’s disease (PISA-II study) and the development of colorectal cancer in patients with IBD.

Ishtu Hageman, PhD-candidate

Ishtu Hageman studied Medicine at the University of Amsterdam and received her degree in 2016. After this, she finished the research master infection & immunity at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. During her studies she conducted research in the field of IL-1β in pediatric Crohn’s disease and the role of B-cells in rheumatoid arthritis. In May 2018, she started her PhD candidacy under the supervision of  dr. Henneman, dr. Paulusma, Prof. G. D’Haens en Prof. W. de Jonge. Her research mainly focus on the role of epigenetics and Crohn’s disease and with CRISPR-dCas9 based technology developing more insight in this pathway.