About the K. G. Jebsen Centre for Coeliac Disease Research

The centre was established by a generous donation from Stiftelsen Kristian Gerhard Jebsen and is directed by Professor Ludvig M. Sollid. It consists of five research groups located at the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, and the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.

Coeliac disease is a prevalent disorder (1-3%) with large unmet needs with regard to both diagnosis and treatment.The disease is caused by harmful immune reactions to cereal gluten proteins. The lesion of the small intestine with blunting of villi causes impaired nutrient absorption leading to some of the characteristic symptoms: diarrhoea, anaemia, osteoporosis and child growth retardation. While often categorised as a food hypersensitivity disorder, the disease has many autoimmune characteristics with highly disease specific autoantibodies being the most notable.The disease has a strong heritable component with HLA genes as the major genetic factor. It shares many key features with HLA-associated diseases like primary sclerosing cholangitis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Over the last 20 years, huge advances have been made in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disorder. This insight has spurred into improved diagnostic assays and a handful of novel treatments are currently tested in clinical trials. However, the potential for further exploitation is huge. Having contributed with many key discoveries, we wish to bring technologies and key reagents that have been generated as part of basic research to benefit patients by developing better diagnostic tools and contribute to testing of novel treatments. We will define novel therapeutic targets by studying some selected pathways of the pathogenesis guided by our insight. A particular focus will be on understanding how coeliac disease predisposing genetic polymorphisms control transcriptional program in culprit T and B cells. International experts in genetics and bioinformatics work together with immunologists to address this timely topic, which is common to many autoimmune diseases.

The Centre will capitalise on an active coeliac disease-related clinical tradition as well as a strong basic research environment and will cultivate this to create an optimal setting for patient care and a unique training site for basic scientists and clinicians alike.

Group leaders

  • Professor Knut E. A. Lundin. Gastroenterologist. Professor at the Department of Gastroenterology and Center for Clinical Nutrition, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital.

  • Assoc. professor Shuo-Wang Qiao. Immunologist. Associate Professor at the Department of Immunology, University of Oslo.
  • Assoc. professor Geir Kjetil Sandve. Bioinformatician. Associate Professor at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.
  • Professor Ludvig M. Sollid (Centre leader). Immunologist. Professor at the Department of Immunology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital
  • Professor Cisca Wijmenga. Geneticist. Professor at the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.

Associated members

  • Professor Frode Jahnsen. Professor of pathology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital
  • Professor Tom Hemming Karlsen. Professor of internal medicine, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital
  • Dr. Andreas Lossius. Department of Immunology, University of Oslo.
  • Dr. Geir Åge Løset. Chief Scientific Officer at Nextera AS.

Scientific advisory board

  • Professor Paul Klenerman, University of Oxford
  • Professor Markku Mäki, University of Tampere
  • Professor Vivianne Malmström, Karolinska Institute

Patient advisory council

  • Dr. Heidi Urwin, Research manager, Coeliac UK
  • Knut H. Peterson, Secretary general, Norsk cøliakiforening
Published Aug. 15, 2016 11:26 AM - Last modified Aug. 7, 2017 3:16 PM