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Johannes Hov receives ERC Starting Grant

Johannes Hov has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant of EUR 1,5 million to further develop his research on the importance of intestinal bacteria as a cause of disease.

Researcher Johannes Hov was as radiant as the sunshine on Rikshospitalet when he received news of his ERC grant. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

Congratulations to Johannes Hov from the Department and Faculty! Only the best researchers are awarded an ERC Starting Grant from the EU.

Johannes Hov is a researcher in the Department of Clinical Medicine and heads a research team at the Norwegian Centre for Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) and the Research Institute of Internal Medicine.

This is a world-leading research community in the field of the liver disease PSC and a national leader in the study of the importance of the intestinal flora for health and disease.

The researchers collaborate closely with the Department of Transplantation Medicine at Oslo University Hospital, where Hov also works as a specialist in digestive diseases.

– An ERC Starting Grant is quite an achievement; what opportunities do you think it will open up for you?

– The ERC grant is important because it consists of a very large one-time amount," explains Hov. “That means we get a lot of funding to work in a new and promising direction. What’s more, this award carries a lot of prestige and is an important recognition of our research community. So it will create a solid basis for the further development of our research team and will improve our chances of getting awards in the future as well.

– Can you describe your research in three sentences?

– We’re studying the importance of intestinal bacteria for chronic inflammatory diseases, focusing particularly on the liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis. We believe the composition of the intestinal flora and by-products of their activity are contributing factors to the disease. Some of the patients have a relapse after a liver transplant, and the ERC project aims to study what takes place especially after transplants, because then we have a ‘window’ to follow the disease process right from the beginning, and possibly stop it.

– What would you like to achieve with your research?

– The aim of the research is to understand the disease mechanisms involved, so that we can provide better treatment for our patients. Specifically, in recent years, we have labelled our work ‘intestinal flora and clinical medicine’, which means we want to understand how the intestinal flora affect disease to the extent that this changes clinical practice, i.e. how we diagnose and treat patients.

Tags: intestinal bacteria, transplant, personalized medicine, chronic inflammatory diseases, liver disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune diseases By Silje M. Kile Rosseland
Published July 27, 2018 3:04 PM - Last modified July 28, 2018 7:52 AM