Wouter de Jonge’s research concerns the neural networks of the gastrointestinal system, and in particular the mechanisms that cause stomach ailments and intestinal motility disorders. This includes the study of diseases such as ileus (bowel obstruction), reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome. The main focus of his research is on interactions between neurons and the immune system, for example how inflammation contributes to pain in patients with abnormal intestinal motility. In addition, De Jonge studies the background of mucosal immunity disorders (intestinal mucous membrane defence) in inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis ulcerosa. Working closely with industrial partners, he seeks to make his research findings practicable for the clinical testing of new medicines on patients.
A substantial share of De Jonge’s educational activities will centre on teaching and scientific training in the UvA’s Medicine and the Biomedical Sciences degree programmes.
De Jonge has been an assistant professor and principal investigator at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology department of the AMC-UvA since 2008, and since 2012 an associate professor at the AMC-UvA’s Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research. De Jonge has been awarded various grants, including a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and an FP7 Marie Curie grant from the European Commission. In 2010, the United European Societies for Gastroenterology voted him the ‘Rising Star in Gastroenterology’. De Jonge has published articles in numerous leading scientific journals, including Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Nature Immunology. He is also a member of the academic advisory board of the Dutch Gastrointestinal and Liver Foundation (Maag Darm Leverstichting).