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Dr C.Y. Ponsioen (1960) has been appointed professor of Gastroenterology, specialising in inflammatory bowel and bile duct diseases, at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA).

Credits: Dirk Gillissen

Cyriel Ponsioen’s research focuses on chronic inflammatory diseases of the bowel (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) and of the bile ducts (particularly primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). He mainly studies the role of the gut flora – microbiota – in the development and management of these disorders. An important therapeutic model for these disorders involves faecal transplantation (stool transplants) as the most radical way of restoring the disturbed gut flora in people who suffer from these chronic inflammatory diseases. Regarding PSC, Ponsioen's research mainly focuses on epidemiology, disease course, and the development of biomarkers for this. He is also leading a line of research into the relationship between the bowel and the bile ducts and the possibilities for drug treatment at this level.

In terms of clinical activities, Ponsioen mainly focuses on highly specialised care for patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and bile duct disorders. He is in charge of the Amsterdam PSC Expertise Centre, which treats patients from across the Netherlands.

As a professor, Ponsioen will be focusing on such topics as innovative treatment strategies for inflammatory bowel disorders and PSC. He will do so by means of 'bedside to bench' research in particular, examining the role of faecal transplantation, the micro-organisms involved, and signalling molecules which play a decisive role here. He will strive to expand the Amsterdam PSC Expertise Centre into a leading referral centre. In addition, he will be coordinating a project which aims to set up an international prospective PSC registry. He will also focus on improving endoscopic techniques in the biliary tract..

About Cyriel Ponsioen

Ponsioen has been a gastroenterologist at Amsterdam UMC (AMC location) since 2007 and a principal investigator at this location since 2013. Previously, he worked as an internist/gastroenterologist at the Tergooi hospital in Hilversum and the Isala clinic in Zwolle. Ponsioen has been developing a national registry for PSC since 2008, which is currently being scaled up into a next-level, web-based database with patient-reported input. Internationally, he has been in charge of several multicentre studies into the genetic background and endoscopic treatment of PSC.

Ponsioen co-chairs the Natural History and Biomarkers Working Group of the International PSC Study Group (IPSCSG) since 2014 and has been co-secretary of the IPSCSG since 2017. He is closely involved with the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, working on the development of guidelines for the design of clinical trials for PSC. In the field of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, Ponsioen has led several national and international studies concerning comparisons between surgical and drug treatment as well as faecal transplantation. He is a member of the scientific committee of the Initiative on Crohn's & Colitis, the Dutch academic platform for research into these conditions.