/  - Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier, LACDR

Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier, LACDR

Metabolomics and organ-on-chip enabling personalized medicine

Where genomics has proven to be successful to predict disease risk, metabolomics can predict the actual health state and monitor disease development and treatment response. Therefore the combination of metabolomics and genomics are promising to realize personalized medicine by (i) diagnosing disease development in time, (ii) supporting the choice of the proper pharmacological treatment in the clinic and (iii) identifying novel treatment options in disease areas where now successful treatment options are available, or treatment often is inefficient.

We are using different LC-MS-based and CE-MS-based metabolomics and lipidomics platforms. New technologies developed for metabolomics will be discussed.

Clinical and in-vitro studies will be discussed in which a range of metabolomics platforms are used. Examples are viral hijacking during chronic HBV infection and how we aim to develop novel prevention options for dementia.

Next, the use of microfluidic-based advanced in-vitro models with organotypic characteristics will be discussed. A microfluidic platform has been developed using phaseguides to allow the positioning of liquids and gels, which allows the development of complex co-cultures in a high throughput platform. For example, a vascular organ-on-a-chip platform and a gut-on-a-chip platform  has been realized, and validated for known factors causing vascular leakage.

The results discussed demonstrate that metabolomics can find biomarkers to predict treatment outcome, and that metabolomics is an important technology to realize personalized medicine. It will be shown why robust organ-on-chip models can contribute to the development of better treatments and will be key in drug research. An outlook will be given how metabolomics and organ-on-a-chip will impact clinical research and ultimately clinical decision support.

About professor Hankemeier

Thomas Hankemeier is full professor and head of the Division for Analytical Biosciences at the LACDR, Leiden University, since 2004. His research is aiming at innovative analytical tools for metabolomics-driven systems biology in personalized health strategies. In recent years he developed tools to detect, quantify and identify as many as possible metabolites in mammalian biofluids, tissues and cells. His research aims at improving sample preparation and multi-dimensional chromatographic and electro-driven separation methods, improving the interfacing to mass spectrometry, miniaturizing analytical methods using micro/nano-technology and developing methods for the identification of metabolites. In collaboration with clinicians, biomedical researchers, biostatisticians and other –omics researchers he works on better (early) diagnosis and interventions for (cardio)vascular and metabolic diseases and neurological diseases. He is the Scientific Director of the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre. He is co-founder of  MIMETAS, the worldwide first organ-on-a-chip company.