Reimagining gastroenterology through microbiome research

Meet Christian Lodberg Hvas

“While many researchers focus on the healthy gut, my research aims to improve the treatment of life-threatening diseases by modulating the microbiome.”

As a clinician, researcher, and professor at Aarhus University, Dr. Christian Lodberg Hvas is at the forefront of understanding the intricate relationship between diet, immunity, and the intestinal microbiome. His work is not just confined to the realm of theory but aims to develop practical, life-saving treatments.

Christian Lodberg Hvas has dedicated his career to the field of gastroenterology, with a distinct focus on auto-immune diseases such as Crohn´s disease and ulcerative colitis. He explains his microbiome research:

“Diet is the main influencer of microbiome changes, but specific micronutrients may be particularly important. Medications also interact with the microbiome and the immune system.” These factors make it difficult to identify cause and effect, especially when dealing with real-world patients.”

Developing microbiome therapies for those who need it most

In 2014, Christian Lodberg Hvas made a significant leap in his research. Following promising results from other studies, he and his team performed their first faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), a procedure that introduces healthy bacterial flora via donor faeces into a recipient’s gastrointestinal tract.

“We did our first FMT on January 9th, 2014, and quickly learned that this simple treatment was as effective as indicated by the studies,” he recollects.

Since then, Christian Lodberg Hvas has managed to assemble a flourishing research group and establish both national and international networks, all driven by a single goal: to develop and implement microbiome therapies for those who need it most.

Still dedicated to clinical gastroenterology

Christian Lodberg Hvas recently secured a generous 17 million DKK investment from Innovation Fund Denmark to implement FMT in Denmark. He counts this accomplishment as a personal triumph, stating: “I think of this as my greatest achievement in research.”

Yet, Christian Lodberg Hvas remains firmly grounded in his dedication to patients. He insists that his achievements are underpinned by his steadfast commitments to clinical gastroenterology, particularly his work in outpatient clinics and ward rounds. His dedication is as much to his patients as it is to his research.