Metabolic Health Research

Metabolic Health Research (MHR) helps to reduce the burden of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesitas and their complications on patients and society by contributing to the development of new drugs, novel functional foods, new diagnostics and prevention. Major clients are biotech, pharma, diagnostic and nutrition industry, as well as patient organizations and governments. MHR is focused on preclinical research.

Fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver visualized by spectral imaging microscopy

MHR develops and performs in vitro and in vivo models to study mechanisms, interventions and biomarkers in metabolic diseases and their complications. These translational models include unique (humanized) transgenic mouse models, in vivo and in vitro fibrosis models, read-out systems employing i.a. histology, biochemical assays, cell biology, molecular biology, immunology and inflammation markers. This preclinical research is strongly translational and aims to improve the predictability of efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical and food interventions by detailed knowledge of disease processes and mechanisms. MHR has a track record in applied science, study design, professional project management and quality systems. MHR offers customized services that can be tailored to customer needs by direct interaction of scientists of MHR and the customer.

Knowledge and expertise

MHR performs projects with biotech, pharma , diagnostic and food companies, governments, patient organizations and public private partnerships. The projects are characterized by a combination of knowledge and expertise in the area of metabolic health, metabolic disease and its complications such as: micro and macro vascular disease, atherosclerosis, liver steatosis, fibrosis and osteoarthritis.

Examples and impact

Non-invasive imaging of fat tissue in live animals

MHR research leads to novel insights and opportunities to treat metabolic diseases as exemplified by:

  • Alternating a cholesterol free and a western style high cholesterol diet is almost as effective as a pure cholesterol free diet in prevention of cardiovascular disease development and liver inflammation.
  • Diet induced metabolic stress and not mechanical load by overweight plays a major role in development of osteoarthritis.
  • Novel statistical approach leads to reduction of number of experimental animals.
  • Non-invasive imaging using MRI can visualize body fat in live animals.

Expertise groups

Dr. ir. Han van de Sandt

  • Sustainable innovation
  • health
  • safety
  • toxicology
  • risk management