Medical Prize for Joost Drenth


The Royal Academy of Medicine Belgium (KAGB) has awarded Joost Drenth the prestigious Dr. Karel-Lodewijk Verleysen Prize in recognition of his medical research. The prize is awarded once every five years to someone who has made important contributions to our scientific understanding of the treatment of human diseases. In 2009 Joost Drenth discovered a new treatment for polycystic liver disease.  Joost Drenth will receive a 100,000 Euro award to continue his research during a special session of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine in Brussels on 17th November 2012.

 Joost Drenth is a Gastroenterologist  interested in polycystic liver disorders.  His research aims to achieve a comprehensive molecular understanding of human gastrointestinal diseases. He is mainly focused on polycystic liver disease (PLD) which is characterised by a massively enlarged liver that can grow to >6 times its original size. He has designed a  translational research program, with a clear focus on the elucidation of pathogenesis and development of novel medical treatment options. The final goal is discovery novel paradigms for effective treatment of patients. His approach begins with disease gene discovery through positional cloning to understand the genetic bases for the diseases, followed by functional studies to understand cellular pathogenesis.  Current projects include a clinical tract that aims to test new compounds for PLD in human patients. Our experimental tract aims to identify new identification of key intracellular signalling pathways in PLD by identifying novel genetic causes.

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