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Researcher

D. Sprengers, MD PhD

Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist

  • Department
  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Focus area
  • viral hepatitis, immunopathology of liver disease, liver cancer
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About

Introduction

From the bench to the hepatology clinic. 
As a clinician with a strong emphasis on lab research, it is my aim to translate research data to clinical implementation. The focus of my research is on immunopathology of liver cancer and chronic liver disease and because we have a unique collaboration between lab scientists and clinicians easy translation from the bench to the bedside can be achieved!
 

Education and career

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
Oktober 2013 – present consultant Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dept. of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Special focus on hepatology.
January 2012 – September 2013 consultant Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dept. of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Special focus on hepatology.
January 2005 – December 2011 Trainee Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1994 - 2001: KUN Nijmegen; medicine: propaedeutics July 1995 certificate April 2001 (cum laude).

SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE
May 2016 - present: co-supervision of PhD's and postdocs with focus on immunopathology in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). 
January 2009 - 2015: Erasmus MC Fellowship award: Title; The role of regulatory T cells and NKT cells in suppression of tumor surveillance in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Starts own lab and research group with focus on immunopathology in liver cancer; co-supervising a postdoc, technicians and PhD students.
January - December 2006 post-doc research at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Supervised by Dr. M. Boes; title: the role of NKT cells in the intrahepatic immune response.
April 2001 - December 2004 PhD research at Dept of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Erasmus MC supervised by prof Dr. H.L.A. Janssen. Title thesis: Immune response and immunomodulation in chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Date of defense 1/11/2006. 
August 1999 - April 2000 Research elective at The Division of Digestive Diseases of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; USA, supervised by prof. R.B. Sartor and dr. L.A. Dieleman; title: the role of intestinal flora in inflammatory bowel disease.

 

Publications

Selection

  1. Zhou G, Sprengers D, Boor PPC, Doukas M, Schutz H, Mancham S, Pedroza-Gonzalez A, Polak WG, de Jonge J, Gaspersz M, Dong H, Thielemans K, Pan Q, IJzermans JNM, Bruno MJ, Kwekkeboom J. Antibodies Against Immune Checkpoint Molecules Restore Functions of Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells in Hepatocellular Carcinomas. Gastroenterology. 2017 Oct;153(4):1107-1119.e10.
  2. Pedroza-Gonzalez A, Zhou G, Vargas-Mendez E., Boor PP, Mancham S, Verhoef C, Polak WG, Grunhagen D, Pan Q, Janssen HL, Garcia-Romo GS, Biermann K, Tjwa ET, IJzermans JN, Kwekkeboom J, Sprengers D. Tumor-infiltrating plasmacytoid dendritic cells promote immunosuppression by Tr1 cells in human liver tumors. Oncoimmunology. 2015 Mar 19;4(6):e1008355. 
  3. Pedroza-Gonzalez A, Verhoef C, IJzermans JN, Peppelenbosch MP, Kwekkeboom J, Verheij J, Janssen HL, Sprengers D. Activated tumor-infiltrating CD4+ regulatory T cells restrain antitumor immunity in patients with primary or metastatic liver cancer. Hepatology 2013, 57(1):183-94. 
 

Teaching activities

  • Lectures for medical students
  • PhD supervision

Other positions

  • Board member of the Dutch Hepatocellular Carcinoma Group (2012-present)
  • Active member of pharmacotherapy committee of the Dutch Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (NVMDL) (2012 – 2015)
  • Member of the Scientific committee of the Maag-Lever-Darm Stichting (MLDS, 2017-present)
  • Member European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • Erasmus MC pilot grant 2018 (€50.000,-): Title: Adoptive transfer of T cell receptor-engineered T cells to treat hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after liver transplantation: a pre-clinical feasibility study
  • Grant from China Scholarship Council (CSC) 2016; €65.000,-
  • Pfizer research grant: targets for immunotherapy for HCC (co-applicant with J. Kwekkeboom) €500.000,-; 2015.
  • Erasmus MC pilot grant (co-applicant with A. Pedroza-Gonzalez; €50.000,-) 2012
  • Erasmus MC Fellowship Award 2008 (€400.000,-); project title: The role of regulatory T cells and NKT cells in suppression of tumor surveillance in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • AGIKO-stipendium (nr:920-03-244); running from 2003 to 2011 (€64.500,-).