Research with Crohn’s Disease

This is my first post, my first blog, so before I start off with new science, I will give you a little bit of background about myself and why I decided to write this blog. As the “about me” section of this blog will tell you, I am a synthetic organic chemist working as medicinal chemist. This means my professional life involves the design and synthesis of potential new molecules for testing in various assays. This is done in the pursuit of the ultimate goal to find a cure for a disease. I like my job as it is like a roller-coaster ride: there are set backs, when a drug doesn’t work out the way you intended it to be, but also highs, where you feel you are pushing the boundaries of science and are close to helping a lot of patients.

During my 12 years in this job, I became a patient myself, when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2002. The first five years I managed my disease with mesalazine and the occassional course of steroids. Until 5 years ago, when a colonoscopy revealed the Crohn’s has now caused sever ulcerations throughout my colon and my diagnosis was confirmed as pancolitis. Due to an abnormal blood liver value, I never experienced azathioprin or methotrexate, but ventured straight into the world of biologics. Adalimumab and me had an on-off relationship for about 18 months. And with on-off relationship I mean, it’s effect was on-off and required recapturing during this time. In the end fissures caused too much pain and blood loss and when my GI consultant suggested a temporary illeostomy, I said “yes please.”. So it’s been exactly a year now since my operation and since I gained my life back and 7 weeks ago I had a panproctocolectomy to make my stoma permanent and removed my still inflamed colon. During my recovery periods I found a lot of help and support online and found some blogs very valuable and really encouraged me to write this blog to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. But what topic to focus on? I looked at my online blog role models, Heidi and Sara, and they blog about their IBD often in context with things they are passionate about and often this passion is also their profession. So I decided that I can blog about IBD research, not about the drugs which are already on the market, but the breaking news. I’ve got access to the resources and literature and my aim is to read, digest and translate to give you my IBD view.