ERS Research Award: Innovation in non-Tuberculosis Mycrobacteria Science and Medicine

Jakko van Ingen Presented to: Dr Jakko Van Ingen

Jakko van Ingen is a 36-year-old MD who combined clinical work in the Respiratory Disease Department at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, with research devoted to nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. For his thesis "Nontuberculous mycobacteria, from gene sequences to clinical relevance", he was awarded a PhD degree with honours ('cum laude') from Radboud University in 2009; a rare honour in the Netherlands. After a brief but productive post-doc period at the National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, supervised by Professor Charles Daley, he returned to Nijmegen as a resident in medical microbiology.

Since February 2016, he has been a member of the medical faculty at the Department of Medical Microbiology of Radboudumc. Under his leadership, the Radboudumc Mycobacteriology Laboratory developed into the National Reference Laboratory for Nontuberculous Mycobacteria.

His current clinical tasks include consultations in all fields of clinical microbiology, teaching and international and national consultations on nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. His international reputation as a significant contributor to the field is evidenced by over 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, 10 book chapters on mycobacteria and his membership of international/national committees responsible for drafting guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease in cystic fibrosis patients and the upcoming ERS/ATS/IDSA/ESCMID guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of nontuberculous mycobacteria. Quite remarkable for a 36-year-old. For his efforts, Jakko van Ingen has received several national and international awards.

He has now built a research group of three PhD students whose research focus is to develop more effective treatment regimens for NTM diseases on the basis of pre-clinical models and clinical trials. An in vitro pipeline of susceptibility and synergy testing, and a hollow fibre pharmacodynamics model specifically for NTM treatment simulation, has been built and validated. The first papers describing the model have now been published and the first clinical trial is currently enrolling patients. Winning this award will allow him and his team to seriously speed up the development of a new regimen for the now almost incurable diseases caused by mycobacterium abscesses.

His personal goal is to improve long-term treatment outcomes of patients suffering from pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease.