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A most precious biopsy


Research is not only something that takes place at the universities – it can begin with the sampling of a most precious biopsy at the hospital.

In a recent episode of “Our Hospital” aired on TVSYD, we follow postdoc Mette Munk Lauridsen on a special day. Together with other ATLAS researchers and skilled staff at the Hospital of Southwest Jutland, Esbjerg, she prepares for and takes out biopsies from fat and liver tissue on one of the first patients enrolled in the ATLAS and FLASH research programs.

The criteria to enroll in the programs and actually undergo surgery or serve as a control person, is a Body Mass Index >35.

Both doctors, researchers, and patient were excited about the procedure, which was performed under local anaesthesia. A small piece of fat tissue was carefully removed, followed by sampling of a small liver biopsy. ATLAS researchers Anitta Kinga Sárvári and Ronni Nielsen stood by, ready to prepare the samples for transport to Odense and subsequent analysis.

Mette Lauridsen was really excited to see that the setup works and that it is possible for patients to take part in the program. “This demonstrated to me how awesome it is to do research in this manner, and that we can give them (the patients, ed.) a super good examination of how their liver is doing. This promises well for the future”, she says in the video clip.

The footage was made in August 2018, and since then 20 additional persons have been enrolled in the research programs, thereby providing ATLAS and FLASH with invaluable material for the years to come.

These samples are a prerequisite for the clinical aspect of ATLAS, as they will help us gain insight into human adipose and liver plasticity and relation to human physiology. In the coming years samples from enrolled patients will provide the basis for translating the integrated systems-level information from animal models to the clinical setting.