Harry Janssen, PhD, MD

Dr. Janssen has coordinated two lines of research over the last several years.
  • Strategies to identify immune control and disease remission in chronic viral hepatitis
    In this research area, Dr. Janssen investigates which virus and host-related conditions are required for immunological control of viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), and in parallel, for sustained response to antiviral therapy. Large-scale multicentre clinical HBV and HCV intervention studies were combined with ancillary fundamental studies using an intensive translational approach. Clinical studies on the natural history and outcome of medical interventions of chronic viral hepatitis were mostly investigator-initiated. In 2001 Dr. Janssen was awarded a ZonMW Clinical Fellowship, in 2004 a ZonMW VIDI grant, and in 2008 European grant (VIRGIL, 6th framework) to unravel the immunological mechanism of disease chronicity and response to antiviral therapy in viral hepatitis B and C. Currently he is the Principal Investigator of the Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Hypercoagulability and liver disease
    During his time at the University of Leiden (1998), Dr. Janssen studied on a national level the etiology of thrombosis of the hepatic vasculature. This was a starting point for European large-scale patient-based cohort studies to elucidate the multifactorial aetiology, the prognostic factors and the efficacy of the various treatment modalities for these life-threatening disorders. In 2001, Dr. Janssen founded the European Network for Vascular Disorders of the Liver (En-Vie), a consortium of expert centres from 9 European countries. He received a grant from the European Community (5th framework) to set up national networks, an on-line common database to federate tissue sample banks.

    Activities for these research lines resulted in an extensive scientific network, numerous high impact papers and abstracts that were presented at scientific meetings of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases during the past five years (2008-2012).
  • Future research
    Dr. Janssen's track record in research on the immune reactivity and long-term outcome of chronic viral hepatitis is a strong basis for future clinical and translational research at the University Health Network (UHN), which hosts the largest liver clinic in North America (Toronto Western Hospital & Toronto General Hospital).

    Dr. Janssen is enhancing UHN's Liver Disease Research Program by establishing his own clinical trial and clinical translational research programs, and obtaining financial support for these endeavors from peer review granting agencies and/or industrial partners. More concretely, he intends to initiate coordination of large scale investigator-initiated clinical research on viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease and liver cancer. With the number of liver patients in the Greater Toronto Area and, with the large knowledge and infrastructure for hepatology available at UHN, Dr. Janssen hopes this goal can be achieved within 3 years. He also intends to further unravel at a mechanistic level, the relationship between immune reactivity and the disease progression of various liver diseases, by founding a Liver Lab with combined laboratory space and shared common equipment and facilities for fundamental and translational liver research.
J Viral Hepat. 2019 May 15;:
Dou Y, van Montfoort N, van den Bosch A, Janssen HLA, de Man RA, Buschow SI, Woltman AM
J Bone Miner Res. 2019 May 10;:
Alferink LJM, Trajanoska K, Erler NS, Schoufour JD, de Knegt RJ, Ikram MA, Janssen HLA, Franco OH, Metselaar HJ, Rivadeneira F, Darwish Murad S
PLoS Pathog. 2019 Apr;15(4):e1007715
Chang KM, Traum D, Park JJ, Ho S, Ojiro K, Wong DK, Wahed AS, Terrault NA, Khalili M, Sterling RK, Janssen HLA, Shuhart MC, Lau DT, Roberts LR, Johnson GS, Kaplan DE, Betts MR, Lee WM, Lok ASF, Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN)
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Apr 10;:
Revill PA, Chisari FV, Block JM, Dandri M, Gehring AJ, Guo H, Hu J, Kramvis A, Lampertico P, Janssen HLA, Levrero M, Li W, Liang TJ, Lim SG, Lu F, Penicaud MC, Tavis JE, Thimme R, Members of the ICE-HBV Working Groups, ICE-HBV Stakeholders Group Chairs...
J Hepatol. 2019 Apr 10;:
Harms MH, van Buuren HR, Corpechot C, Thorburn D, Janssen HLA, Lindor KD, Hirschfield GM, Parés A, Floreani A, Mayo MJ, Invernizzi P, Battezzati PM, Nevens F, Ponsioen CY, Mason AL, Kowdley KV, Lammers WJ, Hansen BE, van der Meer AJ
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Apr 12;:
Alferink LJM, Kiefte-de Jong JC, Erler NS, de Knegt RJ, Hoorn EJ, Ikram MA, Janssen HLA, Metselaar HJ, Franco OH, Murad SD
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Apr 08;:
Sonneveld MJ, Brouwer WP, Chan HL, Piratvisuth T, Jia JD, Zeuzem S, Liaw YF, Hansen BE, Choi H, Wat C, Pavlovic V, Gaggar A, Xie Q, Buti M, de Knegt RJ, Janssen HLA
J Viral Hepat. 2019 Apr 11;:
Di Bisceglie AM, King WC, Lisker-Melman M, Khalili M, Belle SH, Feld JJ, Ghany MG, Janssen HLA, Lau D, Lee WM, Ling SC, Cooper S, Rosenthal P, Schwarz KB, Sterling RK, Teckman JH, Terrault N, Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN)
Liver Int. 2019 Mar 25;:
Liem KS, Yim C, Ying TD, Zanjir WR, Fung S, Wong DK, Shah H, Feld JJ, Hansen BE, Janssen HLA
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Apr;17(5):1001-1002
Chi H, Peng J, Janssen HLA

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Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Head, University Health Network Liver Clinic