Clinical Research Unit officially opened at Maastricht UMC+

On January 25th, the NUTRIM Clinical Research Unit (CRU) for patient-related research on nutrition and metabolism was officially opened at Maastricht UMC+. This new research facility is an example of how science and clinical practice can directly reinforce each other. Nutrition and exercise have a variety of effects on metabolism. Therefore, both can contribute to a successful recovery from illness, or a better starting point for before or during treatment.

The NUTRIM Clinical Research Unit, located in the hospital, is equipped with modern examination rooms and equipment for measuring metabolism, body composition, physical capacity, and activity. Scientists from NUTRIM (School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism) can conduct research on metabolic changes in cancer and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, COPD, and chronic bowel inflammation there. This helps them understand what is happening in the bodies of people who are sick better and to ultimately treat them better.

All facilities in one place

Previously, patients were tested at different places in the hospital or at the university. Now patients come to CRU, where all the facilities and equipment are in one place. And that is a big advantage, says Prof. Dr. Daisy Jonkers, scientific director of NUTRIM: "All measurements can be combined in one place and everything takes place within the walls of the hospital so that medical supervision is within reach, should it be needed. There is also the possibility of taking body materials and processing them immediately at the CRU laboratory."

From research directly to the clinic

The great added value of the NUTRIM Clinical Research Unit is that - partly because of its location - scientific research results are quickly translated to the clinic and applied in daily practice. Maastricht UMC+ Board Chair Dr. Helen Mertens: "The CRU offers new opportunities for relevant and in-depth research based on questions from the clinic, thereby improving patient care and patient experience. It also creates a new research environment where scientists, doctors, paramedics and nurses connect even more in the interest of the patient." Prof. Dr. Annemie Schols, vice president of the MUMC+ Board of Trustees and dean of FHML adds: "The CRU forms a fine bridge between our Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences and the hospital, also strengthening our ambition as an academic engine for the region."

Part of the metabolic infrastructure

The construction of the NUTRIM Clinical Research Unit was made possible in part by the Flanders-Netherlands Interreg grant under the PROOF project. The unit is part of a larger metabolic infrastructure at FHML, which also includes the MRUM research unit at Maastricht University and the Imaging facilities of Radiology at Maastricht UMC+. CRU's research facilities are also available to researchers outside Maastricht UMC+.

Read about the research on serious weight loss in cancer taking place at the NUTRIM CRU (article in Dutch).

Also read