Background

Mech-Sense was founded in 2003 by Professor Hans Gregersen and Professor Asbjørn Mohr Drewes and was initially named Centre of Excellence for Visceral Biomechanics and Pain. The centre evolved from research in gastrointestinal biomechanics and pain and was the first of its kind in visceral biomechanics and pain research.

From being a small centre with few students, it has become a multidisciplinary research platform with more than 30 affiliated scientists and students.

Today

Mech-Sense is one of the research centres at Aalborg University Hospital and Department of Clinical Medicine at Aalborg University. Mech-Sense is located at the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, but also extends to the Department of Radiology. This unique location favours the access to research within a wide variety of patient groups.
The focus of the research conducted at Mech-Sense has broadened from gastrointestinal biomechanics and pain to a wider range of areas. Today five main research areas are covered:

  1. Clinical research where the main areas are pancreatic diseases*, gastrointestinal complications and diabetes
  2. Neurogastroenterology & motility with pain and the autonomic nervous system as focus areas
  3. Pharmacology especially with opioids and other analgesics
  4. Gastrointestinal and advanced brain imaging mainly based on magnetic resonance**
  5. Neurophysiology, mainly focusing on EEG research

*Centre for Pancreatic Diseases at Aalborg University Hospital is part of Mech-Sense.
** The novel Radiology Research Unit at Aalborg University Hospital is part of Mech-Sense.

Excellent and state-of-the-art lab facilities allow scientists at Mech-Sense to perform efficient and high quality research from developing and validating new models and translating them into pharmacological interventions and patients. This is manifested by approximately 40 peer-reviewed publications and 2-4 Ph.D. theses on a yearly basis. Researchers from Mech-Sense are also active at a variety of meetings and international working groups.

Organisation

The centre is directed by Professor Asbjørn Mohr Drewes with Associate Professor Anne Estrup Olesen as team manager.
Mech-Sense currently covers six complementary research areas, each lead by a senior researcher.

To ensure multidisciplinarity physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, scientists, biomechanical engineers, mathematicians, molecular biologists, laboratory technicians, research nurses, secretaries and fundraisers are employed at the centre. Numerous Ph.D. students as well as students in medicine, science and engineering also perform research as part of their education and receive supervision.

Mission & Objectives

The mission of Mech-Sense is to foster scientific research, education and innovation for the benefit of patients suffering from gastrointestinal diseases and their complications, chronic pain and diabetes.
Therefore, the objectives of Mech-Sense are to provide excellent scientific research by:

  • Fostering research that will lead to development of novel methods to facilitate understanding of pain and various diseases, ultimately leading to improvement of patient care
  • Exercising a multidisciplinary approach, especially in the interphases between medicine, pharmacology and engineering
  • Recruiting ambitious and creative students and researchers based on a career-minded policy maintaining a creative educational scientific environment
  • Collaboration with other academic centres with complementary competencies
  • Tech-transferring innovations to industry and spin-off companies