Blog Bob Kullberg wins grant to study promising antifungal for IBS

Wouter J. de Jonge

Amsterdam UMC PhD scholarship

We are proud to share that Bob Kullberg is the winner of an Amsterdam UMC PhD scholarship. Just six of these are awarded each year. Bob’s research will be overseen by the Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM) and Gut Research.

Antifungals and the microbiome

Bob will investigate the effect of antifungal medication on the microbiome. He hypothesizes that using antifungal medication to manipulate the intestinal mycobiome could be a promising and inexpensive treatment strategy for IBS patients. IBS affects an estimated >11% of the global population.

Nystatin could be a promising and inexpensive treatment strategy for IBS

Based on previous Gut Research study

The randomized, controlled, proof-of-concept trial uses insights gained in 2017 by a Gut Research team led by Rene van den Wijngaard. That research found that fungi promoted visceral hypersensitivity in a well-established rat model with IBS.


As a proof-of-concept, Bob’s research will now assess the effects of nystatin on intestinal bacteriome and mycobiome composition and the duration of these effects in IBS patients.

Trial starts soon

The trial will be performed at Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. A sample size of >50 eligible patients will be randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to a 2-week oral course of nystatin or no treatment.