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Ongoing Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Researchers examine every facet of the digestive system to find better ways to treat illnesses and conditions that originate in the gastrointestinal system, liver and pancreas.

Research Laboratories

Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Laboratory

The goal of the laboratory is to identify molecular abnormalities that can improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer and those at risk of developing this disease.
Read more about the Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Lab.

Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Biology

This laboratory’s major focus is ECM and its role in innate immune inflammatory responses at mucosal surfaces. The ECM has a significant role in modulating the local inflammatory milieu, while its breakdown can present immune cells with endogenous danger signals to drive excessive immune responses.
Read more about Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Biology.

GI Biomarkers Laboratory

This laboratory group focuses its efforts on the molecular genetics of gastrointestinal cancers and premalignant lesions, as well as on translational research to improve early detection, prognostic evaluation and treatment of these conditions.
Read more about the GI Biomarkers Lab.

IBD and Autoimmune Liver Diseases Laboratory

This laboratory is working to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune diseases and novel signaling pathways, genes, proteins and posttranslational protein modifications that may be involved in the pathogenesis of IBD and/or can be used as therapeutic targets for development of new IBD therapy.
Read more about the IBD and Autoimmune Liver Diseases Lab.

IBD Genetics Research Laboratory

The primary focus of this lab is the role of genetic variation in etiopathogenesis, disease manifestations and disease course in IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Read more about the IBD Genetics Research Lab.

Research Studies

Hepatic Fibrosis and Cirrhosis

This study is examining the mechanisms of liver fibrosis with emphasis on the inhibitory effects of fat-soluble vitamins on fibrosis. The studies are performed in vitro with stellate cells and in vivo in experimental models of liver fibrosis.
Read more about Hepatic Fibrosis and Cirrhosis.

Immune Mediated Liver Diseases

The primary aim of the study is to determine the efficacy of mitomycin C intrabiliary bolus on survival and the progression of PSC. Other aims of the study are to determine the durable effect of mitomycin on interval duration between procedures, the total number of procedures needed over a two-year period for the routine management of PSC and the change of serum biochemical markers.
Read more about Immune Mediated Liver Diseases.

Intestinal Chloride Secretion

Researchers are studying the role of calcium-activated Cl channels in intestinal chloride secretion and determining whether the recently identified transmembrane protein 16 family of proteins is also involved in intestinal chloride secretion with a goal of providing background information for the development of drugs to treat diarrhea, constipation and cystic fibrosis.
Read more about Intestinal Chloride Secretion.

Intestinal Na/H Exchangers

Secretory diarrhea is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in developing countries. While diarrhea can be treated with oral rehydration solution (ORS), inclusion of zinc with oral ORS has been shown to reduce the duration of diarrhea. This study will provide a scientific basis to justify the inclusion of zinc in ORS for the treatment of secretory diarrhea.
Read more about Intestinal Na/H Exchangers.

Molecular Regulation

This study seeks to understand the regulatory mechanisms of Clc-5 and NHE3. Preliminary data indicate that Clc-5 may directly or indirectly regulate NHE3 trafficking.
Read more about Molecular Regulation.

Nutrition, Gut Bacteria and Fatty Liver Disease

This study is directed toward understanding how dietary factors modify gut bacteria and their implications in fatty liver disease.
Read more about Nutrition, Gut Bacteria and Fatty Liver Disease.

Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

This study aims to examine environmental risk factors for inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and indeterminate colitis. 
Read more about Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease 


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