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School of Medicine
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.