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Gastroenterology Labs

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  • Liudmila Cebotaru Lab

    Research in the Liudmila Cebotaru Lab studies cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutants. We also investigate corrector molecules that are currently in clinical trials to get a better understanding of their mechanism of action. A major focus of our research is on developing more efficient gene therapy vectors with the ultimate goal of developing a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, gene therapy, corrector molecules

    Principal Investigator

    Liudmila Cebotaru, J.D., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Marcia Canto Lab

    Research interests in the Marcia Canto Lab include pancreatic neoplasms, Barrett’s esophagus and endomicroscopy. We are also interested in the use of endoscopic ultrasound to identify early-stage pancreatic cancer and its precursors.

    Research Areas: endomicroscopy, pancreatic cancer, endoscopy, Barrett's esophagus

    Principal Investigator

    Marcia Canto, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Mark Donowitz Lab

    Research in the Mark Donowitz Lab is primarily focused on the development of drug therapy for diarrheal disorders, intestinal salt absorption and the proteins involved including their regulation, and the use of human enteroids to understand intestinal physiology and pathophysiology. We study two gene families initially recognized by this laboratory: mammalian Na/H exchangers and the subgroup of PDZ domain containing proteins present in the brush border of epithelial cells called NHERF family. A major finding is that NHE3 exists simultaneously in different sized complexes in the brush border, which change separately as part of signal transduction initiated by mimics of the digestive process. Relevance to the human intestine is being pursued using mini-human intestine made from Lgr5+ stems cells made from intestinal biopsies and measuring function via two-photon microscopy.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, gastroenterology, pathophysiology, diarrhea, drugs, physiology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Mark Donowitz, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Nicholas Zachos Lab

    Researchers in the Nicholas Zachos Lab work to understand variations in protein trafficking that occur during pathophysiological conditions that cause ion and water transport that result in diarrhea. We recently identified a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway responsible for elevated intracellular calcium-mediated inhibition of NHE3 activity in intestinal epithelial cells. We use advanced imaging techniques, including confocal and multi-photon microscopy, to characterize protein trafficking of intestinal transporters. We also perform functional assays using fluorescent probes (ratiometric and non-ratiometric) to measure ion transport in cell culture models, intact intestinal tissues and human small intestinal enteroids.

    Research Areas: imaging, protein trafficking, diarrhea, bioinformatics, molecular biology

    Principal Investigator

    Nicholas Zachos, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Pankaj Jay Pasricha Lab

    Researchers in the Pankaj Jay Pasricha Lab are interested in the molecular mechanisms of visceral pain and restoration of enteric neural function with novel strategies, including neural stem cell transplants. Recent research has focused on the enteric nervous system and gut-brain axis, and the complexity of pain in chronic pancreatitis. Another recent study indicates that patients with underlying small intestinal bacterial overgrowth have significant delays in small bowel transit time as compared to those without, while another explored the safety and efficacy of carbon dioxide cryotherapy for treatment of neoplastic Barrett's esophagus.

    Research Areas: gastroenterology, stem cells, neurogastroenterology, pancreatitis, pain, Barrett's esophagus, motility disorders

    Principal Investigator

    Jay Pasricha, M.B.B.S., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Patrick Okolo Lab

    Research interests in the Patrick Okolo Lab include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoluminal stenting, interventional and innovative endoscopy, outcomes and decision analyses in gastroenterology, and clinical epidemiology. We recently took part in a multicenter study that determined that the through-the-scope balloon catheter system is a safe and effective way to perform deep enteroscopy by using a conventional colonoscope without the need for an overtube. This is the largest reported study using this novel technology to diagnose and treat small-bowel disease. Other recent research concentrated on endoscopic reversal of gastric bypass as well as the management of staple line leaks after sleeve gastrectomies.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, gastroenterology, enteroscopy, endoluminal stenting, endoscopy, gastric bypass, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), fistulas

    Principal Investigator

    Patrick Okolo

    Department

    Medicine

  • Qian Li Lab

    The Qian Li Lab's primary area of statistical expertise is the development and application of statistical methods for: (1) handling the truncation of information on underlying or unobservable outcomes (e.g., disability) as a result of screening, (2) missing data, including outcome (e.g., frailty) censoring by a competing risk (e.g., mortality) and (3) trajectory analysis of multivariate outcomes. Other areas of methodologic research interests include multivariate, latent variable models.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, outcomes, biostatistics

    Principal Investigator

    Qian Li, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Saleh Alqahtani Lab

    The Saleh Alqahtani Lab has conducted clinical research on the management of fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis, including novel therapies. We’ve also been involved in various clinical trials related to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and outcomes of liver transplant patients.

    Research Areas: fatty liver disease, Hepatitis, liver transplants, cirrhosis, liver diseases, liver cancer

    Principal Investigator

    Saleh Alqahtani, M.B.Ch.B., M.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Sharon Dudley Brown Lab

    Research in the Sharon Dudley Brown Lab focuses on gastroenterology and hepatology, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenterology, hepatology, ulcerative colitis

    Principal Investigator

    Sharon Dudley-Brown, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Shukti Chakravarti Lab

    The Shukti Chakravarti Lab studies the regulation of cellular functions and tissue homeostasis by the extracellular matrix (ECM). We investigate functions of collagen-associated extracellular matrix proteins and proteoglycans, lumican, fibromodulin and biglycan in maintaining connective tissue architecture and cellular functions. Lumican regulates collagen fibril structure such that gene-targeted mice that are deficient in lumican manifest Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome-like skin fragility, tendon weaknesses and corneal opacity. Our investigation of the ECM centers on two barrier tissues, the cornea of the eye and the intestinal mucosa and submucosa.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, extracellular matrix, biochemistry, cell biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Shukti Chakravarti

    Department

    Medicine

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