Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
New England Regional Primate Research Center, Southborough, MA
Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA
Director: Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D.
Co-director: Atul K. Bhan, M.D.
Administrator: Patricia Stevens
The Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (CSIBD) is a multidisciplinary program to define fundamental mechanisms underlying Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This Center encompasses fifty investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and allied institutions pursuing research in a broad spectrum of basic science relevant to IBD. Since its formation, the CSIBD has served as a vehicle to achieve advances in our understanding of these diseases through the study of relevant basic biological processes and the directed study of the diseases themselves. The research program of this Center is organized around the central hypothesis that IBD results from activation by luminal antigens (dietary or microbial in origin) of an upregulated chronic immune response due to genetically determined alterations of epithelial cell or immune function including a lack of appropriate down-regulatory functions. Major advances made possible by the CSIBD since its inception include the development and characterization of new genetic mouse models of IBD, delineation of mechanisms of lymphocyte activation and leukocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation, identification of key peptides involved in sustaining mucosal integrity, characterization of the mechanisms of mucosal healing following injury, and improved understanding of the regulation of mucosal immune responses and the complex network of regulatory peptides (cytokines) that modulate mucosal immune and epithelial cell function.
The CSIBD focuses on progress in the study of basic aspects of mucosal biology with translation to the study and treatment of IBD using the tools of molecular and cellular biology. A major focus of the CSIBD is the coordinated multidisciplinary study of mechanisms leading to chronic intestinal inflammation in the newly available murine genetic models of IBD. Experiments will delineate interactions between environmental factors and different genetic loci. The overall goal of advancing our knowledge of IBD will continue to be carried out through five Biomedical Cores. In addition to advancing the understanding of IBD per se, the goals of this Center will continue to include recruiting established investigators to the study of IBD, enhancing collaboration among Center investigators, and encouraging the development of young investigators committed to pursuing IBD research. These goals are fostered by Pilot and Feasibility Study awards, which support new research initiatives as well as an enrichment program of seminars, workshops, and symposia.
- Molecular Biology
- Genetic Animal Models
- Clinical Tissue