New England Medical Center and Tufts University, Boston, MA
Director: Andrew G. Plaut, M.D.
Co-director: Andrew Leiter, M.D. Ph.D
Administrator: Susan Haff
Since its inception, the Gastrointestinal Research on Absorptive and Secretory Process (GRASP) Digestive Disease Center has promoted basic research at New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. Current membership includes approximately 40 M.D. and Ph.D. investigators who interact scientifically within the context of the Center's four Cores. Interactions within and among Cores has been extensive, fostered by shared scientific interests and equipment needs, the Administrative Core, and the proximity of our laboratories to one another. Through the awarding of Pilot Feasibility grants, the Center has encouraged a large number of investigators to direct their research to digestive diseases, and this has expanded Core utilization. Additional interactions have occurred through the Center's Program Enrichment activities, which include the sponsorship of visiting scientists, lectures, and conferences.
Basic science research done by GRASP investigators has not only advanced understanding of physiologic mechanisms of the intestine and liver, but has direct relevance to digestive diseases and other public health issues. We support programs in clinical and basic research projects in AIDS and HIV pathogenesis, gastrointestinal hormones and their receptors, developmental biology, molecular mechanisms of infections caused by bacteria and parasites, cystic fibrosis, and liver cell physiology. Core facilities are capable of providing large and small cultures of bacterial and parasitic pathogens, and purified, biologically active toxins and other macromolecules; state-of-the-art molecular techniques relevant to gastrointestinal hormones, receptors, and intestinal development and differentiation; establishment of immortalized novel epithelial cell lines from gastrointestinal tissues and maintenance of relevant cell lines; instrumentation and consultation for investigators wishing to use imaging techniques to study intracellular transport and signal transduction in hepatocytes and other epithelial cells; and specialized instrumentation and consultation to investigators wishing to characterize membrane proteins.
- Intestinal Microbiology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Culture
- Image Analysis