Over the past 75 years, researchers in digestive diseases at the University of Chicago have made crucial advances in the understanding of clinical disease behavior and progression, therapeutic efficacy, disease monitoring, cost-effectiveness assessment, genetics of IBD, epigenetics of IBD, microbial influences on gastrointestinal function, immune mechanisms, normal physiology and pathogenesis of luminal diseases. The investigators in the DDRCC have increasingly recognized that a comprehensive understanding of the clinical behavior, phenotype, epidemiology and pathophysiology of human disease requires the analysis of clinical data, analysis of human cells and tissues and the establishment/advancement of human model systems and cellular experiments. The ITR core was created to enable translational research by providing the infrastructure and means to integrate clinical information with experimental data relating to the microbiota, the intestinal tissue, the immune system and the genetic and epigenetic make-up. The ITR Core has the singular goal of establishing a centralized service to provide consultative and hands-on technical expertise to conduct associated human studies, key clinical database information that could be used for clinical trials recruitment, outcomes analysis, therapeutic efficacy studies, and in conjunction with biospecimen recruitment, a source of well-phenotyped samples as reagents for basic science and translational research.
The Specific Aims of the ITR Core are summarized as follows: (1) to provide services for human biospecimen-based study design and cellular analysis; (2) to provide the infrastructure and services to optimize clinical database utilization and (3) to provide the infrastructure and services to optimize human biospecimen utilization. In particular, the ITR Core has worked steadfastly to optimize consultation services for human study design, create a dynamic mechanism to access and assess clinical data and to create an efficient workflow for patient and biospecimen recruitment. All improvements have been integrally supported by the University of Chicago and collaborative resources to address the needs of DDRCC investigators and to create an ITR Core that functions as a critical resource for the other DDRCC Cores. Since September 1, 2009, 27 DDRCC members (53% of membership) have utilized the ITR Core and 2568 Genesys IBD Registry and 603 Celiac Disease Registry patients have been recruited, with a total of 4477 patient recruited through the ITR Core for all GI studies in the past 5 years. The ITR Core has also built a repository of biospecimens to facilitate the rapid generation of data which includes 16,291 biospecimens on 1002 patients, including whole blood DNA, serum, biopsy RNA, biopsy DNA, flash frozen biopsy samples and FFPE tissues. The ITR core will continue to build on the infrastructural foundation established over the last 4 years to meet the growing and changing needs of DDRCC investigators for clinical database information and well-phenotyped biospecimens. The ultimate goal of the ITR Core is to remain an integral, essential resource for the advancement of research in understanding human physiology, human digestive disease pathogenesis and future therapeutic development.
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