This application is for continued support of the Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center (VDDRC) focused on the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for digestive diseases. We believe that a fundamental understanding of these processes will provide a rational basis for development of targeted prevention and therapies. The VDDRC is multidisciplinary, including faculty in 10 different academic departments with 77 investigators (50 full members and 27 associate members).
The Aims of the VDDRC are aligned with the goals of Vanderbilt University: 1) to promote digestive diseases-related research in an integrative, collaborative and multidisciplinary manner;2) to enhance the basic research capabilities of VDDRC Members;3) to attract investigators not involved in digestive diseases-related research to pursue these lines of investigation;4) to develop and implement programs for training, establishment, and retention of young investigators in digestive disease-related research;and 5) to facilitate the transfer of basic research findings to improvements in prevention and/or clinical care. Investigative interests of the members fall into four broad areas of study: 1) growth, proliferation, and apoptosis, 2) epithelial integrity, 3) gastrointestinal development and function, and 4) gastrointestinal physiology, obesity, and metabolism. The VDDRC contains five core research laboratories to support the members: 1) the Microarray Core, 2) the Cellular and Animal Modeling Core, 3) the Cell Imaging Core, 4) the Bioanalytical (Mass Spectrometry) and Proteomics Core, and 5) the Flow Cytometry Core. These are integrated into our Center to provide investigators working on digestive disease-related research with the latest advances in technology and aid in experimental design and interpretation of results. The VDDRC supports a Pilot/Feasibility Program including a university-supported translational project, and a Young Investigator Award Program to foster participation of beginning and seasoned investigators in research related to digestive diseases. The Administrative Core also contains Biostatistical and Enrichment Programs and oversees the financial management and operation of the VDDRC. The VDDRC Research Programs through technologies provided by the Research Cores are designed to improve prevention, management, outcomes or treatment of human digestive diseases.
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