This application is for continued support of the Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center (VDDRC) which is focused on developing a deeper understanding of gastrointestinal physiology and pathophysiologic responses to injury and inflammation in order to reveal new mechanisms of disease and novel therapeutic targets. The VDDRC is multidisciplinary, including faculty in 14 different academic departments with 119 investigators (65 full members and 48 associate members).
The Aims of the VDDRC are aligned with the goals of Vanderbilt University: 1) to promote digestive disease-related research in an integrative, collaborative and multidisciplinary manner;2) to develop and implement programs for attracting, training, and retaining young investigators in digestive disease-related research;3) to enhance the basic, translational, and clinical research capabilities of VDDRC members;4) to facilitate the transfer of basic research discoveries to improvements in prevention and/or clinical care;and 5) to attract investigators not involved indigestive disease-related research to pursue these lines of investigation. Investigative member interests fall into four broad areas of study: 1) Growth, proliferation, and apoptosis;2) Epithelial integrity;3) Gastrointestinal physiology, obesity, and metabolism;and 4) Gastrointestinal development and function. The VDDRC contains five core research laboratories to support the members: 1) Flow Cytometry Core, 2) Preclinical Models of Digestive Diseases Core, 3) Cell Imaging Core, 4) Bioanalytical (Mass Spectrometry) and Proteomics Core, and 5) Murine Gl Surgical Modeling Core. These cores are integrated into our Center to provide investigators working on digestive disease-related research with the latest advances in technology and to aid in experimental design and interpretation of results. Based on investigator demand, in this competing renewal application, we have expanded our core services by adding 1) non-invasive molecular imaging to the original Cellular and Animal Modeling Core to create a Preclinical Models of Digestive Diseases Core, and 2) a Murine Gl Surgical Modeling Core. The VDDRC supports a Pilot/Feasibility Program including a university-supported translational project, a dual-funded VDDRC-Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) clinical 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 Biostatistics and Enrichment Programs and oversees the financial management and operation of the VDDRC.
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