The NIDDK Hopkins Digestive Diseases Basic and Translational Research Core Center (DDBTRCC) was funded on 9/1/11 with the goal to facilitate GI science at Hopkins and apply research discoveries in a translational manner to form the background for improving the health of GI patients. The current Specific Aims of the Center are to capitalize on our advances and expand GI research at JHU in basic and translational epithelial biology in several areas of strength of Center investigators. These strengths are represented in our Focus Groups that include (i) Epithelial Transport: Function and Regulation (with the emphasis on transporters trafficking, protein-protein interactions and metal transport), (ii) Inflammation, Injury and Fibrosis, (iii) Neurogastroenterology, and (iv) GI Differentiation, Proliferation, Pre-cancer (with emphasis on signaling pathways, epigenetics, and biomarkers). The Center research base consists of 59 investigators (45 Members and 14 Associate Members), with a mix of faculty from basic science (25) and clinical departments (34). The Research Base is supported by 4 Scientific Cores: Proteomics Core (part of the JHU Mass Spectrometry Core), Imaging Core, Integrated Physiology Core, Translational Research Enhancement Core (TREC) and an Administrative Core. We have added major new areas to the services provided by the Cores that include proteomic analysis with an emphasize on post-translational modification, development of human enteroids as promising models of GI physiology and pathophysiology, and the hands-on training which makes these new models available to our investigators. The capabilities of the Imaging Core have been significantly increased by additional equipment (including two photon, spinning disk confocal and super resolution microscopes as well as a high-end fluorescence plate reader) and establishment of an Olympus Microscopy Demonstration Center in our Imaging Core (The Olympus Center is only the second such Center in the country to provide the newest Olympus microscopes for use by our investigators). Our TREC remains central to the JHU/CTSA development of translational research for the entire institution. The Administrative Core organizes the Pilot/Feasibility and Enrichment Programs (weekly Work-in-Progress, annual all day symposium, Hofmann Lecture and day of GI science plus poster session). The P/F program has funded 15 projects, 13 of those to new investigators and 2 to more senior faculty whose work is new to GI and will develop innovative technologies important for many Center investigators. To date, the 11 completed P/F projects have produced an 8.7-fold return on investment. Our Center has been given new space increasing it to ~3000 sq ft (doubling in size) in a single location. Our overall digestive disease (DD) funding has increased by 68% to $25.23 million, our NIH DD funding - by 58% to $7.2 million, of which 39% is NIDDK DD funding.
Conte Digestive Diseases Core Center provides Administrative and Scientific Cores to advance the digestive diseases research of its 59 members Research Base. Areas of research emphasized include Epithelial transporter function and regulation (with emphasis on trafficking, protein-protein interactions and heavy metal transport), Inflammation, injury and fibrosis, Neurogastroenterology, and GI pre-cancer (with emphasis on signaling pathways, inflammation, epigenetics, and biomarkers).
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