Our research program is directed toward understanding the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation and formulating treatment strategies for intestinal inflammatory diseases such as IBD. Our work has been published consistently in reputable journals and cited extensively (December 20, 2017: h-index of 45). Our laboratory is familiar with a vast number of techniques, from nanotechnology to molecular biology to cell biology. Over one million adults and children in the US, including members of the VA population, suffer from IBD, with about 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Crohn?s and Colitis Foundation of America. VA IBD patients have a much higher rate of colorectal cancer compared to the general population (2.9% vs. 0.1%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics). New therapeutic strategies based on a better understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD will improve the clinical care of veteran and non-veteran patients with this disorder. We have long recognized the value of interdisciplinary research in furthering scientific discovery, as important research ideas often transcend the scope of a single discipline or program. In this context, we have promoted collaborative interdisciplinary research between scientists/physicians with interests in gastroenterology at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and scientists at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences of Georgia State University. These multidisciplinary collaborations are intended to develop novel ideas that will enhance the diagnosis and treatment of colitis and colitis-associated cancers that affect the VA population. 1
We have an established research program that focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation, mucosal immunity and formulating treatment strategies for intestinal inflammatory diseases. We have made seminal observations on alterations in peptide transporters during intestinal inflammation and utilized peptide transporters to deliver anti-inflammatory molecules to treat intestinal inflammation and colitis associated cancer. Impact on Veterans Health care: Over one million adults in the US, including members of the VA population, suffer from IBD, and about 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year (according to the Crohn?s and Colitis Foundation of America. The VA IBD patients have a much higher rate of colorectal cancer compared to the general population (2.9% vs. 0.1%; from National Center for Health Statistics data). Thus, attaining an understanding of the etiology of IBD and the relevant pathological mechanisms are major aims of research seeking to develop effective future treatments will directly benefit the veteran population.