The overall goal of the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (CSIBD) is to promote and facilitate research that will yield insight into the causes and pathogenesis of IBD and lead to improved therapeutic approaches. This overarching objective remains unchanged since the inception of the CSIBD in 1991 and has guided the Center through substantial growth and expansion. The research base is made up of 111 scientists with $48.7 million in digestive disease-related research support. Organizing these investigators by areas of focus, we divide the CSIBD into six central themes. Our goal of understanding human IBD is accomplished using six entry points: (1) genetics, (2) microbial interactions, (3) barrier function and epithelial cell biology, (4) innate and adaptive immunity, (5) therapeutics, and (6) systems biology and signal transduction. Clinicians, scientists, and engineers are embedded in each theme. A central priority of the CSIBD is to bring together researchers from these various approaches and to provide an intellectual nexus for these individuals to find common interests in understanding and treating IBD. This is accomplished through several routes. First, the five biomedical cores offer state-of-the-art resources and expertise from leaders in (1) Human Genetics and Microbiome, (2) Immunology, (3) Morphology, and (4) Genetic Animal Models. In addition to offering guidance and access to technologies, core directors serve as connection points between investigators, facilitating collaborations. Similarly, the (5) Clinical Core aids the community through access to thousands of patient samples while serving as a hub for interactions between clinicians and basic researchers. Operating independently of these cores, the close relationship between the CSIBD and the Broad Institute allows further access to cutting-edge technologies. The overall specific aims of the CSIBD are to (1) promote research in basic science areas relevant to better understanding of mucosal immune function and epithelial biology in IBD; (2) advance our understanding of gut pathophysiology by examining the gut as a circuit: studying the core components of gut intra- and inter-cellular interactions that determine health and disease; (3) promote the study of the pathogenesis of IBD; (4) promote interactions among scientists exploring diverse fields that share relevance to IBD; (5) promote translational IBD research; (6) attract basic investigators to the study of IBD and mucosal immunology; and (7) provide an environment and mechanism to foster development of young investigators focused on IBD. A comprehensive Enrichment Program introduces new members to the IBD community and encourages face-to-face interactions between investigators from a range of fields. Attracting new members to the CSIBD and IBD research is also greatly facilitated through Pilot and Feasibility Program support, the success of which is reflected by 79% of recipients achieving external funding.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are debilitating conditions that affect more than a million people n the United States. This proposal describes our multi-institutional interdisciplinary center focused on IBD research and its potential to accelerate research in the field of IBD. This research will enable the development of advances in treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of these diseases.
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