The Emory Epithelial Pathobiology Research Development Center was established in June of 2003 as one of four newly funded Digestive Diseases Research Development Centers (DDRDCs) supported by the NIDDK. The goal of the Center is to provide core services to a group of highly specialized and interactive epithelial biologists and pathobiologists in the digestive system with the intention of enhancing research capability, promoting new research directions, and fostering collaboration and interaction among the investigators. Research supported by the Center is mainly focused on epithelial biology and pathobiology of the digestive tract with three overarching themes: Inflammation/Infection, Proliferation/ Differentiation, and Normal Physiology. The Center has three cores: (A) Gene Expression Analysis Core, (B) Image Analysis Core, and (C) Cell Culture Core. In the past few years, these cores have played crucial roles in the development of a digestive diseases-centered research program at Emory and significantly enhanced the research capability of Center members as demonstrated by their outstanding scientific productivity. At its inception, the Center had 9 established investigators (full members) and 5 junior investigators (junior members) with a combined annual direct costs of $2,965,972 (55% of which supported by NIDDK). To date, the Center has evolved into a group of 21 full members and 8 junior members spanning across Departments of Medicine (including Divisions of Digestive Diseases, Endocrinology, Nephrology, Pulmonary &Critical Care Medicine, and Infectious Diseases), Pathology, Physiology, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Neurology in the Emory University School of Medicine, and Department of Biology in the Emory College. The combined annual director costs of this competing renewal application are $8,862,960, 67.7% of which are funded by the NIDDK. Thus, in less than 4 years, the Center has more than doubled its membership and nearly tripled its base grant support. Importantly, since 2003, this group of investigators collectively published 441 original research articles in peer-reviewed journals, out of which 100 contained 2 or more authors that are members of the Center. Moreover, at least 124 of these published work used core services provided by the Center, the majority of which cited the contribution of the Center. The Center has also received substantial amounts of financial support from the institution (Office of the Dean, Chairs of Medicine and Pathology, and Division of Digestive Diseases) with which to implement a highly successful enrichment program including a Pilot/Feasibility Project Grant Program, Research Seminar Series, Annual Scientific Symposium and Advisory Committee Meeting, and periodic Newsletters. The continuation of the Center will therefore further increase the strength of digestive diseases research at Emory with a strong focus on areas within the missions supported by the NIDDK.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-G (O1))
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Podskalny, Judith M,
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Emory University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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