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Dr. Verdu

McMaster University Investment in 2011/12: $123,322

Dr. Giradin University of Toronto Investment in 2011/12: $124,910

Dr. Buret

University of Calgary Investment in 2011/12: $122,296

Dr. Gray-Owen University of Toronto Investment in 2011/12: $125,000

Dr. Petrof Queen’s University Investment in 2011/12: $125,000

Dr. Verdu is investigating whether inflammation can be affected by bacteria or by adding a specific probiotic. This work will determine the potential value of probiotics to reduce or prevent IBD. Also, Dr. Verdu is using germ-free mice to investigate how bacteria from patients with IBD impact inflammation in high-risk individuals.

The gene that was first identified to be associated with IBD is Nod2, which senses bacteria. Dr. Giradin is studying how Nod proteins affect the body’s response to bacteria in the gut. His goal is to identify the bacterial triggers in order to find what causes the uncontrolled autoimmune response that ultimately leads to disease progression.

Acute infection with Camplylobacter jejuni can start or worsen gut inflammation in IBD patients. Dr. Buret is studying how Campylobacter jejuni may disrupt the gut microbiome and trigger the IBD disease process in motion. This work may shed new light on the mechanisms responsible for intestinal inflammation in IBD.

Dr. Gray-Owen is investigating whether a bug called “adherent and invasive E. coli (AIEC) sticks to and penetrates the lining of the gut, and potentially contributes to the chronic inflammation in IBD. This study will provide new insights into the cause of IBD and may lead to new ways to either prevent or stop the inflammatory process.

Dr. Petrof is investigating whether a common gut bacterium which is also a probiotic, has anti-inflammatory benefits. Research into this area may lead to safer IBD treatments that would reduce the negative inflammatory response, while maintaining the body’s critical host defenses.


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