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Dr. Rivard

University of Sherbrooke Investment in 2011/12: $125,000

Dr. Boudreau University of Sherbrooke Investment in 2011/12: $124,192

Dr. Chadee

University of Calgary Investment in 2011/12: $125,000

Dr. Khan

McMaster University Investment in 2011/12: $124,883

Dr. Jacobson BC Children’s Hospital Investment in 2011/12: $124,781

Dr. Wallace

McMaster University Investment in 2011/12: $125,000

Dr. Sigalet

University of Calgary Investment in 2011/12: $67,075

The cells lining the gut are called intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). IECs cause our immune system to respond when the barrier to the external environment fails and coordinate with leukocytes (a type of white blood cells) present in the gut. Dr. Rivard is studying a signaling molecule, which may be involved in the immune response in order to prevent gut inflammation.

Dr. Boudreau is studying how two inflammatory regulators play a role in reducing inflammation. By identifying the specific signaling pathways and targeting the genes affected by these regulators may lead to the new therapies for IBD.

The large intestine is covered with thick mucus that forms a protective barrier against bad bacteria and substances. In IBD, the mucus layer is very thin and the inflamed gut becomes susceptible to bacterial invasion. Dr. Chadee is studying the role of mucin in maintaining a healthy protective barrier as a treatment option for IBD.

Dr. Khan is examining what role a hormone called serotonin plays in regulating an immune response. This may lead to improved therapeutic strategies to combat gut inflammatory disorders, including IBD.

The cells lining the gut form a physical barrier between the contents of the digestive tract and the underlying immune and nervous systems. This is achieved by tight junction proteins that bind neighbouring cells together. In IBD, this physical barrier is impaired. Dr. Jacobson is investigating ways to prevent disruption, and strengthen the barrier as a new therapy for IBD.

Dr. Wallace is studying how inflammation is turned off and how the processes might be malfunctioning in IBD. Dr. Wallace is testing experimental drugs in different types of intestinal inflammation in order to find the best doses and the best routes of administering the drugs.

Dr. Sigalet is investigating the effects of a hormone made by the intestine. Dr. Sigalet has shown that this hormone actually increases the number of anti-inflammatory nerves to dramatically reduce gut inflammation. This work will may lead to a new therapy that reduces inflammation by stimulating the natural anti-inflammatory powers of the gut.


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