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TREATING COMPLICATIONS


Investigating and creating novel treatments for the pain, cancer, scarring and depression that accompanies Crohn’s and colitis. Researcher


Institution Project


Dr. Devendra Amre CHU Ste-Justine Certain chemical changes in a child’s DNA can influence the expression of specific genes that may


serve as markers for diagnosing Crohn’s disease in children and also help predict which child is likely to suffer from complications and require surgery. Dr. Amre is studying the utility of these DNA markers to possibly assist in the implementation of management of Crohn’s disease in children.


Co-Investigator(s): Dr. David Mack


Dr. Colette Deslandres


Dr. Wallace MacNaughton


Children’s Hospital Keywords: DNA methylation; diagnostic markers; of Eastern Ontario pediatric Crohn’


CHU Ste-Justine University


of Calgary s disease; prognostic markers; pediatric.


Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins. Some types of proteases can trigger colonic


inflammation but how this happens is not known. Dr. MacNaughton is studying protease-induced inflammation in order to identify potential targets for the development of drugs to treat IBD. This work may also help to better understand inflammation-associated colorectal cancer, which occurs in some ulcerative colitis patients.


Keywords: colorectal cancer; epithelium; apoptosis; resolution of inflammation; ulcerative colitis.


Dr. Michael Blennerhassett Queen’s University


The enteric nervous system is a large and complex network of nerve cells present throughout the


GI tract, which extend axons to smooth muscle to regulate important intestinal functions. Dr. Blennerhassett is studying how axons and neurons are damaged and how this may lead to stricture formation. Overall, this will improve our understanding of neuron damage and repair in order to prevent stricture formation in IBD.


Keywords: intestine; stricture formation; neurobiology; smooth muscle; inflammation.


Dr. Stephen Vanner


Queen’s University Abdominal pain is a debilitating symptom for many $120,112


patients with IBD and can result in emotional suffering (Year 1 of 3) and physical disability. This pain can be difficult to effectively treat, because its underlying cause isn’t well understood. This complicates the decision on how to treat such pain, and whether to use strong opiate drugs like morphine. Dr. Vanner will study the mechanisms of pain to determine if existing pharmacological agents can prevent these events and to guide doctors in developing effective treatment plans to manage use of pain medications.


Co-Investigator(s): Dr. Alan Lomax


Queen’s University Keywords: abdominal pain; pain management;


neuroimmune interplay; effects of psychological stress; clinical steroids.


$119,418 (Year 3 of 3) $119,445 (Year 3 of 3)


Investment $110,823 (Year 2 of 3)


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