Intestinal Rehabilitation Program
Led by Noah Shroyer, PhD, the basic science and translational research program in intestinal rehabilitation has followed an interdisciplinary model to benefit from institutional strengths in Developmental Biology and the Perinatal Institute. Shroyer’s research has focused on elucidating the mechanisms that control cell fate within the intestinal epithelium. He has characterized a network of transcription factors that control development and homeostasis of the intestine. More recently, his laboratory has discovered how this genetic network is subverted in colon cancer. Together with other investigators including Jeffrey Whitsett, MD, and James Wells, PhD, he has led a project to broaden this genetic network to evaluate embryonic intestinal organogenesis. Shroyer, Wells and Michael Helmrath, MD, MS, have developed 3-dimensional gastrointestinal organoid cultures from mouse and human tissues. These organoids function as a renewable and expandable source of patient-specific intestinal tissue and serve as a platform to discover novel therapeutics for treating intestinal diseases. In the future they also may provide source material for transplantation. Current projects include evaluation novel therapies in intestinal organoids from patients with cystic fibrosis and inherited diseases causing intestinal failure.
Digestive Health Center
The Digestive Health Center (DHC) directed by Jorge Bezerra, MD, and managed by Cynthia Wetzel, PhD, recently received a five-year, $5.5 million competitive renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health. The DHC is one of only 17 Silvio O. Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers in the nation and is the only core center dedicated to research on pediatric digestive diseases. The goal of the DHC is to improve child health through better diagnosis, treatments and outcomes for chronic liver disease; inflammatory and diarrheal diseases; obesity and the digestive system and development and digestive diseases. Since 2007, the number of DHC investigators has increased from 58 to 88. These investigators have $35.6 million in extramural funds to support their research and they have published over 440 peer-reviewed articles. The DHC has an exceedingly successful Pilot and Feasibility Program, with a total of $1 million distributed among 26 junior investigators since 2007. These investigators have developed innovative programs and attracted $17.6 million in extramural grant funding to date.
Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED)
Research at theCincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED) involves basic, clinical and translational studies. Phil Putnam, MD, and James Franciosi, MD, MS, have led projects including epidemiology, quality of life research, descriptive research databanks, specimen databanks, translational studies and clinical trials. The CCED participated in a major clinical trial of anti-Il5 in children who have eosinophilic esophagitis that was published in 2011. In the past year, the CCED team participated in the publication of more than 10 manuscripts on various aspects of eosinophilic disorders, including a major revision of the Consensus Recommendations for Diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in children and adults. Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, continues basic science research to understand the genetic and immunologic bases for eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders.
As a continuation of our $1.5 million NIH stimulus research grant awarded in 2009, the first national Registry for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders (www.regid.org) has been launched in 2010 and continues to work toward enrolling patients. The CCED is leading a multi-center registry collaboration with eight pediatric and adult hospitals with plans for further expansion.