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IBD Research and Clinical Trials

IBD Research and Clinical TrialsDavid T. Rubin, MD, discusses IBD research and current approaches to IBD treatment. » Read the interview.

University of Chicago Medicine clinicians also are investigators, working to identify the causes and understand the mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, our research scientists are active partners in care who collaborate with clinicians to solve the complex problems that patients face. As a result, patients receive the best, most advanced care possible. This also ensures that research agendas follow not just the individual investigator's interests but emerging trends and changes in IBD. Our goal is to develop more effective and specific treatments and, ultimately, to prevent and cure inflammatory bowel disease.

A History of Innovations in Research and Patient Care

The University of Chicago has been a leader in IBD research and innovation for more than 85 years. Our medical research has advanced the understanding of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and allowed us to develop new treatments and clinical protocols for these conditions. Some of our accomplishments and projects include:

  • Identifying the first gene for Crohn's disease, the NOD2, which is involved in the immune system's initial response to bacterial infection
  • Developing surgeries to avoid the need for an ileostomy when removing the colon
  • Examining genetic risk factors and defining the impact of environmental factors in IBD, such as diet, cigarette smoking and use of oral contraceptives
  • Advancing new conventional, immunomodulatory and recent biologic therapies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
  • Demonstrating the relationship between inflammation and cancer risk in ulcerative colitis and developing novel screening
  • Maintaining a comprehensive NIH-funded Digestive Diseases Research Core focused on the gut microbiome
  • Explaining the role of epigenetic changes (changes in gene expression) in IBD and inflammation

Advanced Participation in Clinical Trials

As one of only a limited number of research centers in the country testing new IBD treatments, we can offer a variety of clinical trial therapies – the most advanced treatments available – at the earliest possible time in patients' care. Some of our current studies focus on:

  • Novel therapies in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • The utility of chromoendoscopy in ulcerative colitis surveillance
  • The role of the microbiome in IBD pathogenesis
  • Disparities in digestive diseases delivery of care

For more information about clinic trials, contact:
Kristi Kearney, RN
Research Nurse, Clinical Trials Manager
Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
(773) 834-7414

(773) 834-7414

A Seamless Circle

At the University of Chicago Medicine, clinical practice and basic and translational research form a seamless, virtual circle that leads to better diagnosis, better treatment and better outcomes for our patients.