Biomedical cores complement the research interests of CSIBD investigators and promote research in areas of recognized priority in advancing the understanding of IBD.
The Human Genetics and Microbiome Core strives to provide the CSIBD community with the power of current and emerging ‘omics technology to accelerate research on multiple aspects of IBD and other digestive diseases. IBD is a multifaceted disorder in which not only germline genetics and the immune system but also environmental factors play an important role. One such factor, the gut microbial community, is gaining increasing attention for its influence on many aspects of health in general and IBD in particular.
This core therefore focuses on both the host and microbial dimensions and follow-on functional investigation that are at the leading edge of IBD research worldwide, and makes these approaches and results broadly available to the CSIBD community. Access to these resources is achieved through the provision of technical services, analytic support, as well as training for CSIBD members; the combined resources and expertise are at the forefront of best practices in genetics and available in few research environments.
The objective of the Morphology Core is to provide Center investigators with the technical support, expertise and access to instrumentation necessary for their morphological and cell biological studies related to IBD. The use of these often sophisticated techniques to examine the localization of proteins important in the pathogenesis of various forms of bowel disease is essential to the work being performed by investigators involved in this Center.
The Clinical Core serves an integral function of the CSIBD by providing an infrastructure to facilitate the translation of basic research findings into a clinical setting. The Core serves as a hub between clinicians and basic scientists seeking to advance therapeutics and/or develop tools for early diagnosis and risk stratification, and allows patients with IBD to interact with investigators at the cutting edge of research, providing an opportunity for patients to directly contribute to efforts to understand the pathophysiology of IBD.
The key component of the Clinical Core is an ongoing prospective registry of patients with IBD seen at MGH (Prospective Registry in IBD Study at MGH, PRISM). In addition, the Core provides clinical research support for consultations regarding study design, execution, and analysis for studies involving human samples.
The objective of the Immunology Core is to provide CSIBD investigators with expertise in design, implementation and analysis for immunological assays by equipping the community with cost-effective access to crucial instruments, reagents, protocols, training and education. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Drs. Andrew Luster and Shiv Pillai, the Immunology Core offers access to both standard techniques and a number of newly developing, powerful immunologic techniques.
The objective of the CSIBD Genetic Animal Models Core is to develop novel genetic technologies and model systems aimed at investigating genes and pathways to yield insight into how human genomic variants affect the pathogenesis of IBD and other digestive diseases.
To support this objective, the Core provides a range of established and novel genetic animal models that serve as tools to interrogate molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that control mucosal host defenses and inflammation. To complement the in vivo technology, relevant in vitro techniques and analyses are made available.