Explore This Research Lab


Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis) are chronic immune-mediated diseases that are associated with considerable morbidity. My research focuses on several different aspects of inflammatory bowel disease. First, I am involved in large cohort studies that are attempting to examine established and novel environmental factors including diet that influence the risk of development of these diseases, and the natural history of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This will help us better understand the pathogenesis of these conditions which will eventually lead to novel treatments. Second, in collaboration with leading geneticists, lab scientists, and immunologists, I am working to understand the clinical consequences of the over 100 genetic mutations associated with these diseases, and the association of such mutations with the environment. I am also conducting clinical research that examines the course of disease and response to various therapies with the aim of developing predictive models that can be used both to inform about disease course as well the likelihood of response to specific therapy. I am interested in novel tools to monitor disease activity and identify complications. Finally, my research aims to integrate these clinical and genetic data to develop predictors of natural history of disease and response to therapy, towards the overall goal of personalized medicine approach to diagnosis and therapy of these diseases.

I participate in clinical trials of novel therapies, and better use of existing therapies in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Research Projects

  • A prospective study of depressive symptoms and risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • An examination of dietary factors, in particular dietary fat and fiber, on the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Safety and efficacy of biologic therapy among older patients with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Genetic predictors of severity of disease in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • A study of the role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Genetic predictors of response to therapy and adverse outcomes in inflammatory bowel diseases

Research Positions

No full-time research positions. I welcome contact from trainees and researchers interested in clinical or outcomes research in IBD.


View my most recent publications on PubMed

  1. Ananthakrishnan AN, Higuchi LM, Huang ES, Khalili H, Richter JM, Fuchs CS, Chan AT. 2012. Aspirin, Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug Use, and Risk for Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: A Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med 156: 350-9.
  2. Ananthakrishnan AN, Khalili H, Higuchi LM, Bao Y, Korzenik JR, Giovannucci EL, Richter JM, Fuchs CS, Chan AT. 2012. Higher predicted vitamin d status is associated with reduced risk of Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology 142: 482-9.
  3. Ananthakrishnan AN, Hur C, Juillerat P, Korzenik JR. 2011. Strategies for the prevention of postoperative recurrence in Crohn's disease: results of a decision analysis. Am J Gastroenterol 106: 2009-17.
  4. Ananthakrishnan AN, McGinley EL, Binion DG, Saeian K. 2011. Ambient air pollution correlates with hospitalizations for inflammatory bowel disease: an ecologic analysis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 17: 1138-45.
  5. Ananthakrishnan AN, McGinley EL, Binion DG. 2009. Inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly is associated with worse outcomes: a national study of hospitalizations. Inflamm Bowel Dis 15: 182-9.
  6. Ananthakrishnan AN, Weber LR, Knox JF, Skaros S, Emmons J, Lundeen S, Issa M, Otterson MF, Binion DG. 2008. Permanent work disability in Crohn's disease. Am J Gastroenterol 103: 154-61.
  7. Ananthakrishnan AN, McGinley EL, Binion DG. 2008. Excess hospitalisation burden associated with Clostridium difficile in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Gut 57: 205-10.
  8. Ananthakrishnan AN, Schellhase KG, Sparapani RA, Laud PW, Neuner JM. 2007. Disparities in colon cancer screening in the Medicare population. Arch Intern Med 167: 258-64.

Vitamin D Status and Crohn’s Disease

Dr. Ashwin N. Ananthakrishan discusses his manuscript.