The UCLA Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Center, established in 2007, focuses on multiple aspects of the pathophysiology, therapy, and diagnosis of IBD with some of the funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Broad Foundation, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc. Their discoveries are not only helping to unravel the mysteries driving IBD pathogenesis at the molecular and cellular levels, but they are also providing targets for new therapeutic approaches — some of which are currently under investigation.
Our work in the microbiome realm includes a group headed by Dr. Jonathan P. Jacobs that is investigating how the intestinal microbiome contributes to IBD development.
Dr. David Padua’s team is looking at the role of long non-coding RNAs in the inflammation that is central to IBD.
Dr. Dimitrios Iliopoulos notes that much of this work is focused on how the environment influences IBD pathogenesis through changes in the epigenome and microbiome. In the epigenome category, Dr. Iliopoulos and his colleagues are leaders in the use of cutting-edge approaches such as systems science and artificial intelligence to discover the role of DNA methylation and histone modifications in the development of IBD.
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer and his colleagues are conducting pioneering studies exploring the interactions between IBD and the nervous system, amid mounting interest in the role of brain alterations in IBD pathogenesis.