Bacteria are inside IBD patient’s crypts

The Cho Laboratory investigates the genetic and immunologic factors associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). We are part of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY.

A major focus of our research is understanding the prevalence of IBD in the  Ashkenazi Jewish population. We are working on further identifying rare disease associated variants in Ashkenazi Jewish population by Exome Chip technology as well as the biological function of those identified genes. Dr. Cho’s research has contributed to defining the pathophysiologic mechanisms of IBD by identifying associations to NOD2, IL23R, and 163 loci to IBD. With new findings our research is evolving to now looking at the function of lipid mediators and their related cytokines in innate immune cells, and the full transcriptome of enteroids, the intestinal epithelial stem cells.

Furthermore, we investigate the relationship between environmental factors and IBD by examining how hosts (humans) interact with gut microbes and how the interaction may lead to IBD susceptibility and/or maintain IBD pathogenesis. By dissecting the relationship between IBD genetics, immune response, and microbes, we would have a better chance to develop treatment for blocking pro-inflammatory proteins, inflammatory pathways, or immune cell entry into intestine. The integration of our research with the clinical research for IBD has great potential for the future of IBD treatment.