Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. IBD primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Familial aggregation and higher concordance rates in monozygotic than dizygotic twins have provided robust evidence for the involvement of genetic factors in the disease etiology. An important epidemiological feature of IBD is that it occurs at significantly different frequencies in different ethnic, demographic and racial groups, and has the highest prevalence among individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
We are taking advantage of an ongoing recruitment and the world class Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai to conduct genetic, genomic, microbiome, systems biology and functional studies of IBD with the focus on the Ashkenazi Jewish population. We are particularly interested in large families with multiple affected individuals. Our goal is to detect genetic mutations that significantly contribute to the development of IBD and functionally validate them. This knowledge of the genetic risk may help identify individuals at high risk of developing the disease and discover new pharmaceutical targets to prevent, postpone and/or treat IBD.
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