Drs. Philip F. Halloran, Brendan P. Halloran, Konrad Famulski and Jeff Reeve
Diagnostic and theranostic applications of microarrays in inflammatory bowel disease:
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease represent common sources of illness and disability, affecting close to 2 million North Americans. The affected individuals are assessed by clinical, laboratory, endoscopy, and histology of biopsies done at the time of endoscopy. The unmet need is to get a better classification of disease diagnosis (e.g. Crohn's vs ulcerative colitis), activity, quantity, and prognosis, but particularly potential for response to therapy and measurement of response to therapy. Our project focuses on performing biopsies at the time of endoscopy examination, and examining these biopsies in relationship to the other phenotypic findings in particular to predict response to biological drugs. Many patients are treated with these drugs and are unresponsive, positing a problem in matching the risk benefit relationships to the patient needs. Our hypothesis is that this will be best answered by the molecular phenotype, which can demonstrate who will respond to therapy and also guide better therapies for the unresponsive patient. In addition, we will explore the molecular differences between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and between these phenotypes and others such as microscopic colitis.