Intestinal Inflammasomes: Defining Their Role in IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is thought to develop in people when their gut bacteria leak out of their intestines, and cause chronic gut inflammation. We recently found that the cells that line the guts of healthy people possess a specialized defense system called an inflammasome.
In preliminary studies, the inflammasome seems to prevent the gut from becoming leaky, and helps it fight bacteria. Interestingly, some people with IBD are known to be missing inflammasomes. We want to better define how these gut lining inflammasomes work, and whether they are missing in many of the people who develop IBD. Using several different models, including growing gut lining cells in the lab to form mini-guts, we will test how these inflammasomes prevent gut leakiness and how they fight bacteria. The data provided by these studies will also be beneficial for ongoing research, while the interns will learn cutting edge techniques. The partner organizations will benefit from an increased understanding of the
causes of IBD, as well as new technologies (growing mini-guts) that can be used for many health related studies.

Faculty Supervisor:

Bruce Vallance


Else Bosman


Qu Biologics Inc






University of British Columbia



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