The Semaphorins, a role Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes both Crohn’s disease (CD), and ulcerative colitis (UC). Approximately 230,000 Canadians are affected by these diseases and they have important repercussions on quality of life and on both personal and societal direct and indirect costs. The cause(s) are poorly understood, and treatment is largely symptom-based and not curative. Commonly used drugs may have potentially important adverse effects such as cancer and serious infections. Moreover, some patients are resistant to these drugs. Therefore, safer and more efficient therapies are needed. There is some indication that a group of molecules implicated in immune cell attraction named semaphorins can regulate inflammation in the gut. This study aims to determine how semaphorin can be harnessed to reduce intestinal inflammation and ultimately serve as a safe therapeutic target in IBD. Our studies will use clinical, physiological and molecular tools to identify how a specific semaphorin, semaphorin3E is involved in targeting an antigen presenting cells called dendritic cells, in the inflammatory bowel disease states in humans and animal models. In summary, we will explore a new pathway implicated these cells response during intestinal inflammation that will provide a basis for possible new treatments of IBD. TO BE CONT’D

Faculty Supervisor:

Jean-Eric Ghia


Kunal Kapoor, Laetitia Kermarrec, Nour Eissa


Crohn’s and Colitis Canada


Microbiology / Immunology


Medical devices


University of Manitoba



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