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CEGIIR hosts national patient-oriented research

March 31, 2016

IMAGINE: Inflammation, Microbiome and Alimentation: Gastrointestinal and Neuropsychiatric Effects

(Edmonton) The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and the Centre of Excellence in Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR) are pleased to announce their partnership in a large national study, pioneering developments in patient-oriented digestive health research and care.

Ten researchers from the Division of Gastroenterology are involved with the new national IMAGINE-SPOR Chronic Disease Network, which is a countrywide collaboration of patients and scientists that will look at how gut bacteria and diet cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and anxiety and depression that are associated with these disorders

Federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott announced $12.5 million in funding for the Chronic Pain Network today at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario. It is one of five chronic disease networks announced under Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), which will be managed by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. “This award will enable us to test and validate potential new therapies derived from the cutting-edge research into the human microbiome,” says Dr. Richard Fedorak, professor of Medicine and interim dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

Dr. Karen Madsen, professor of Medicine and director of CEGIIR stated: “The Center of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research is the University of Alberta's front-ranked research group examining the role of the microbiome in digestive diseases. This award will permit our researchers to collaborate, across Canada, with other leading laboratories, enabling a globally impactful approach to identifying the important role of the gut microbiome in human health.”

The IMAGINE project is led by Dr. Paul Moayyedi, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and clinical research lead of McMaster’s Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

“We’ve been patient-driven in setting priorities for this work. We believe IBD and IBS are caused by an immune response to the disturbance in the gut’s microbiome, and we know diet plays a key role in shaping the gut microbiome,” said Moayyedi.

“We will be developing innovative therapies for these disorders, such a fecal transplant therapy for IBD and novel probiotics for IBS.” Patient-oriented research refers to investigation that engages patients as partners, puts a focus on patient-identified priorities and improves their outcomes. This research, conducted by multidisciplinary teams in partnership with relevant participants, aims to apply the knowledge produced to improve healthcare systems and practices.

Editors: A backgrounder on the IMAGINE-SPOR Chronic Disease Network is available.

Media inquiries:

Ross Neitz, communications associate
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
780-492-5986 (office) 780-297-8354 (cell)

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