The Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal inflammation and immunity Research (CEGIIR) enhances Canada’s reputation in science and health through improved quality of Gastroenterology research, provides an infrastructure to attract scientists, improves training opportunities for students and HQPs, create jobs for Canadians, and has the potential to improve the health of Canadians through improved therapy, vaccines and treatments for gastrointestinal disorders.
Dr. Richard Fedorak, Director of CEGIIR, has established an outstanding research team to focus on inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, non-ulcer dyspepsia, gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), viral hepatic and biliary disorders, and their associated gastrointestinal cancers.
- Scientists at CEGIIR pursue a broad spectrum of health research from basic science to population health with the goal to significantly expand Canada's research profile and productivity in Gastroenterology inflammation and immunity.
- Specific research objectives include
identification of the individual microbes and genetic abnormalities causing inflammatory bowel diseases and associated colonic cancers;
identification of the genetic, microbial and environmental factors associated with peptic ulcer diseases and gastric cancers; and
characterization of novel retroviruses associated with gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary diseases and cancers.
- Clinical epidemiological and familial studies will be performed to link genetic and microbial influences determined in the basic science programs.
- The population studies experts will investigate databases for nutritional and environmental factors that impact on the development of each disorder under investigation. Where there are known communities at higher risk for inflammatory bowel disease (Alberta, Manitoba), they will interview families and secure samples for profiling individual diseases and for screening for infection and genotyping. First Nation families on Vancouver Island known to have an increased prevalence of primary biliary cirrhosis will be assessed for evidence of retrovirus infection and known HLA haplotypes and other genetic polymorphisms associated with autoimmune liver disease in the genotyping facility.
- Similar cluster studies will examine the increased prevalence of H. pylori and gastric cancer plaguing Inuit families in NWT and IBD in North-Eastern Alberta.
To study the roles of bacteria and viruses in gastrointestinal and liver diseases, volunteer patients will be asked to donate a sample of blood, urine and DNA that will help researchers identify why some people get the diseases from bacteria and viruses and other people don't. The purpose of storing the blood, urine, DNA and the intestinal tissues is to allow the study of groups of samples, from several patients, at one time.