Randolph to receive NIH director’s Pioneer Award ​

Gwendalyn J. Randolph, PhD, director of the Division of Immunobiology at the School of Medicine, has been chosen as a 2015 recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. The award challenges investigators to develop groundbreaking approaches that have a high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral science. Randolph is one of 13 Pioneer Award winners this year.

Researcher Liu receives grant for work on Crohn’s

Ta-Chiang Liu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a three-year, $486,000 grant from The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for research titled “Small Intestinal Paneth Cell Phenotype In Crohn’s Disease: Clinical Relevance And Genetic Associations.”

VanDussen receives grant for Crohn’s disease research

Kelli VanDussen, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the (Thaddeus) Stappenbeck Lab, has received a three-year, $174,750 grant from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America for research titled “Defining The Basis of Epithelial Defects in Crohn’s Disease Patients.”

Scientists grow personalized collections of intestinal microbes

School of Medicine scientists have shown they can grow personalized collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory and pluck out particular microbes of interest. The research sets the stage for identifying new probiotics and evaluating whether microbe transplants can restore the natural balance of intestinal bacteria in “sick” microbial communities. 

Colitis patients diagnosed later in life tend to have better disease outcomes

Adults diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after age 50 are more likely to achieve remission from their symptoms than patients diagnosed at younger ages, even when those patients receive similar treatments, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study is the first to look at patients whose colitis was treated with modern medications. Nearly 1 million U.S. adults have ulcerative colitis. 

Countering Crohn’s Disease

Patients treated in the GM-CSF pilot study showed a decrease in inflammation: an inflamed colon before treatment (top) and after, showing no pathologic abnormality.Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis continue to make progress in finding a potential treatment for Crohn’s disease, a chronic and serious inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that affects about half a million people in the United States. Later this month, the research team of Joshua Korzenik, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Brian Dieckgraefe, M.D., Ph.D., also an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology, will present preliminary data from patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease who were treated at 33 centers around the United States. Patients who received daily injections of a drug called GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor), which stimulates the activity of certain cells in the immune system, tended improve. And although the data have not yet been presented, the results from the placebo-controlled phase II treatment study were positive.