June 22, 2017

Piecing together the puzzle: finding new therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases

By Sharon Rosen

Dr. Judy Cho

Chronic diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss – these are some of the symptoms that patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis experience. They are the two most common diseases known as inflammatory bowel diseases, which cause inflammation of the digestive tract. While there are therapies available to treat the inflammation caused by these conditions, there is no cure. Many patients do not respond to current treatments and still experience symptoms and complications from their disease.

Dr. Judy Cho, M.D., director, Charles Bronfman Institutes for Personalized Medicine, at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, will share her integrated approach to unlocking the underlying cause of inflammatory bowel diseases as a keynote speaker at this year’s Individualizing Medicine Conference. Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine will host the conference on Oct. 9-10, in Rochester, Minnesota. During her presentation, Cho will address how our genetics, environmental factors such as the food we eat, and our immune system contribute to inflammatory bowel diseases, which affect as many as 1.6 million Americans.

Dr. Cho is also the Ward-Coleman Professor of Translational Genetics and Medicine, and vice-chair of Translational Genetics and Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai. With extensive experience in identifying the genetic factors leading to the susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases, Dr. Cho and her team are focusing on:

  • Identifying the genetic factors leading to the higher incidence of these diseases in patients of Ashkenazi Jewish decent.
  • Exploring genetic factors that drive differences in immune system responses that may lead to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Defining the relationship between environmental factors and inflammatory bowel diseases by examining how gut bacteria could increase susceptibility to these conditions.

By dissecting the relationship between genetics, immune response, and microbes, Dr. Cho believes she will have a better chance to find new targets for treating inflammatory bowel diseases. Combined with clinical research underway, she believes her research has great potential to identify new therapies for those who suffer from these chronic, debilitating conditions.

Dr. Cho is currently principal investigator and chair, of the Steering Committee of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases inflammatory Bowel Diseases Genetics Consortium, which brings together researchers from multiple disciplines and centers to advance research for these diseases.

Register for the 2017 Individualizing Medicine Conference

Hear Dr. Cho and other world-renowned experts discuss the latest research in precision medicine and how it can be applied to improve diagnosis and treatment for many conditions at Individualizing Medicine 2017: Advancing Care Through Genomics.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, is hosting the sixth annual genomics conference, October 9–10, in Rochester, Minnesota.





Tags: #CIMCon17, #Dr. Judy Cho, #Individualizing Medicine 2017, #inflammatory bowel diseases, #ulcerative colitis, center for individualized medicine, Crohns Disease, Genetic Testing, genomics, Gut Microbiome, mayo clinic, medical research, microbiome, Precision Medicine

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