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My laboratory is specialized in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s colitis (CC) and IBD-associated colorectal cancer (CRC) research, more focused on the biopathophysiology of IBD. My particular keen specialty is on diagnostic methodologies and surgical management of IBD, specifically as they relate to the physiology of restorative proctocolectomy (RPC) and ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). In years I have been interested in investigating the biochemical variable events following surgical treatment of the colitides and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). The current research efforts in collaboration with Dr. Richard Caprioli are directed towards developing strategic methodologies based on MALDI MS, proteomics approaches to identify fingerprints that can discriminate inflammatory colitides. An accurate diagnosis prior to initiating medical therapy or performing colectomy is of paramount importance in terms of evidenced personalized medical therapy, surgical intervention and prognosis, as well as delineation of IBD by non-invasive, easier, affordable, accurate and faster screening. This project performs proteomic analyses of UC and CC, using human colon mucosal and submucosal layers in order to identify proteins that are unique and characteristic of different IBD phenotype. Based on our current data, using MALDI MS technology, we have identified several protein spectral peaks of interest that may delineate the inflammatory colitides in endoscopic biopsies. In the future, we will explore the use of one or more of these proteins as a serum biomarker if the protein(s) uncovered is/are secretory and transposable. Over the past years we have established a translational research program in biomarker discoveries focused on Early Detection of IBD associated colorectal malignancy. While maintaining a close collaborative relationship with several other investigators and laboratories at Vanderbilt University, I have now set up a translational research laboratory, The Laboratory of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research (LIBDR), as a faculty member at Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Division of Biomedical Sciences to continue these objectives.
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