Scientist Declan McCole, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California in Riverside, has received $1.83 Million grant
With an entire career centered on improvements of intestinal health, translating into genetics and physiology studies throughout years of research, Professor Declan McCole and his team will use the funds to identify the connection between the protective barrier of the intestine and inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).
As the protective protein has been identified to be the “T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase” or TCPTP, and its mutations are associated with IBD, celiac disease as well as Type 1 diabetes, the study will focus on how to contribute to TCPTP’s growth levels in order to boost the function of the intestinal epithelial barrier and to combat the defects linked with IBD.
“These defects result in increased intestinal permeability (leakiness) – a major contributor to chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine such as IBD. Although TCPTP mutations increase the risk of developing IBD, there are no therapeutic strategies aimed at correcting the consequences of these mutations. The goal of the study is to discover the mechanisms by which loss of TCPTP activity in patients contributes to intestinal barrier defects in IBD. In addition, we hope to identify if strategies to inhibit specific inflammatory signalling pathways may prove particularly effective in treating patients with TCPTP genetic mutations,” Professor Declan explained.
The research will be led by Doctor Declan McCole in collaboration with scientists from UC Riverside, City of Hope Hospital (Duarte, California), and the University of Otago, New Zealand. Doctor Declan can use the funds for a period of four years of research.
The funds were granted by the National Institutes of Health, the biggest biomedical research institution in the U.S.