Epithelial defensins in inflammatory bowel disease
2009 Research Project Grant Round
Approved for Funding by CMRF $62,756.00
For a period of 12 months
Start Date: 01 February 2010
Reseacher 1: Associate Professor Andrew Day
Department of Paediatrics
Researcher 2: Dr Robert Bentley
Researcher 3: Dr Richard Gearry
Photo: Associate Professor Andrew Day
"Epithelial defensins in inflammatory bowel disease"
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are known as the Inflammatory Bowel
diseases. These are life-long conditions that can begin at any age, but most
commonly between 10 and 30 years of age. The exact reasons why some people
develop Crohns or colitis are not yet fully known. It is most likely that
interactions between the surface of the bowel and the bacteria in the bowel are
This project will work out the roles that small proteins, called defensins, play in
the development of Crohns and colitis. These proteins are made in the surface
cells of the gut, and contribute to how the bowel protects itself. Laboratory
models will be used to show how these proteins are controlled and how they
contribute to the function of the bowel.
By working out these interactions, this project will expand our understanding
of how Crohns and Colitis develops. In turn, these results may lead to better
treatments and outcomes for the sufferers of these conditions.