Class of 2025San Francisco, California
- "Studying genetic, microbial, and environmental impact on Crohn's Disease" with mentor Lizzie (Working project)
Studying genetic, microbial, and environmental impact on Crohn's Disease
Started Sept. 9, 2023
Abstract or project description
Crohn's Disease, a subtype of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), is a debilitating autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. This research project dives into the genetic and environmental aspects of Crohn's Disease, focusing on specific genes associated with the condition, their interactions with the gut microbiome, and their role in disease severity and treatment response. Additionally, it explores the activation and environmental triggers of the disease, which further helps understand the complex roles and interactions of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Specific genes, including NOD2, ATG16L1, IL23R, and IRGM, have been identified as key factors in Crohn's Disease. These genes are important in immune system function, enabling the immune system to sense and respond appropriately to bacteria in the digestive tract. This research aims to explore how these genes interact with each other and with the gut microbiome, which often exhibits reduced bacterial diversity in IBD patients, influencing disease development and progression. Understanding the genetic foundation of Crohn's Disease is crucial for determining disease severity and treatment responses. This research will also investigate the influence of these genes on the clinical symptoms of the disease and their responsiveness to different treatments and dietary interventions. An ultimate goal of this project is to develop possible personalized treatment strategies that take into account the genetic and microbial profiles of individual patients, improving therapeutic outcomes. Additionally, this project explores the dynamic relationship between genetic and environmental factors in the activation of Crohn's Disease. Both genetic predisposition(genetic susceptibility) and environmental triggers play a role in the disease's onset. Environmental factors, such as viral or bacterial infections, can lead to an autoimmune response, causing the immune system to attack the body's own cells, resulting in inflammation. However, not all individuals with the genetic markers develop the disease, highlighting the complex roles of genetics and the environment. Ultimately, this research project aims to address and possibly advance our understanding of the complexities underlying Crohn's Disease and take a step forward in the field for more effective treatments and, potentially, a cure.