Informatics View of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Bioinformatics Internship Presentation

Christopher Greco (Mentor: Dr. Sona Vasudevan, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University)

December 14th, 2016, 2:00pm, Room 341, Basic Science

IBD is a chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. The two most common and distinct forms of IBD include Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Both diseases are characterized by an abnormal immune response which has formed the focus of current treatments. While research has come a long way, the etiology and pathogenesis of CD and UC largely remain unknown. With the explosion of –omic data, systems medicine approaches are already promising and will lead to identification of biomarkers and newer drug targets for personalizing treatment options. However, a comprehensive database that can serve as a one-stop-shop for all –omic data on UC and CD is lacking. We have created one such comprehensive resource, IBD-OMICS, that contains curated and validated data from several –omic databases including Genome Wide Association studies (GWAS), Universal Protein Resource Knowledgebase (UniProtKB) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO).

Using this comprehensive –omic resource we have taken a systems approach for understanding CD and UC. The results are promising in the identification of novel targets and pathways. We provide further evidence to the notion that CD symptoms are due in part to Fungus, as was recently published. We also hypothesize several different possible origins of pathology with evidence from our pathway analysis results.