Miles Parkes is an NHS gastroenterologist who chairs the International IBD Genetics Consortium. BRC funding has been used to fund research sessions for Dr Parkes, the salary of part time statistician Carlo Berzuini (role: analysis of association data, data QC and analysis for nsSNP data, current modeling for multi-marker cluster analysis) and research nurse Francesca Bredin (who co-ordinates the expanding inflammatory bowel disease DNA collection, undertakes patient phenotyping, data entry), and some reagent costs for DNA collection and extraction.
The consortium has just published a meta-analysis in Crohn's disease in Nature Genetics, and a similar study in Ulcerative Colitis is under review with the same journal ' there are now 100 confirmed genome-wide significant IBD associated genes. Some of these are being followed up using expression analysis to correlate genotype with expression of candidate genes using the BRC-supported Cambridge Bioresource. A large South Asian IBD cohort is being recruited for transethnic studies, in the hope that different LD patterns will help fine-map some of the IBD-associated intervals and hence identify causal variants. Cambridge is also coordinating the IBD consortium involvement in the Immunochip study.
Work in Inflammatory Bowel Disease will be greatly enhanced by the appointment of the first Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Cambridge, Dr Arthur Kaser from Innsbruck. Dr Kaser brings with him substantial ERC funding, and an enviable track record in Inflammatory Bowel Disease research. The BRC will support the establishment of his translational research programme in Cambridge through the provision of a postdoctoral fellow for two years.