Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine
Tissue Engineering and Cell Models Core Director
Dr. Eugene Chang is a basic and translational investigator with research interests in the study of host-microbial interactions, particularly as they relate to health, digestive diseases and other immune- and metabolic-related disorders. Most recently, Dr. Chang has applied advanced, cultivation-independent molecular approaches to the study of the structure and function of the enteric microbiome. These studies involve next-generation, high throughput DNA sequencing and gnotobiotic/germ-free mouse technologies. He is also conducting several human subject-based research projects to better understand the contributory role of the enteric microbiome in inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, and insulin resistance. These investigations involve extensive multi-disciplinary collaborations with other investigators in the Biological Science Division and at Argonne National Laboratory. He is currently supported by several grants from the NIH Human Microbiome Project, a NIH R37 MERIT award, and two NIH training grants (T32 and T35). In addition to his DDRCC duties, Dr. Chang is the Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Training in the section of Gastroenterology.
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
DDRCC Co-Director and Multiparametric Host Cell Analysis Core Co-Director
Dr. Bana Jabri is a pediatric gastroenterologist and an expert in innate and mucosal immunity. She has followed a career interest in celiac disease, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory bowel disease. She is the 2009 recipient of the William K. Warren, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research. Dr. Jabri has extensive experience in human immunology, especially in designing and performing studies on human intestinal tissue samples. More recently, she has been developing mouse models that mimic key aspects of immune dysregulation found in patients with inflammatory intestinal disorders. Using human and mouse models, Dr. Jabri aims to identify key immune pathways involved in the initiation and development of autoimmune diseases and intestinal inflammatory disorders. Identification of such pathways will yield insights that lead to new, targeted therapeutic strategies.
In addition to co-directing the DDRCC, Dr. Jabri is responsible for aiding in the scientific direction, administration, and efficient usage of the facilities and resources of the Multiparametric Host Cell Analysis Core.
DDRCC Program Manager
Host Microbe Core
Alexander Chervonsky, M.D., Ph.D.
Host-Microbe Core Director - Gnotobiotic Component
Dr. Alexander Chervonsky is doing basic research in the areas of intestinal microbial sampling and autoimmunity (Type 1 diabetes, T1D). Dr. Chervonsky was trained at the Jackson Laboratory as a mouse geneticist and has established the germ-free facility at the University of Chicago. He employs methods of gnotobiotic association of the germ-free mice to study the role of different microbes in generation of tolerance to pancreatic antigens in T1D. He also uses this approach to study the bacteria-induced transformation of intestinal epithelium in microbe-sampling cells. He is involved in many collaborative studies with other investigators at the University. His work is supported by grants from the NIH and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In addition to his DDRCC duties, Dr. Chervonsky is Chair of Committee on Immunology.
Betty Theriault, D.V.M.
Gnotobiotic Mouse Component Co-Director
Dr. Betty Theriault is a veterinarian with over thirty years of experience working with animals in a variety of settings across a broad spectrum of species, her full bio can be found here.
Dionysios Antonopoulos, Ph.D.
Host-Microbe Core Director - Enteric Microbiology Component
Phone: (630) 252-3925
Dr. Dionysios Antonopoulos is a microbiologist interested in studying the formation and development of microbial communities. His interest in understanding mammalian gastrointestinal function has been complemented by ongoing research in environmental systems (subsurface and topsoil systems). Although the scales are vastly different between the two, many of the approaches used in both GI and field research are steeped in classical ecological theory and serve to circumnavigate the complex nature of the microbial communities underlying system function. His group is actively involved in applying second-generation DNA sequencing technologies to describing both the structure and function of microbial communities in these systems and has taken advantage of the computational resources available at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL, http://www.igsb.org/services/hgac/) to handle the scale of data afforded by these technologies. His joint appointment between the University of Chicago (Dept of Medicine) and ANL, via the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, enables interactions between the clinical and next generation laboratory approaches (including shotgun metagenomics) to understanding the microbial world.
A. Murat Eren, Ph.D.
Host-Microbe Core Co-Director - Enteric Microbiology Component
Dr. A. Murat Eren (Meren) and his group study microbial life through the lens of environmental DNA and RNA molecules. From human guts to insect ovaries and surface oceans, the Meren Lab uses computational and wet-lab strategies to shed light on ecological and evolutionary processes that lead to the emergence of complex traits that microbes need to keep up with their ever-changing environments. Meren is a Fellow of the Marine Biology Laboratory, Faculty of the Committee on Microbiology, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Integrative Clinical and Biospecimen Core
Sonia Kupfer, M.D.
Integrative Clinical and Biospecimen Core Director, Enrichment Program Director
Joel Pekow, M.D.
Integrated Translational Research Core Co-Director
From both a clinical and basic research perspective, Dr. Pekow investigates the mechanisms of colon cancer development in patients with IBD. Patients with IBD are approximately six times more likely to develop colon cancer than the general public. In order to examine this phenomen, he utilizes novel molecular methods in order to develop new biomarkers to detect precancerous lesions in this population which could ultimately lead to the prevention of colon cancer in patients with IBD. Dr. Pekow will work with Dr. Kupfer to run the Integrative Clinical and Biospecimen Core.
Christopher Weber, M.D., Ph.D.
Tissue and Cell Analysis Core Director
Dr. Christopher Weber is a gastrointestinal pathologist with extensive knowledge and experience in the analysis of tissue specimens from humans and experimental animals. His research interest lay in studying the electrophysiology of tight junctions, which form a barrier in the intestine to flux ions and other molecules. This is being assessed in many ways including using high resolution approaches to study tight junction function at the level of a single intercellular space.
Multiparametric and Host Cell Analysis Core
Luis Barreiro, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Genetics
Multiparametric and Host Cell Analysis Core Director
Bana Jabri, M.D., Ph.D.
Sarah and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Medicine, DDRCC Co-Director
Multiparametric and Host Cell Analysis Core Co-Director
Tissue Engineering and Cell Models Core
Eugene B. Chang, M.D.
Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine
Tissue Engineering and Cell Models Core Director
John Alverdy, M.D.
Professor of Surgery
Tissue Engineering and Cell Models Core Co-Director
Dr. Alverdy’s research involves understanding how intestinal bacteria “sense” both systemic injury and local inflammation and “respond” accordingly using highly evolved bacterial information processing circuits such as the quorum sensing signaling system. This work is broadly generalizable to all intestinal inflammation and injury that occurs during systemic insults (i.e extreme physiologic stress, sepsis) and local injury (i.e following anastomotic reconstruction). His lab has special expertise in studying the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a cause of gut derived sepsis following injury and immunosuppression. As a senior gastrointestinal surgeon and professor in the Department of Surgery, his research brings a rich translational component to the DDRCC. His lab’s expertise with C. elegans models brings additional value to the cell models component of the TECM core.