Patients are seen by a multidisciplinary team that includes a pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric nurse practitioner, registered dietitian and a social worker. The dedicated specialists provide ongoing evaluation and therapy for patients with IBD, including second opinions for complex cases. The team focuses on all aspects of care from improving quality of life to preventing complications of the disease.
The program places an emphasis on research in order to advance patient care and improve parent education. Clinical director Jennifer Strople, MD, is a participant in a multi-center, collaborative research consortium for the study of pediatric IBD. The goals of this research network are to characterize and describe the pediatric IBD population, identify risk factors for development of IBD and evaluate and compare the effectiveness and safety of various treatments of IBD.
Program specialist Jeffrey Brown, MD, participates in laboratory research focused on identifying the specific localization of effector cell trafficking within the colon and what role these pathways play in the establishment of memory function. The long-term objective is to better define pathways of colonic recruitment and establish what factors maintain memory function within the effector compartment of the colon. We hope our research efforts will improve treatment for children with hard-to-treat IBD conditions.
Program specialist, Joshua B. Wechsler, MD, conducts translational laboratory research focused on understanding novel pathways that lead to the development of inflammation associated with Ulcerative Colitis. Specifically, Dr. Wechsler is focused on the role of mast cells, histamine, the histamine 4-receptor and interleukin-6 in the recruitment of innate immune cells, such as neutrophils, to the colon. Neutrophils are a critical aspect of the inflammatory response in ulcerative colitis, thus the overall goal of this research is to facilitate the development of novel treatment options for patients with difficult-to-treat disease.