The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has traditionally had a wide range of active ongoing research on gastrointestinal and hepatic conditions and disorders. This research includes basic science research, translational research, clinical research studies and clinical trials. Research is a core component of the mission of the division and is focused in the areas of gastrointestinal inflammation, infections and its immune system, the stool microbiome and fecal transplantation, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis B and C, fatty liver, liver and GI cancer treatment and prevention, advanced endoscopic procedures, pancreatic and bile duct lesions, obesity, HIV-related GI and liver diseases, as well as other gastrointestinal diseases and ailments. Numerous studies and clinical trials are underway to understand the mechanisms of disease, as well as to study the prevention and treatment of these disorders.
The Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division has had a long history of clinical research in the causes, prevention, and treatment of patients with liver disease and hepatitis and is recognized as one of the leaders in the field. The Center for Liver Disease at New York-Presbyterian Hospital is the largest liver transplantation program in the region and has a significant clinical research program in a wide variety of liver diseases. In 1999, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, together with Rockefeller University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, established The Center for the Study of Hepatitis C - the only comprehensive, multidisciplinary center dedicated to the study of hepatitis C and hepatic disease in the tri-state area. In addition, the division maintains a biobank for the collection and maintenance of tissue samples, used for basic science and clinical research. Other research is focused on fatty liver disease and its link to cancer as we seek to develop novel systems that will provide basic understanding of liver damage and scarring, which can lead to cirrhosis.
The Lipkin Lab - directed by Dr. Steven M. Lipkin, who serves as the Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Weill Department of Medicine - is a leader in the field of adult genetics and cancer genetics. Lipkin's research focuses on genetic testing for hereditary cancer disorders, including Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, hereditary pancreatic cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease. The lab places particular emphasis on hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes and authored MAPP-MMR, a bioinformatic program that is used to interpret whether Lynch syndrome missense variants are deleterious mutations or benign polymorphisms. The group is also working on chemoprevention and tumor vaccines for Lynch syndrome.
Research performed by the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health and its collaborators is broadly focused on a multidisciplinary approach to GI cancers. Translational and clinical research includes clinicians and scientists with areas of specialization in genetics, gastroenterology and surgery. Many of our division investigators have a special interest in the causes and prevention of colorectal and other GI cancers. Projects are focused on the identification and assessment of risk factors, including determining novel genetic markers for colorectal cancer, and studies to assess if patients with a hereditary susceptibility to colorectal cancer might be able to reduce their risk by taking statins (drugs routinely prescribed to lower cholesterol). There are also laboratory studies performed regarding the connection between chronic inflammation and cancer, with an emphasis on prostaglandin biology, in addition to studies regarding altered cellular metabolism in relation to colon cancer predisposition.