Dr Jo Brooks has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship, to fund her PhD studies on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Through this Fellowship, Jo is hoping to better understand how people go from having a normal healthy bowel to suffering from IBD. IBD affects over 250,000 people in the UK, and includes a range of incurable and debilitating conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Its causes are as yet unknown, but there is a genetic link to this, and recent advances in genomic technology are starting to shed light on how these conditions develop
Jo’s research is focusing on one gene identified as being involved in UC, called ECM1, and whether tiny changes in its DNA sequence impact on the pathway to the disease.
This knowledge will give us a much better understanding of the disease, and improved chances of controlling it. There is also hope that it might throw up new targets for therapeutic treatments for IBD.
A specialist Gastroenterology Registrar at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Jo’s research draws on the expertise at the institutes on the Norwich Research Park in gut health and molecular biology. Jo is being supervised by Prof. Simon Carding at the Institute of Food Research, Dr Mark Tremelling at NNUH, Prof. Dylan Edwards, from the University of East Anglia and Prof. Alastair Watson (IFR and the Norwich Medical School at UEA).
Read more about this on Jo Brooks’ blog post on the Gut Health and Food Safety blog http://blogs.ifr.ac.uk/ghfs/2014/08/jb-ecm1/
Or hear from Jo herself