With Nancy Allbritton, Scott Magness and Scott Bultman, we have just received a 5-year NIH Transformative Research Award for the development of a human intestinal simulacra!
Essentially a “gut-on-a-chip”, this work will establish a novel platform that simulates a human colon epithelium within a highly controlled engineered environment. Creating this simulacra will not only allow the study of the basic colon physiology, but also enable the manipulation and study of introduced microbial communities, dietary factors and drugs that are relevant to the maintenance of health and the establishment of disease in this organ. My group will be doing the informatics for the project, including the “traditional” bioinformatics as well as cool bioimage-informatics, involving the quantitative image analysis of these 3-dimensional organs structures, microbial communities, etc.
The official announcement for this work is now on the NIH Transformative Research Award Program website.