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R. Balfour Sartor, MD

Margaret and Lorimer W. Midget Distinguished Professor Co-Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease Director, Gnotobiotic Core

Research Summary

Balfour Sartor is a board-certified gastroenterologist with expertise in managing difficult-to-treat patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and a mucosal immunologist/microbiologist with a long-term interest in understanding mechanisms by which resident microbiota induce chronic intestinal inflammation vs. mucosal homeostasis. His research develops and studies rodent models of chronic, immune-mediated intestinal inflammation relevant to IBD and performs clinically relevant translational studies involving IBD patients. He investigates host genetically-determined immune responses to luminal resident microbial components using gnotobiotic mice and patient-derived samples, and studies the influence of environmental factors on intestinal microbiota composition and function. He has provided pivotal data demonstrating the key role of resident enteric bacteria in driving chronic colitis and small intestinal inflammation. He has shown the essential role of resident enteric bacteria in inducing and maintaining enterocolitis using genetically engineered rodent models. More recently he has investigated the differential ability of various resident microbiota species to stimulate protective immune responses in normal hosts, with a pivotal observation that IL-10 secreted by antigen-presenting cells in response to resident microbiota is a key determinant of mucosal protection against chronic inflammation by inducing regulatory T cells

Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: The research that Balfour Sartor conducts is pivotal to the mission of the CGIBD. He has pioneered research on the critical role of enteric microbes in driving intestinal inflammation. He has directed the Gnotobiotic Core, used by many members of the CGIBD and others. He has directed a T32 that has helped train the next generation of GI researchers, supporting the training mission of the CGIBD.  He has attracted collaborators from many departments.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Microbiome

Pilot Feasibility Award 1988

Collaborators:  Bartelt, Carroll, Fodor, Furey, Gulati, Hansen, Herfarth, Long, Maio, Sheikh, Tamayo, Ting, Tonkonogy