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Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill John and Nina Sessions Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Dept. of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Research Summary

Robert Sandler is a gastroenterologist and epidemiologist. He has conducted a number of clinical/translational research studies on colorectal adenomas and cancer with funding from the NIH. These studies included a series of cross sectional studies of colorectal adenomas exploring risk factors, biomarkers and the microbiome. He conducted two population based case-control studies of colon and rectal cancer in a 33-county area of central and eastern North Carolina that examined etiology. These studies created a biobank of serum, DNA and formalin fixed tissue. More recently, he has turned his attention to understudied diseases. An NIH funded study of diverticulosis has provided new insight into risk factors, challenging conventional wisdom. With funds from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation he assembled a 15,000-person Internet cohort of IBD patients that has provided data for more than 30 papers on patient reported outcomes. He has served as the director of the CGIBD since 1992.

Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission:  Dr. Sandler is a clinical/translational researcher who has studied a number of digestive diseases including colorectal cancer, IBD, diverticulosis, microscopic colitis and constipation. He directs a T32 in digestive disease epidemiology that has trained gastroenterologists who serve as faculty members at UNC and other academic institutions.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Clinical/Translational Research

Collaborators:  Barritt, Crockett, Dellon, Long, Eluri, Fodor, Galanko, Gulati, Herfarth, Kappelman, Keku, Peery, Shaheen