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Shehzad Sheikh and Terry Furey
Drs. Shehzad Sheikh (left) and Terry Furey (right)

Terry Furey, PhD (Professor, Genetics and Biology) and Shehzad Sheikh, MD, PhD (Professor, Medicine and Genetics) were awarded a new R01 grant from NIDDK titled “Multi-omic characterization of genetic variants in IBD risk loci”.


The study will first focus on analysis of IBD patient derived tissue samples, and second perform both expression-based eQTL and sQTL analyses and chromatin-based caQTL analyses to better link genetic variants to gene regulatory mechanisms. The project aims to recruit a diverse patient population to ensure better generalizability of the results to all IBD patients. To better annotate regulatory region activity, they will also determine genome-wide landscapes for four histone modifications (H3K36me3, H3K27ac, H3K27me3, H3K4me3) that have been linked to IBD. Based on QTL analyses, they will identify putative casual variants in IBD GWAS loci and investigate their functional mechanisms in intestinal epithelial cells using patient derived 2D intestinal monolayer systems. The successful completion of this project will significantly increase the understanding of how genetic variation contributes to the risk of developing IBD.