Dr Jaclyn Pearson - Hudson Institute

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24 October 2017

Understanding the most critical contributing factors to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

In Australia, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is becoming more prevalent, more complex and more severe. Many studies have tried to identify the underlying mechanisms of IBD, but given the complexity of immune response in the gut environment, much remains unknown and current treatments are only partially successful.

Jaclyn’s research will investigate the dysregulated immune response seen in IBD and understand how the gut microbiome plays a role in disease severity. Jaclyn has previously identified that gut pathogens specifically target host mediators of inflammation and programmed cell death (apoptosis) for modification, disabling their normal function to promote the bacterial infection and spreading. Therefore, Jaclyn will look at a group of host proteins known to be key immune signalling factors that mediate inflammation, programmed cell death (apoptosis) and necroptosis, and determine which host proteins are essential in protecting against gut infection, and understand how they contribute to the maintenance of gut homeostasis.

Jaclyn’s research will not only provide insights into fundamental questions about the mechanisms of cell death signalling and bacterial-induced disease, it will define the role of programmed cell death in maintaining gut homeostasis and how this may potentiate the development of IBD. Jaclyn’s findings will improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease and inform future therapeutic development.


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