Research Experience -Trainees & Research Emphasis - Faculty
At least twelve months are devoted primarily for research activities, and as much time as possible is taken during clinical time to expand upon the research experience.

Each Fellow, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, chooses a research opportunity from the ongoing laboratory and clinical research programs in operation within the division.

Major focus of research include:

  • Translational research
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Parenteral/enteral nutrition
  • Chronic viral hepatitis
  • Colorectal cancer

Specific Research Techniques:

  • Molecular biology
  • Immunologic assays
  • Biochemical analysis-all laboratory based.
  • Endoscopic specialties-ERCP (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • EUS
  • Motility
  • Video Capsule Endoscopy

Funded Research Projects in GI

Differentiation and Elimination of Chemo-surviving Colon Tumors (I0IBX00q1927-01)
PI: Adhip N. Majumdar; Funding:Department of Veterans Affairs Duration: 7/01/13 -06/30/17

($650,000) The primary objective of the proposed preclinical study will test the hypothesis that downregulation of miR-21 by antagomir-21 (antisense miR-21) in CSLC-enriched chemotherapy-surviving colon tumors will lead to differentiation and that subsequent treatment with either CDF alone or the combination of CDF and FUOX will be highly effective in causing a complete or near complete regression of the tumor. We further hypothesize that this effect will be the result of inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin and EGFR signaling.

Comparison of Progression of Liver Related Disease and Mortality in African Americans (AA)treated with Interferon Based Therapy (responders and Non-responders) to Untreated Patients. PI Milton Mutchnick, Co-PI Paul Naylor; Funding: Gilead Sciences ($22,200) The primary objective of this study is to determine the outcomes with respect to liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in 3800 patients seen in GI between 1995 and 2008.

Colonoscopy vs. Fecal Immunochemical Test in Reducing Mortality from Colorectal Cancer (CONFIRM), VA Cooperative Study #577 PI: D. Robertson & J. Dominitz ; Co-PI and site PI Fadi Antaki
Funding: VA Cooperative Study Program ($45,000,000) Total funding period: 02/2012-12/2024

Racial Disparity in Colorectal Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms (1R21CA175916-01) PI: Adhip N. Majumdar, Co-PI Fadi Antaki. Funding: NIH/NCI; $260,348.00) Duration: 05/01/13- 04/30/15
The primary goal is to test the hypothesis that the high incidence of colorectal cancer in African Americans is due to (a) an increase in CSCs in the colon that exhibit increased mutation of tumor suppressor and/or proto-oncogenes genes and (b) an increase in mR-21 that regulates CSCs/CSLCs in the colonic mucosa.

Patients' and Primary Care Providers' Attitudes and Beliefs about Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Treatment.
PI Fadi Antaki Funding: Merck Investigator-Initiated Studies Program. Database# 50760 Total Funding: 4080$
Funding Period: 2013-2015

A Prospective Observational Study to Examine Patient Characteristics, Health Care Management, and Effectiveness Among HCV Patients Treated With Simeprevir at Various Practice Settings
PI Milton Mutchnick, Co-PI Paul Naylor Funding: Janssen Research & Development, LLC ($4000)

Screening an Urban Population for NASH associated LAL(lysosomal acid lipase) Deficiency-Comparison of Caucasian and African Americans
PI Milton Mutchnick, Co-PI Paul Naylor Funding: Synageva BioPharma Corp ($20,000)

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in African Americans with Hepatitis Infection (IN-US-334-1749)
PI Milton Mutchnick, Co-PI Paul Naylor Funding: Gilead Sciences ($40,000)

Safety of endoscopic resection of large colorectal polyps: A randomized trial. Fadi Antaki Co-Investigator and site PI Funding: Boston Scientific Corporation

The Aging Gut: Regulation of Cell Proliferation; PI: Adhip Majumdar, Funding NIH/NIA ($925,000) 2007-2014