Dissertation Defense Announcement
To: The George Mason University Community
Candidate: Masoumeh Sikaroodi
Program: PhD Biosciences
Date: Monday November 18, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: George Mason University
University Hall room 2500
Dissertation Director: Dr. Patrick Gillevet
Committee members: Dr. Alan Christensen, Dr. Ancha Baranova and Dr. Robert Jonas
Title: "Dysbiosis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease"
The dissertation is on reserve in the Johnson Center Library, Fairfax campus.
The doctoral project will not be read at the meeting, but should be read in advance.
All members of the George Mason University community are invited to attend.
The endogenous microbiota of gastrointestinal tract play an important role in health and development of disease. Some critical functions of the commensal flora include regulation of host fat storage, stimulation of intestinal angiogenesis, vitamin production, and regulation of epithelial homeostasis. Although intestinal microbial flora outnumber human cells by an order of magnitude, this complex community is not well characterized, and its diversity is poorly defined both in health and disease. The main reasons for this shortcoming are inter-individual differences, sampling difficulties, insensitivity and limitations of methodology, and that only 30-40% of the microorganisms are culturable. However, recent advances in molecular techniques have helped characterize human gut flora in normal and diseased states.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of chronic disorders that cause inflammation in the intestines. This group of disorders are life impairing, relapsing illnesses that have no cure, affect close to 1.4 million Americans, and cost billions of dollars/year to health care systems. There is no known single cause for IBDs, and they are increasing in incidence, especially in Western countries. Multiple studies have implicated bacteria in the etiology and pathogenesis of IBDs.
We have taken a Systems Biology approach to identify patterns of dysbiosis in IBDs with the goal to confirm the correlation between bacterial community of the Gastrointestinal tract and the occurrence of the disease in IBD patients and to determine if changes in the bacterial community (dysbiosis) cause the disease or if the dysbiosis occurs after the inflammation process starts. Our main observations are: (1) the mucosal biofilm is more correlated with disease etiology than stool, (2) there is difference between minor components of different communities, (3) there are more correlation differences between healthy and each disease states than the two disease states. This Knowledge Discovery approach should drive the development of new hypothesis that can be validated experimentally in the future.