The GEM Project: A Multidisciplinary Study on the Genetic, Environmental and Microbial Interactions that Cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

1st February 2015 - ongoing

Status: In Recruitment

Specialism: Lower GI, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Team: Dr Gordon MoranProfessor Christopher Hawkey.

Recent studies have revealed that a small percentage of Crohn’s disease runs in the families but the reasons why some relatives develop Crohn’s disease and others do not are not yet completely understood. The first degree relatives (children or siblings) of people with Crohn’s disease appear to be at a higher risk compared to the general population. The purpose of the GEM Project is to identify and follow a large group of unaffected first degree relatives over time to try to figure out why some develop Crohn’s disease and why others do not.

Researchers have identified that biomarkers as well as subtle genetic mutations in one’s DNA (genes) may contribute to the development of Crohn’s disease. However, many healthy individuals in the population also have these same subtle changes yet do not develop Crohn’s disease. Our goal is to follow the healthy first degree relatives (children and siblings) of people who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease to determine if any genetic, physiological, environmental or psychological triggers for Crohn’s disease can be found. This is the first large-scale study of its kind ever organised in an attempt to answer this question and over 2000 people are already taking part across Canada and the United States. The study is organised by Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada and is being coordinated in the UK by The University of Edinburgh.

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dr-gordon-moran Dr Gordon Moran Dr Moran did his undergraduate medical training at University of Malta Medical School and was awarded an MD in 1999. He completed his basic postgraduate training at St. Luke's Hospital in Malta and gained membership of the Royal College of Physicians of…
professor-christopher-hawkey Professor Christopher Hawkey Christopher Hawkey is Professor of Gastroenterology at the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre. His main interests are in the field of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and inflammatory bowel disease. In both areas his approach is to try to identify…
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