Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) that are found on the intestine are essential for absorbing nutrients, regulating fluid balance, and forming a tight barrier to keep bacteria and certain food products out of the bloodstream.
IECs are constantly produced and replaced to keep the intestine healthy and primed to respond to damage. However, when the damage is severe, the dead cells can be replaced in unhealthy ways thus causing people with repeated intestinal damage, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), to develop chronic gut dysfunction.
In this study, Dr. Steiner plans to understand specifically what changes are taking place in the damaged gut cells, and how they compare to the permanent changes seen in people with IBD. The results of this study will aid in the testing of new drugs and other treatment options for IBD.
To learn more about Dr. Steiner’s research, watch the video below.