The focus of the Gonsky Laboratory is to define mucosa-specific molecular pathways, which contribute to pro-inflammatory gene expression and development and pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our studies are concentrated on integrative analysis of epigenome and transcriptome data, together with functional annotation of IBD-associated disease-risk variants to categorize relevant regulatory pathways mediating disease behavior.
The Gonsky Laboratory has identified a functional and biological relationship among three IBD-susceptibility genes and a more complicated and aggressive form of Crohn's disease. Currently, the Gonsky Lab is engaged in determining the biology of the gene-gene interaction among these three IBD-disease risk loci, in the context of mediating pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and associated disease severity pathobiology.
The Gonsky Lab likewise has been using transcriptomic profiling of peripheral T cells isolated from patients with Crohn's disease to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms and pathways associated with clinical heterogeneity.
Lab members in the Gonsky Laboratory have identified two distinct profiles in which expression in one subgroup reflects that seen for non-IBD subjects, while the second Crohn's disease subset displays an altered, more mucosal expression profile and is associated with distinct clinical parameters. The ultimate goal of the Gonsky Lab is to characterize a series of molecular pathways to allow for integration of combination therapies in defined patient subgroups not responsive to current treatment strategies, for the development of new targeted therapeutic and prognostic models, thereby accelerating drug development and enhancing therapeutic efficacy.