Investing in the future…

Complementary to the clinical care, our mission is to transform the medicine we practice. Our patients inspire us to seek discoveries in the laboratory that will be delivered to the bedside.

Faculty members in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Miami are currently involved in basic and clinical research trials on many different diseases and disorders. The balance between basic and clinical research is the template for continued success and expansion of current programs. The strength of our research programs is derived from the collaborative research between faculty, fellows, post-docs, graduate students, and medical students within the division and with members of the Sylvester Cancer Center, Microbiology and Immunology, Human Genomics, and Cell Biology.

The Division of Gastroenterology is home to an internationally renowned clinical research program in inflammatory bowel disease which includes translational efforts to identify genotypic/phenotypic correlations, epidemiologic risk factors, optimize methods for colon cancer surveillance, and offer novel therapies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. A database consisting of 5,000 unique patients is maintained by the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics to provide a repository of patient samples for basic science investigations and to identify candidates for clinical trials of both conventional and novel medical therapies. Our team has many open clinical trials, including investigator-initiated studies and the latest industry-sponsored studies, providing options for patients who fail conventional treatment. The group also collaborates nationally with chemoprevention trials for IBD and spontaneous colon cancer. Dr. Oriana Damas is characterizing the contribution of genetics, migration, and environmental factors in the development of IBD, a topic particularly pertinent to the South Florida population.

In addition to the extensive program in inflammatory bowel disease, many other areas of clinical research are being pursued. Dr. Daniel Sussman is investigating adherence with colorectal cancer screening in high risk and underserved populations and evaluating the efficacy of strategies to identify patients at risk for inherited cancer syndromes. Dr. Baharak Moshiree studies the role of the microbiome in patients with functional bowel disorders, and is participating in a clinical trial to evaluate novel medical therapies for gastroparesis. Dr. Afonso Ribeiro heads the Interventional Endoscopy program and is developing novel techniques for endoscopic diagnosis and intervention.