Moving the Needle: Impact Update

Learn about cutting-edge treatments, advances in care, and the physician-scientists on the brink of breakthroughs through research funded by the GI Research Foundation. 


Recent Research Updates

On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, fellow patients, supporters, and friends of the GI Research Foundation gathered in person and online for an opportunity to learn about the impact of the GI Research Foundation’s funded research projects. The presentations can be found below. 

Event Program

Welcome Remarks

Kathy Shafer, President
Board of Directors

GI Research Foundation Mission and Funding Strategy

David T. Rubin, MD
Chief, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition,
University of Chicago Medicine
GI Research Foundation Senior Scientific Advisor

Panel One: Advances in the Understanding of Inflammatory Conditions of the Bowel

David T. Rubin, MD, Moderator

Panel One Introduction

Introduced by David T. Rubin, MD

Why should we predict who will get pouchitis?

Presented by Sushila Dalal, MD

Learn how ultrasound is changing the way IBD is treated.

Presented by Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD

New diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for perianal Crohn’s disease

Presented by Benjamin McDonald, MD, PhD

How do pediatric celiac disease brain fog symptoms differ on and off a gluten-free diet?

Presented by Ritu Verma, MD and Martina Williams, MD, MHA

Panel Two: The Promise of Regenerative Medicine

Eugene Chang, MD, Moderator

Panel Two Introduction

Introduced by Eugene Chang, MD

Can we use clones of the intestines to study response to therapy?

Presented by Christopher Weber, MD, PhD

Engineering CAR-T Cells toTreat Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Presented by Jun Huang, PhD

Can regenerative medicine be a source of new therapies for IBD?

Presented by Cambrian Liu, PhD

Panel Three: Advances in Understanding, Diagnosis, and Treatment of GI Cancers

David T. Rubin, MD, Introductory Remarks

Panel Three Introduction

Introduced by David T. Rubin, MD

Development of a Lymph Node Targeting Vaccine

Presented by Robert Connelly, CEO
Elicio Therapeutics, Inc.

How could we use a spatially-resolved molecular atlas for the colon?

Presented by Christopher Mason, PhD
Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Advanced Approaches to Understanding and Targeting BRAF Tumors

Presented by Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD
Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology
The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

CTC Sample Collection, Processing and Biomarker Testing

Presented by Leighton Howells, Senior VP
Biopharma Partnerships, RareCyte, Inc.

Novel Individualized Therapeutic Strategies for Metastatic Colorectal Cancers

Presented by John A. Copland, PhD
Professor of Cancer Biology, Department of Cancer Biology
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville

Development and Optimization of Targeted Drug Formulations for Colon Cancer

Presented by Aliasger K. Salem, PhD
Bighley Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Iowa

Development of 5hmc Based Plasma Signatures (Liquid Biopsy) in the Detection of Patients with Peritoneal Metastases

Presented by Kiran Turaga, MD
Division Chief, Surgical Oncology Assistant Medical Director, Clinical Trials Office
Yale University School of Medicine

The Role of Bile Acids in Colorectal Cancer Disparities

Presented by Sonia Kupfer, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Co-Director, Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic
Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic
University of Chicago

Closing Remarks

Kathy Shafer, President
Board of Directors

2021 Research Updates

On Thursday, December 2, 2021 GIRF supporters joined the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center online for the second presentation of Moving the Needle: An Update on GIRF’s Impact. Select presentations can be found below.

Panel Two: The Promise of Regenerative Medicine

Eugene Chang, MD, Moderator

Can stem cells change how we treat inflammatory bowel disease?

Presented by Cambrian Liu, PhD

Can gut bacteria impact outcomes of liver disease?

Presented by Matthew Odenwald, MD, PhD

Can we improve patient outcomes by learning from our experience?

Presented by Kinga Skowron Olortegui, MD

2019 Research Updates

Select presentations can be found below.

How can we prevent pouchitis from occuring?

Presented by Sushila Dalal, MD

Why does cancer return in patients after surgery?

Presented by Ben Shogan, MD

Can we correct DNA that causes digestive disease with a “humanized” CRISPR System?

Presented by Bryan Dickinson, PhD