One in 140 Canadians suffers from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), thought to be caused by an inappropriate response to intestinal microbes. Interestingly, several genes linked to IBD have also been linked to primary immune deficiencies (PIDs), inherited defects of the immune system. Patients with PIDs can suffer from severe infections and inflammatory complications.
As Canada Research Chair in the Role of the Microbiome in Primary Immune Deficiency, Dr. Emilia Liana Falcone is trying to better understand IBD by studying patients who also have PIDs. She and her research team are particularly interested in the role of the intestinal microbiota in PIDs-associated IBD. Ultimately, their research may change how we treat patients with in PIDs-associated IBD and uncover new approaches for treating IBD in general.