AGA Research Foundation pilot awards are an invaluable tool for investigators – they provide seed funding to explore promising new lines of research and generate preliminary data for larger grants. So, when David L. Boone, PhD, received the 2017 AGA-Pfizer Young Investigator Pilot Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease from the AGA Research Foundation, he was able to double-down on a very targeted project studying innate immunity in IBD. Based on his recent accomplishments – both in and out of the lab – we’re excited for you to get to know Dr. Boone, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend, and our AGA Research Foundation researcher of the month.
Bench to bedside: working toward new treatment options in IBD
The Boone lab AGA-funded project is specifically focused on JAK inhibitors, which are becoming a more popular treatment option for patients with IBD, especially for those patients who don’t respond to anti-TNF therapy. Dr. Boone is committed to enhancing our understanding of how these JAK inhibitors work at a cellular level. If we can understand this, Dr. Boone is optimistic it will lead to new approaches for treating inflammation in IBD.
With his AGA Research Foundation grant, Dr. Boone and his lab characterized a new robust mouse model of colitis that is entirely driven by innate immune mechanisms. With this model, his team is investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive innate immune-mediated inflammation in the intestine, which will provide important insights for future IBD drug development. You can read the specifics of Dr. Boone’s research in his recently published work in Mucosal Immunology.