Our team at the University of Calgary is developing a state-of-the-art Human Tissue Research Platform. In summary, the platform will allow researchers throughout Alberta and Canada to study the epithelial barrier in model systems. For example, by using fresh or cryogenically preserved biopsy samples from well-characterized patients. In addition, the interactions with other biological compartments, such as the immune system , the submucosal support system and the intestinal microbiota will also be a part of our research in a patient-matched manner.
This platform will take advantage of the University of Calgary’s Intestinal Inflammation Tissue Bank (IITB), located within the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, which is a continuously growing human biobank containing more than 6000 human tissue, blood, stool, and urine samples, more than 600 of which have also been genetically characterized.
Our multi-disciplinary team will use this innovative, translational research platform, which expands the functionality of the IITB, along with additional existing infrastructure and core facilities, to:
1) Facilitate patient tissue-based studies to address key questions in disease etiology.
2) Provide high-throughput screening capability to attract investment and interaction with biotech and pharma.
3) Establish a state-of-the-art training facility that will add to Alberta’s highly skilled workforce and promote economic diversity in the health research/biotech/health care sector. The team is led by nationally recognized researchers in epithelial biology and chronic inflammatory disease.
As a result, our platform will become a hub that draws on patient samples from the University of Calgary’s Intestinal Inflammation Tissue Bank (IITB). To clarify, we will combine standard patient data with individualized genomic (University of Calgary Genomics Centre), metabolomics (Calgary Metabolomics Research Facility – CMRF), proteomics/peptidomics (Southern Alberta Mass Spectrometry – SAMS Facility) and microbiome (International Microbiome Centre) data. Thus, we will be in a unique position to study pathobiology in individual patients, each with a defined “omics” signature. We will also be leaders in Canada as the only platform that can facilitate “personalized science driving personalized medicine”.