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A Robust Research Pipeline for New Therapies

The Resnek Family Center for PSC Research maintains a singular focus: Developing more effective treatments for patients. Dr. Korzenik and his team have built a robust bench-to-bedside pipeline that uses insights gained from basic research to launch pilot studies of new therapies. These small studies provide rapid insights into which approaches are most promising, while also producing clinical data that can be used to support larger studies required for FDA approval of new treatments.

Specific areas now under investigation include:

  • Genes. The team has sought to investigate if transcript expression of inflammatory genes differs in colonic and liver tissue of patients with PSC and UC compared to UC alone. Highlighting differences in inflammatory transcripts may provide insights into both disease subsets.
  • Viruses. The center is currently conducting research to determine whether viral exposure correlates with PSC, and which viruses might be involved.
  • Bacteria. The team has launched a series of studies to evaluate how bacterial products or metabolism may be relevant to PSC, such as the metabolism of bile.
  • Metabolites. The team is focused on identifying a signature, perhaps a metabolic signature which may help distinguish PSC from UC.
  • Vascular causes. The team is investigating whether blood pressure medications, which help blood vessels enlarge or dilate, may also reduce inflammation and scarring in bile ducts characteristic of PSC.
  • Environmental causes. The team is analyzing whether PSC may be linked to exposure to heavy metals like lead and aluminum, or to the chemical acrylamide, which is produced when food is fried or grilled.
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