Research

Our research studies focus on understanding the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation and finding more effective treatments. We have a central repository of medical, biological, and epidemiological (e.g., symptom patterns, prevalence, outcomes) information collected from patients with a range of functional GI disorders as well as other chronic pain conditions.  This information is used to understand the symptom patterns and identify biologic markers to diagnose IBS and distinguish it from other conditions that can mimic it (e.g., celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease). We use the information to perform cutting-edge translational and clinical research studies.  Moreover, we actively collaborate with other researchers within UCLA and at our major institutions in the U.S. and Europe.

How will our Center help patients?
By learning what causes Functional GI disorders, we aspire to develop more successful and effective ways to diagnose and treat these medical conditions.  We will aim to understand the causes of these diseases by studying a large group of patients using innovative scientific techniques targeting biological pathways we hypothesize are at the heart of these conditions.  Advances in technology are moving at a rapid rate. Our Center is at the forefront of science by accumulating biologic information from tissue specimens in well-characterized patients that can be used in scientifically rigorous and clinically relevant research studies.

What research studies are available?
There are a number of clinical research studies being conducted at our Center. The Functional GI Disorders Program’s studies include:

  • Comparison of stress hormone levels in IBS patients and Healthy Controls
  • Identification of biologic markers for IBS in the colon tissue
  • Identification of genetic markers to distinguish IBS from Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Celiac Disease
  • Clinical treatment trials for IBS

To learn more about our Center’s research studies, please visit our Clinical Research page. Or, call Stephanie Yee, LVN, nurse study coordinator at 310-206-1656.