Translational Gastroenterology PDF – Organogenesis to Disease

Translational Gastroenterology PDF – Organogenesis to Disease



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Preface

Translational research, commonly referred to as “bench to bedside” and “bedside to bench” is much discussed but seldom effectively practiced. In a perfect system, research findings in the basic science arena (e.g., identifying the molecules responsible for directing a cell to become liver) would rapidly be translated to the clinic in order to improve the lives of individuals with devastating liver diseases. In the real world, basic scientists who study the molecular basis of organ formation and function may be unaware of the clinical spectrum of diseases that affect that organ, while clinical practitioners who see and diagnose organ-based diseases are often not fully cognizant of fundamental discoveries that are relevant to diagnosis or treatment. Indeed, training in the field of basic or clinical science is rigorous and generally takes place in separate arenas; the two disciplines have different specialty language and different approaches to scientific discovery. Furthermore, the majority of textbooks are directed at EITHER basic science OR to clinical diagnosis and treatment.
This volume aims to bridge this divide for practicing gastroenterologists and their basic science colleagues by bringing together experts in both arenas to write paired chapters on multiple gastrointestinal (GI) organ systems (esophagus, stomach, pylorus, small intestine, colon, liver, pancreas, and enteric nervous system). The book begins with an introduction to endoderm formation in the embryo, body axis patterning, and gastrointestinal organ bud establishment. The remainder of the book is primarily presented as chapter pairs, with a lead chapter for each organ written by a well-known developmental/cell biologist and a companion chapter on the same organ, authored by a clinical expert. The goal of the basic science chapter is to broadly review the organogenesis of each organ, examining the major biological pathways and molecules that function in organ ontogeny and to highlight the model systems that are available for the study of that organ. In the paired clinical chapter, diseases and abnormalities of the same organ are considered and where possible, tied to the known molecular pathways. The basic and clinical authors have worked together, providing each other with chapter outlines and drafts. Thus, the developmental chapter sets the groundwork to begin to understand the clinical disorders that may arise (or highlights the model systems in which progress might be made toward understanding those disorders), while the clinical chapter summarizes human organ disease and suggests areas where basic molecular and cellular studies could be helpful to further probe disease origins.
Supplementing this analysis of gastrointestinal organogenesis and disease, we have included five chapters on model organisms (sea urchin, fly, worm, fish, and frog) that have been effectively used to enhance our understanding of endodermal organ development and the underlying regulatory networks that control organ formation and homeostasis. It is our hope that a better appreciation of the strengths of these model systems will further encourage their use to investigate unexplored aspects of human gastrointestinal development and disease.
Two additional chapters highlight i) recent advances in gastrointestinal stem cell biology and ii) increasing potential for tissue engineering of the gastrointestinal organs. These are rapidly moving fields that hold promise for therapeutic advances for many gastrointestinal diseases.
To stimulate the interest of future gastrointestinal researchers, each of the chapter authors has highlighted important areas of research that are needed to close the gap between the basic and clinical knowledge and open new therapeutic or diagnostic possibilities. We hope that together, these chapters will help build a generation of scientists with the integrated knowledge necessary to achieve real translational success.


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