Maria Abreu, MD, on Translating Basic Research to the IBD Clinic

Dr Abreu previews her talk for the Crohn's & Colitis Congress 2021 on how basic research is being translated to advances in direct care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Maria Abreu, MD, is director of the Crohn's and Colitis Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.



Hi, everybody. My name is Maria Abreu. I'm at the University of Miami. I'm in charge of the Crohn's and Colitis Center there. I am so excited to tell you about the talk that I'm going to be giving at this year's Crohn's & Colitis Congress.

The only thing that makes it not so exciting is the fact that we can't be there together. You probably know that one of the things that makes the Crohn's & Colitis Congress unique is the fact that we have basic scientists attending and we also have clinicians attending.

It's my job to tell the clinicians some of the highlights of what's happened this year in science as it relates to IBD, in the hopes that this is eventually going to somehow trickle down to the care of our patients that have IBD. There's been a lot of cool stuff.

As far as I'm concerned, the pandemic has served for people to get creative and to probably publish a lot of the stuff that they've been working on for a long time since we're not traveling to meetings.

There have been a lot of advances made in studying the microbiome, as usual. Some cool spins on it that have to do with studying meconium in babies born of mothers that have Crohn's disease, I'm going to tell you the latest updates on that very interesting study.

There have been other studies published out of Canada and a big group of other people that have looked at people that didn't have Crohn's disease that are being followed over time and ultimately developed Crohn's disease and trying to understand what makes them different. Were there any clues that these people were on their way to developing Crohn's disease?

There's a neat study looking at creeping fat and what causes creeping fat. How maybe a leaky barrier and having bacteria get across the intestine is what causes this fat to try to wrap around the intestines so that these bacteria don't get out makes perfect sense to us as clinicians that this is probably what's going on.

There's a lot of cool stuff that's been published in the last year that I think is very relevant to our practices and even will help inform how we talk to patients. These include diet studies, even if they've been done in mice. They're very cool and some fit my bias—for example, a study that looks at high fructose corn syrup and how that changes the microbiome and makes colitis worse in mice, but there's evidence that this is also true in human beings.

My hope is that you'll join me. I'm giving my talk on Friday at 2 pm Eastern Standard Time. I look forward to seeing you there.