Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Group

About us

Group Head: Prof Michael Grimm

Our major interest is in the mechanisms by which the body’s immune system develops in the gut, and how that immune system is perturbed in IBD. IBDs are major blights on a young population of Australians, and cost the Australian economy of the order of $2.7billion per year. New therapeutic approaches are required.

We use cell biological, microbiological, molecular and genetic approaches to examining factors responsible for the gut immune system’s control, and loss of control, of the intestinal environment, in mouse models of disease as well as in human illness. In particular we are exploring the unusual role of the appendix and appendicitis in shifting the gut immune system to one of tolerance and protection against IBD, as well as trying to understand the arms of the ancient, innate immune system, in addition to the “modern” adaptive immune system, in tissue destructive aspects of IBD. We also have interests in the role of intestinal microbes in the onset and development of early IBD, in collaboration with Prof Hazel Mitchell and Dr Li Zhang, of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science.

Grants & Funding

The group is supported by NHMRC Project grants, funding from important bequests, and support from non-governmental funding agencies.