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MIP Founding Members

Mucosal Inflammation Program (MIP)

A Short History of the MIP

The MIP was founded in the summer of 2006 to provide a foundation for a basic and translational research center focused on an understanding of mechanisms of inflammation at mucosal surfaces (tissues and organs lined by an epithelium). Central to this understanding is the strong integration of a spectrum of disciplines including molecular, biochemical and physiologic approaches to basic disease mechanisms and discovery of novel inflammatory (both pro- and anti-) mechanisms at the mucosal surface.

The approach incorporates a tripartite mission of basic discovery, translational application, and in collaboration with clinical practice. The MIP provides opportunities and collaborative expertise for scientists, physicians and physician-scientists from a broad range of disciplines whose interests include a more detailed understanding of mechanisms of mucosal inflammation.

Education is significant part of the MIP mission. Our goals to integrate a spectrum of disciplines and educational levels provide multiple opportunities for learning and teaching. These opportunities include mentoring of students and fellows, regular presentation of experimental results and attendance of seminars and lectures from experts around the world. This integrated approach cultivates an environment of broad learning and diverse training necessary to succeed in the world of cutting edge science today.

The seeds for the MIP were planted in the summer of 2006 with one laboratory and six employees at the 9th Ave campus of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In two years, the MIP has grown to four laboratories with more than 35 employees. Individuals within the MIP range from high school and undergraduate students through clinical and research fellows from throughout the world. The transition from 9th Ave to the Anshutz Medical Campus began in the summer of 2008 and concluded in late 2008 where the MIP will occupy more than 4,000 sq ft of lab space on three separate floors of Research Complex-2 (RC2).

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Founding Members of the MIP

The MIP was founded in 2006 with the recruitment of Dr. Sean Colgan’s laboratory to the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UCD from Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School. Dr. Colgan is a native Coloradoan. After receiving his Ph.D. degree at Colorado State University, Dr. Colgan completed a 4 postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He then joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School 1995 as one of the founding principal investigators of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics. The Center for Experimental Therapeutics grew to four principle investigators, serving more than thirty scientists and staff with secured NIH dollars of more than $4 million per year. Dr. Colgan was promoted to the rank of Professor at Harvard Medical School in 2005. His major research interests include the identification of novel endogenous anti-inflammatory molecules. The Colgan lab uses molecular, biochemical and physiological methodologies to define these principles.

Dr. Glenn Furuta arrived at the MIP in early 2007 from Children’s Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical School. Glenn is a native Texan. Following medical school and residency at Baylor, Glenn completed a highly successful fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical School. Following fellowship, he was invited to stay as a faculty member, and initiated his rise through the ranks at Harvard. In 2007, he was recruited to Children’s Hospital Denver / University of Colorado Medical School. In addition to his responsibilities at the MIP, Dr. Furuta he has established the Gastrointestinal Eosinophil Research Program and founded the Gastrointestinal Eosinophil Clinical Program between National Jewish Hospital and Children’s Hospital Denver. The Furuta lab uses physiological and translational methodologies to define how eosiniphils influence disease outcomes along the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Holger Eltzschig was recruited to the MIP and to the Department of Anesthesiology in the summer of 2007. Holger was born and raised near Stuttgart, Germany. He completed his M.D., Ph.D. degree from Eberhard-Karls University in Tubingen, Germany in 1996 and following residency and fellowship training at Harvard Medical School returned to Tubingen to establish his own laboratory. He rapidly rose through the ranks at to Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research at Tubingen University. In 2007, Dr. Eltzschig was recruited to Denver where he is currently Professor and Vice Chairman for Basic Science within the Department of Anesthesiology. His major research interests are nucleotide and nucleoside signaling during inflammation and in hypoxic settings. The CHaIR laboratory uses a broad spectrum of methodologies, including molecular, biochemical and physiological approaches to answer these questions.

Dr. Jesus Rivera-Nieves arrived at the MIP in the summer of 2007 as a joint recruitment by the MIP and the Department of Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology). Originally from Puerto Rico, Jesus has spent the majority of his research career in the United States. Following medical school at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, he completed residency training at the University of Maryland and a research fellowship at the NIH in Bethesda. Dr. Rivera-Nieves then completed a clinical gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Virginia, where he transitioned to faculty and rose to the rank of Assistant Professor. He came to Denver in 2007 where he has established his clinical practice and research laboratory. His major research interests include defining the role of adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of experimental inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ileititis. The Rivera-Nieves lab using uses physiological and translational methodologies to define these principles. 

MIP in the News

September 2008
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