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Dr. Rivera-Nieves' Research Lab

Welcome to the Rivera Lab. Our laboratory studies Crohn's Disease with a strong clinical focus using the reproducible TNFΔARE model of inflammatory bowel disease. We concentrate on leukocyte trafficking and the factors responsible for maintenance of chronic intestinal inflammation. Our primary techniques are flow cytometry and RT-PCR.


Jesús Rivera-Nieves

Dr. Jesús Rivera-Nieves joined the University of Colorado Denver in the summer of 2007 as a joint recruitment by the Mucosal Inflammation Program and the Department of Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology). Upon his arrival, he established his clinical practice and research laboratory. Originally from Puerto Rico, Jesús has spent the majority of his research career in the continental 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 then completed a clinical gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Virginia, where he transitioned to faculty and rose to the rank of Assistant Professor, prior to his move to Colorado. His major research interests include defining the role of adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of experimental inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ileitis. The Rivera Lab uses physiological and translational methodologies to define these principles.

Colm Collins

In 2003, Colm completed a BSc with the Department of Pharmacology, University College Dublin, Ireland which led to a PhD program with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin. In 2007, Colm submitted his thesis entitled "Avian Intestinal Mucosal Immunity," and was awarded a PhD. Colm undertook a brief postdoctoral position in the College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin, studying the role of Dectin-1 agonists in porcine mucosal immunity. His next postdoc position was with Dr. Jesús Rivera-Nieves at the University of Colorado Denver, within the Mucosal Inflammation Program. As senior postdoc, Colm has benefitted greatly from Jesús' expertise in studying leukocyte trafficking in general, and, more specifically, mechanisms of mucosal inflammation in the TNFΔARE mouse model. Colm has been charged with examining the contribution of small intestinal dendritic cells to the development and maintenance of chronic intestinal inflammation in this murine model of Crohn's Disease. It is hoped that this research will lead to potential dendritic cell-based therapies for overactive immune-mediated diseases.

Eoin McNamee

Eoin graduated with a BSc in Biology from National University of Ireland, Maynooth, in 2003, followed by an MSc from the Department of Physiology at Trinity College Dublin in 2004. He stayed in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience to complete a PhD in the summer of 2008 in the area of NeuroImmunology. His PhD thesis was entitled "Noradrenergic modulation of the CNS immune response: A critical role for the B-adrenoceptor," Eoin next became a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Jesús Rivera-Nieves at University of Colorado Denver, studying the development of tertiary lymph organ development and their involvement in chronic intestinal inflammation.

Matthew Lebsack

Born and raised in Colorado, Matt earned a BA in biochemistry from Colorado College. Subsequently, he spent two years as a chemistry paraprofessional, also at Colorado College. He then held a three- year position as a research technician at Hopkins School of Public Health, working on a regulatory enzyme of NF-kB, A20, with a focus on ubiquitin. Matt then returned to Colorado to study science from a medical perspective, in the role of PRA for the Rivera Lab. ​