Declan McCole is an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside. His research explores the role of genetics in intestinal health—particularly the onset of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacology, followed by his Ph.D. in pharmacology & veterinary medical research from University College Dublin, Ireland. He then conducted his postdoctoral work on the gut’s role in immune system health at UC San Diego.
On Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Much of my recent work has centered on understanding how the body maintains the integrity of the gut lining and the impact of intestinal conditions on overall health. My research group focuses on a particular gene that has been identified as a potential risk factor for onset of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). We are currently studying how a poorly functioning copy of this gene negatively affects the integrity of gut lining as well as the immune system. In conjunction with this, we are also investigating novel treatments for reversing the adverse effects of elevated intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) on IBD. These studies hold implications for improving diagnostics for IBD in addition to drug development tailored towards IBD patients.