Cambridge Crohn’s and colitis gene study

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Miles Parkes

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area

Recruitment Site


Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn`s Disease are debilitating conditions affecting the intestine, and together are known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Mainly affecting young adults, their cause is unknown.  Nevertheless, it is now clear that several inherited factors (genes) are important in determining an individual’s susceptibility to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and in determining the way that the diseases behave.

Current IBD therapies are far from ideal - having many side effects and often being ineffective. Thus major abdominal surgery is required in over 75% of patients with Crohn’s disease due to loss of response to treatment.  Many patients with IBD face the prospects of life with an ileostomy or colostomy. In this study we hope to further our understanding of which genes are involved in the development of IBD, to inform development of better treatments. Over the next three to five years we hope that the results of this research will be published, and will help to

  • increase our understanding of the cause of these diseases.
  • improve targeting of existing treatments.
  • allow development of better therapies.

Participation: 22 volunteers from the Cambridge BioResource took part in this study. The study participants attended a single appointment to give a 20ml blood sample.

Organisation: This study was organised by Dr Miles Parkes from the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge and is situated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.