Colton Family Scholars

In addition to providing funding for established investigators, the Colton Center provides support for outstanding junior scientists, designated as the Colton Family Scholars. For 2016-2017, the Colton Family Scholars are Lea Ann Chen, MD, and Adam Mor, MD, PhD.

Dr. Chen’s research is aimed at understanding how gut bacteria affect the development and disease course of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In particular, she uses a combination of next-generation sequencing and traditional molecular and anaerobic microbiology to determine the temporal dynamics of gut bacterial populations in individuals with IBD. Through these methods, she is elucidating how bacteria respond to IBD therapies and how gut microbiome compositions may be used to predict treatment outcomes and guide clinical decision-making.

Dr. Mor’s research offers a promising pathway around the contradiction between reducing inflammation to autoimmune disease by decreasing lymphocytes and the increased risk of cancer and infections that can result. His team is targeting the unusual lymphocyte co-receptor PD-1 in order to lessen lymphocyte activity without shrinking their number. This approach is yielding multiple potential drug targets for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. To support these studies, in 2016 Dr. Mor was awarded an NIH RO1 grant.

Previous Colton Family Scholars

The following researchers were selected as Colton Family Scholars.

2015-2016

Adam Mor, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Pathology
Project title: PD1 Signaling in SLE; Rap1 in Psoriatic Arthritis

Johannes Nowatzky, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: Tregs in autoimmune diseases

2014-2015

Lea Ann Chen, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: IBD, immunosupression, and microbiome

Adam Mor, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Pathology
Project title: PD1 signaling in SLE; Rap1 in psoriatic arthritis

Johannes Nowatzky, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: Tregs in autoimmune diseases

2013-2014

Adam Mor, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Pathology
Project title: Rap1 signaling in autoimmune T lymphocytes

Jennifer Philips, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Medicine, Pathology, and Microbiology
Project title: Mycobacterial manipulation of immune responses: understanding why the body can not defend itself against tuberculosis

Bo Shopsin, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Microbiology
Project title: Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Ilseung Cho, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: Microbial modulation of oral anticoagulation

2012-2013

David J. Araten, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: Development of a novel assay for induced mutagenesis in mice

Sumathi Sivapalasingam, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine
Project title: Enhancing vaginal defenses to reduce the risk of HIV infection

Michael D. Weiden, MD, associate professor in the departments of Medicine and Environmental Medicine
Project title: Lung microbiome in health and disease