Gastrointestinal Epithelium Modeling (GEM) Program

The Gastrointestinal Epithelium Modeling (GEM) Program is a collaborative research program designed to improve the quality and evaluate the efficacy of treatments for pediatric diseases of the gut. The program is run by clinicians and scientists committed to investigating the pathophysiology of diseases such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Hirschsprung disease and celiac disease.

The program will serve as a critical resource to accelerate breakthrough discoveries by using miniaturized models in research and providing a bench-to bedside platform for personalized medicine approaches. The GEM program is part of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

What We Do

Researchers at the GEM Program utilize patient-derived organoids (PDO) - or “mini-organs” -  to develop personalized treatments for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, and deepen our understanding of the causes of these disorders. Through guided endoscopy, clinicians obtain biopsy tissue, which is then use to develop a PDO, which can use used to study the development of a child's specific disease pathology and test the effectiveness of potential new treatments.

The research team at the GEM Program:

  • Provides expertise and training in the development and use of patient-derived cultures
  • Maintains a living biobank of patient-derived organoids, with matched original tissue and blood specimens
  • Collaborates on innovation-driven projects that encompass human epithelial cell biology 
  • Develops and provides access to specialized protocols, reagents and cell lines
  • Develops and conducts functional assays utilizing patient-derived organoids.

Who We Are

The GEM Program is led by Amanda Muir, MD, and Kathryn E. Hamilton, PhD, established experts in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. The GEM team serves as a resource for the use of PDO models in research and personalized medicine approaches.