Ramnik J. Xavier

Ramnik J. Xavier

Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Medicine in the Field of Gastroenterology
Ramnik J. Xavier

The primary research goal of the Xavier Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute is to discover and understand the function of important mediators and effectors involved in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Of particular interest are the cellular components and regulatory networks that interact dynamically within temporal, spatial, and patho-physiological contexts of innate immunity. A second area of focus is to examine the pathway defects associated with genetic variants in inflammatory bowel disease and identify novel small molecules that interrupt signal transduction pathways associated with disease risk. We are pursuing integrative systems approaches that closely couple genome-wide experimentation with high-throughput assays and computational methods. Furthermore, we are pursuing studies of the microbiome in autoimmunity and inflammatory bowel disease.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are debilitating inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Among complex diseases, genetics has been particularly successful in the identification of genes for IBD, with recent efforts in genome-wide association studies bringing the total number of loci to more than 160. These studies have highlighted the significance of the relationship between intracellular responses to microbes and the regulation of adaptive immunity in the pathogenesis of IBD. With rapid progress in human genetics, it has become clear that a major challenge in the study of complex genetic traits is to determine how disease genes and their corresponding alleles exert their influence on the biology of health and disease. The lab focuses on applying novel genomic, genetic, and chemical biology approaches to gain insights into the function of genetic variants underlying common inflammatory disease and to explore the potential for reversing the effects of susceptibility alleles. We are also investigating relationships between IBD and the gut microbiome, including interactions between host genetics and gut microbiota.

Contact Information

Massachusetts General Hospital
Center for Computational & Integrative Biology
185 Cambridge Street - Simches 7222
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-643-3331
Fax: 617-643-3328

Institute Member
Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
415 Main St., 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
p: 617-643-3331


Experimental Approach