The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) comprise Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). These are lifelong conditions which cause ulceration and inflammation in the gut, commonly first presenting in the teens and twenties. These diseases are common, affecting approximately 1 in 200 people in the United Kingdom. There is a genetic predisposition which increases the risk of developing disease and which determines the pattern and severity of the disease in any individual patient. To date more than 90 IBD genes have been identified.
The UKIBD Genetics Consortium (UKIBDGC) comprises clinicians and scientists with a track record of successful collaborative research in the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease. Our aims are to identify and understand the genes that determine disease susceptibility, course and response and side effects of treatment.
The consortium has recruitment centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Exeter, Manchester, Oxford, London, Dundee and Nottingham. Together we have recruited nearly 15000 British patients with CD and UC to our studies. We work closely with our key collaborators, Jeff Barrett and Carl Anderson, at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (where a large part of the first human genome was sequenced). The UKIBDGC also forms a key part of the International IBD Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC), an international collaborative group which now comprises researchers from more than 20 different countries.