Research Studies

IMAGINE brings together gastroenterologists, neuroscientists and psychiatrists, currently working in isolated silos, into a network focused on:

  • defining the bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system, and
  • how alterations of the gut microbiome may influence anxiety and depression associated with gastrointestinal disorders.

The overall aim of IMAGINE is to identify the key mechanisms in the diet-microbiome-host relationship and test novel therapies for treatment of IBS, IBD and associated psychiatric disorders.

1. Microbiome Changes in IBD & IBS

This project will study how three important variables (genes, diet and mental health) impact the gut microbiome in persons with IBD and IBS and in turn how together they impact the disease course.

5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Mental Health

This project will determine whether online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in treating depression or anxiety in IBD patients

2. FMT in UC

This project will use antibiotic pre-treatments to see if the success of fecal microbial therapy is improved in patients with ulcerative colitis

6. Low FODMAPS diet in IBS

This project will determine whether a low FODMAP diet can improve symptoms in IBS patients

3. FMT in CD

This project will determine whether fecal microbial therapy can improve symptoms in patients with Crohn’s disease

7. B. Iongum in IBS

This project will determine whether a probiotic, B. longum, can improve symptoms in IBS patients

4. Advanced Mucosal Imaging

This project will use state of the art imaging technology to identify the interactions between the immune system and gut leakiness in IBD patients