Dr. Beck’s research interests include defining mechanisms involved in the development of IBD and how the gastrointestinal tract heals itself after injury. The lining of the gastrointestinal is commonly injured in everyday life by insults such as arthritis medications, bacteria, viruses’ acid and others. Why this injury occurs more commonly in some and causes more problems is unclear, however, it appears that some people are susceptible to injury where others fail to heal the injury and likely IBD is a result of increased susceptibility to injury and failure to properly heal following injury. By using both animal models of colitis as well as tissue culture models the goal of his research is to determine import factors that protect the gastrointestinal tract from injury and/or improve tissue repair after injury. By determining which factors may be involved in these processes one can develop strategies aimed at treating IBD with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for this group of devastating diseases. Dr. Beck’s lab is also interested in Clostridium difficile colitis and the pathways involved in causing damage and how the gut protects against it.