Bana Jabri,MD,PhD- Named DOM Vice Chair for Basic Research

November 22, 2011

Bana Jabri,MD,Ph.D

Dr. Bana Jabri, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition) has been named as Vice Chair for Research (Basic) for the Department of Medicine effective December 1, 2011.   Bana joins Vice Chairs, Dr. Julian Solway and Dr. Ravi Salgia, as part of the newly reorganized DOM Research Advisory Committee.   In her role, Bana will work with them to coordinate, enhance and advance research in the DOM through the development of new programs and initiatives to serve the needs of DOM researchers as well as provide leadership in defining opportunities for research growth and strategic goals in the Department.

Dr. Jabri received her MD at the Institut Pasteur in Paris France where she achieved clinical certification in Pediatrics and GI.  She completed her fellowship training at NIH in Molecular Biology and Allergology before returning to Paris to earn her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Paris. She has held positions in Paris, at Princeton University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY. In 2002 she arrived at the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor in Pathology. In 2006, she joined the Section of Gastroenterology as Associate Professor and was recently promoted to full Professor.   Bana also serves as Co Director, along with Dr. Gene Chang, of the NIH funded University of Chicago Digestive Disease Research Core Center.

Bana is a very successful and multifaceted physician scientist with an international reputation for her work in celiac disease and mucosal immunology.  Her groundbreaking work includes the discovery that signals from tissue cells control effector immune responses, in particular combinations of stress-induced ligands and IL-15 license cytotoxic T cell to mediate tissue damage.  She also identified the mechanism underlying the association between HLA-DQ8 and celiac disease. Her research group went on to develop the first-ever mouse model of celiac disease, which will allow for the testing of new vaccines and therapeutic strategies.  Using this model, her team demonstrated critical roles for both Vitamin A and IL-15 in the pathogenesis of celiac disease. These findings have profound implications not only for celiac disease but also for the fields of both autoimmunity and mucosal immunology, including the engineering of oral vaccinations and understanding how dysregulated immune responses to luminal food antigens can lead to the development of food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. Her work has directly led to the testing of novel therapies aimed at blocking IL-15 signaling in severe cases of celiac disease.  Dr. Jabri’s seminal work has been published in dozens of high impact journals including two recent papers in Nature. Bana is the 2010 recipient of the Department’s Leif B Sorensen Faculty Research Award, the 2010 recipient of the international William. K Warren Jr. Prize for Basic Research in celiac disease and was recently elected to the prestigious Association of American Physicians.