Meet Rodrigo Pacheco, Ferring Innovation Grant recipient

Some descriptionTitle: Associate Professor, PhD, Fundación Ciencia & Vida and Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile

Research Project: Targeting heteromers formed by G-protein coupled receptors involved in the gut-homing of T-cells in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)

We aim to improve IBD symptoms by disrupting a new kind of receptor involved in lymphocyte migration into the gut.

What motivated you to research this area? Recent research, such as research on the involvement of lymphocytes in Parkinson’s disease, has moved my interest from the brain to the gut and led me to the study of intestinal inflammation. Neurons controlling behaviour and movement in the brain are very similar to certain neurons controlling “gut behaviour”. From a neuro-inmune point of view, Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which apparently are very different diseases, are actually very similar. I find this fascinating and believe it could hold the key to new medical breakthroughs.

What do you hope to achieve through your grant? I hope that we can decipher a new mechanism of lymphocyte migration into the gut, which will give us the clues we need to develop new therapeutic approaches for IBD.

Most exciting thing about your research project? The most exciting part of our project will be to demonstrate the presence of a new kind of receptor in the control of lymphocyte migration into the gut.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Innovative, motivated, persistent.

Interesting fact about yourself? I am passionate about deciphering the mechanisms involved in neuro-immune interactions controlling the development and progression of neurodegenerative disorders and IBD, which seem to be quite similar.

Visit www.ferring-research.com/ferring-grants to learn more about the Ferring Innovation Grants Program.

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