News & Updates

Back to All News

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Lankenau Medical Center researchers uncover new potential therapeutic approach for ulcerative colitis

January 15, 2016 Research News

A new therapeutic target for ulcerative colitis (UC) was proposed by researchers at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) and Lankenau Medical Center (LMC), both part of Main Line Health. The researchers showed that administering an antibody for the Bridging integrator 1 (Bin1) protein can blunt effects of the disease.

UC is a chronic disorder of the large intestine in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops open sores. If left untreated, UC can lead to colorectal cancer. The disease may affect as many as 700,000 Americans, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

“Our results suggest that a therapy based on Bin1 monoclonal antibody could offer a novel strategy to treat UC and possibly limit risks of colorectal cancer,” said Sunil Thomas, PhD, Research Assistant Professor at LIMR and the lead author of the study that was published online in July by the medical journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences.

Currently, managing UC requires the administration of anti-inflammatory medications that can have side effects such as increased risk for infection. Thus, a new therapeutic approach is needed. In the experiment, mice that had been given Bin1 monoclonal antibodies had reduced morbidity from colitis, while unprotected mice showed severe lesions and other symptoms of UC.

Other LIMR and LMC researchers on the investigative team included: Joanna Mercado, James DuHadaway, Katherine DiGuilio, James Mullin and George Prendergast.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.


Mary Kate Coghlan
Communications Specialist
Office: 484.580.1028
Cell: 610.308.6675