CEGIR Mission Statement

About Us

The Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Researchers (CEGIR) is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders through innovative research, clinical expertise and education via collaborations between scientists, health care providers, patients, and professional organizations. The disorders CEGIR focuses on are eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophilic gastritis (EG) and eosinophilic colitis (EC). The team has a multidisciplinary approach and integrates expertise in pediatric and adult clinical specialties, including gastroenterology, allergy, immunology and pathology. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CEGIR is part of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN).

CEGIR has four primary cores: Clinical Research Projects 1 and 2, a Pilot/Demonstration Clinical Research Program, and the Training (Career Development) Program. There is also an Administrative Core that directs and coordinates the activities of these endeavors.

Clinical Research Project 1, called the OMEGA Trial (Outcome Measures for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases Across Ages), is a multicenter, longitudinal study of children and adults with EoE, EG and EC focused on two aims. Aim 1 is to determine the correlation of clinical outcome measures (COMs), including patient-reported outcomes (PROs), with the histological disease activity as measured by mucosal eosinophil counts. We will also test a series of related hypotheses concerning secondary histological parameters that may correlate with clinical and phenotypic measurements, potentially leading to a new gold standard for EoE, EG, and/or EC diagnosis and monitoring. Aim 2 is to determine the correlation of the molecular profile for EoE, EG, and EC with COMs and mucosal eosinophilia. We will identify biopsy-based mRNA expression profiles of children and adults with EoE, EG, and EC from Aim 1 in order to identify disease-specific molecular diagnostic criteria, provide key insight into disease pathogenesis, and answer questions concerning the molecular basis of distinct clinical phenotypes.

Clinical Research Project 2, called the SOFEED Trial (Six Versus One Food Eosinophilic Esophagitis Diet), is a multicenter study with two aims. Aim 1 is to conduct a randomized diet trial that eliminates one food (milk) vs. six foods (milk, egg, wheat, soy, nuts and fish) to evaluate the efficacy of less restricted diets and determine whether patients who experience diet failure remain responsive to swallowed glucocorticoids (SGC) therapy if they fail the 6FED and remain responsive to 6FED when they fail 1FED. Aim 2 is to develop a personalized medicine approach based on biomarker analysis that can predict the best treatment for individual patients. Clinical Research Project 2 addresses a topic of direct interest to patient advocacy groups (PAGs) and their constituents – the rapid development of practical solutions for individuals living with EoE. We aim to optimize treatment with readily available therapies (diet and SGCs) and develop a personalized medicine approach, based on cutting-edge biomarker analysis, to optimize response rates and reduce unnecessary treatments and procedures.

The Pilot/Demonstration Clinical Research Program supports new ideas that have potential to create and/or change paradigms concerning EoE, EG, and EC. We support up to two Pilot/Demonstration Clinical Research Projects each year. The Projects last up to two years and ideally take maximum advantage of new clinical research opportunities in investigating EoE, EG, and EC. The projects are collaborative among investigators within one or more CEGIR sites or with investigators outside the CEGIR environment. Projects are selected by their likelihood to develop new models and ideas that will improve the way researchers, healthcare providers, and patients understand these diseases and to develop better treatments.

The Training (Career Development) Program trains new investigators in clinical and translational research, enhancing the likelihood of academic success for the investigators in training. The program’s specific goals are: 1) to enable CEGIR Trainees to become independent clinical and/or translational investigators; 2) to aid CEGIR Trainees in developing a broad understanding of the basic, translational, and clinical science pertinent to the immunobiology, pathogenesis, and genetics of EoE, EG, and EC via didactic instruction; and 3) to facilitate CEGIR Trainee networking and integration in the EoE, EG, and EC research community. It is our belief that increasing the number and quality of clinician researchers studying EoE, EG, and EC will improve current and future patient care.

Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs) are an important part of the CEGIR team. PAGs contribute numerous resources to the consortium, including, but not limited to: efficient pathways to communicate the latest clinical and research developments to patients and their families (via conferences, websites, newsletters, contact registries); a forum for the collection and dissemination of patient and family perspectives and priorities; public educational initiatives to raise awareness of and quality of care for eosinophilic GI diseases; and financial support for important research and clinical efforts.

We welcome partnership with industry, including conducting clinical trials.

Goals

Overall Goals
  • Improve the lives of individuals with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders
  • Facilitate research on eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophilic gastritis (EG), and eosinophilic colitis (EC) through the development of a Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Researchers (CEGIR)
  • Establish a EGID Patient Contact Registry
  • Develop and maintain a website with information for scientists, health care providers, patients, and professional organizations
Clinical Research Project 1 Goals
  • Determine the correlation of clinical outcome measures (COMs) and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) with the histological disease activity as measured by mucosal eosinophil counts
  • Develop a new gold standard for EoE, EG, and/or EC diagnosis and monitoring
  • Determine the correlation of the molecular profile for EoE, EG, and EC with COMs and mucosal eosinophilia
Clinical Research Project 2 Goals
  • Optimize treatment of EoE with readily available therapies (diet and steroids)
  • Develop a personalized medicine approach based on biomarker analysis that can predict the best treatment for individual patients
  • Evaluate the efficacy of different restricted diets and determine whether patients who experience diet failure remain responsive to swallowed glucocorticoids (SGC) therapy
Pilot/Demonstration Clinical Research Program Goals
  • Support new ideas that have potential to create and/or change paradigms concerning EoE, EG, and EC
Training (Career Development) Program Goals
  • Train new investigators in clinical and translational research, enhancing the likelihood of academic success for the investigators in training
  • Enable CEGIR Trainees to become independent clinical and/or translational investigators
  • Aid CEGIR Trainees in developing a broad understanding of the basic, translational, and clinical science pertinent to the immunobiology, pathogenesis, and genetics of EoE, EG, and EC via didactic instruction
  • Facilitate CEGIR Trainee networking and integration in the EoE, EG, and EC research community
Patient Advocacy Goals
In collaboration with our partner Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs):
  • Develop efficient pathways to communicate the latest clinical and research developments to patients and their families (via websites, social media, newsletters, conferences, contact registries)
  • Offer a forum for the collection and dissemination of patient and family perspectives and priorities
  • Offer public educational initiatives to raise awareness of and quality of care for eosinophilic GI diseases
Industry Collaboration Goals
  • Partner with industry in order to improve the lives of patients with EGIDs, including conducting clinical trials