2015 Chicago Research Symposium: Game-Changing Concepts in Crohn’s Medicine

MAP (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) is a bacteria proven to cause Johne’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) impacting livestock that eerily resembles Crohn’s disease. Likewise, Crohn’s disease is an aggressive and often debilitating form of IBD impacting approximately four million people worldwide at a rapidly increasing rate. It causes inflammation in the lining of one’s digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition and sometimes life-threatening complications.

There is no recognized cure for Crohn’s disease, however, a steadily growing faction of medical professionals suspect that MAP is the root cause and have the evidence to prove it.

Sponsored by CJE SeniorLife, Jewish Child & Family Services and Townstone Financial, several of the cutting edge researchers came together from opposite ends of the globe to present their groundbreaking research and findings.


John Aitken (New Zealand) — This New Zealand microbiologist discussed his newly developed method for effectively culturing MAP bacteria to better diagnose its presence in Crohn’s patients.

Dr. William Chamberlin (U.S.) — This United States gastroenterologist provided an overview of the immune system from an evolutionary perspective, introduced evidence that Crohn’s is a disorder of innate immune deficiency, summarized data on the efficacy of properly chosen antibiotics, and discussed a new drug that stimulates innate immunity, down-regulates unproductive inflammation and enhances immune clearance of chronic intracellular infections.

Dr. Michael Collins (U.S.) — As a veterinarian and microbiologist in Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Collins helps viewers to gain an understanding of the biology of the unusual pathogen of MAP and its zoonotic link from livestock to humans.

Dr. Amy Hermon-Taylor (U.K.) — The daughter of esteemed Prof. John Hermon-Taylor of London, England and a physician in her own right, she presents her father’s groundbreaking efforts in inventing the MAP Vaccine and complementary MAP Test, which they hope to bring to market within the next few years.

Dr. Michael Collins: Crohn’s Disease and the Farm

Dr. Collins, a veterinarian from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, discusses the crossover between human medicine and animal medicine. He makes a compelling argument that the MAP bacteria cross from cattle to humans and should be recognized as a zoonotic infection.

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Dr. Amy Hermon-Taylor: MAP Diagnostics

Dr Amy Hermon-Taylor at the Crohn's disease SymposiumDr. Amy Hermon-Taylor discusses the need for a specific diagnostic process to isolate the MAP infection in patients with Crohn’s disease. Without a specific, fast and reliable diagnostic process or procedure, MAP will continue to be an unconfirmed causative agent in Crohn’s disease.  If it can’t be measured, it can’t be controlled.

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John Aitken: The Microbiology of MAP

John Aitken, a laboratory scientist from New Zealand, discusses Mycobacterium avium ssp paratuberculosis from a microbiological perspective. Find out what we know about this organism and how it behaves. See never before released photos of the organism, learn why Mr. Aitken calls this “Son of MAP” and how his research will help Crohn’s disease patients.

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Dr. William Chamberlin: EpiBro and Crohn’s Disease

Dr. William Chamberlin discusses the dysfunctional immune response of Crohn’s disease patients and a new treatment that is in development to remedy this genetic malady. EpiBro is a synthetic steroid, and it attempts to fix the dysfunction in Crohn’s disease by enhancing the innate immune response. Dr. Chamberlin terms it “Prednisone without the side effects.” Hear the story of how this drug, initially developed to treat AIDS infections, could now be utilized to help Crohn’s disease patients as well.

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Dr. David Rubin: MAP, the Microbiome and Crohn’s Treatment

A welcome surprise to the symposium lineup, Dr. David Rubin, section chief of the department of gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, discusses the current state of Crohn’s disease and outlines some of the available treatments. While he prescribes Anti-MAP therapy for some of his patients, he takes an individualistic approach to care, utilizing all treatment available to manage his patients’ disease. Interesting information about the role of the gut microbiome, the genetic profile of Crohn’s patients and how Dr. Rubin became interested in gastroenterology are included. He admits that the search for a cure should be a goal of current IBD research. Don’t miss the insightful audience questions!

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