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Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Rufo's current research interests are focused on the development of novel treatments and diagnostic tools for use in the management of children and adults with inflammatory intestinal diseases. Earlier in his career, during his fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Wayne Lencer, he completed basic research studies that demonstrated that the antifungal antibiotic, clotrimazole, displays both anti-secretory as well as anti-inflammatory properties when studied in vitro and in vivo. As a clinician, Dr. Rufo recognized the potential clinical implication of these findings. He is currently translating these basic science findings into clinical practice, and has obtained FDA-sponsorship for an Orphan Drug Program.

Dr. Rufo and his colleagues are completing a Phase II/III study that is evaluating the efficacy of topical clotrimazole therapy in the treatment of children and adults with pouchitis, an intestinal inflammation found in patients that have undergone colectomy for treatment of ulcerative colitis. This technology has been licensed, and corporate sponsorship has made possible an expansion of this project into a multi-center study to include major academic medical centers. They are currently completing the second stage of the dose escalation study and anticipate that enrollment and data analysis should be completed by the end of the 2007-2008 academic year. If subsequent data support their preliminary findings, topical clotrimazole therapy could have a significant impact on the management of a broad range of inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and proctitis. A second focus of our translational research program is to develop novel approaches to the diagnosis and interval assessment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They have worked in collaboration with IBD centers at the University of Chicago and at the Mayo Clinic to study the utility of measuring fecal lactoferrin, a white blood cell-derived protein, in patients with IBD. Their published findings demonstrate that FLA levels can help in the assessment of pediatric and adult patients with IBD.

Goals of Dr. Rufo's research include:

  • Investigate and develop new therapies for the treatment of children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Develop non-invasive tests to assist in the diagnosis and interval assessment of children with know or suspected Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Rufo received an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received an MMSc degree from Harvard Medical School in 2002 after he completed the Clinical Investigator Training Program sponsored jointly by BIDMC, HMS, and MIT.

 

Researcher | Publications