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Robert Sandler

Robert S. Sandler MD, MPH

Nina C. and John T. Sessions Distinguished Professor; Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Dr. Sandler is a gastroenterologist and a digestive disease epidemiologist.  His research has focused for the past 25 years on the epidemiology of chronic digestive disorders, particularly the etiology and prevention of colorectal neoplasia. He have been the PI on 5 NCI-funded R01 studies investigating colorectal adenoma risk factors.  These hospital-based translational studies have collected biological specimens to investigate apoptosis, circulating cytokines, mucosal inflammation and the gut microbiome along with patient-reported information on diet, activity, medications and lifestyle. Dr. Sandler has been the PI for 2 R01-funded population-based studies of colorectal cancer in a 33-county area of central and eastern North Carolina.  Blood and tumor blocks were obtained for translational studies.  He was the PI for the North Carolina CanCORS study where 900 population-based cases were enrolled in a multicenter outcome study.  They also obtained blood and tumor blocks. He has been the PI for several clinical trials of colorectal cancer chemopreventive agents, and he currently serve as the PI of an R01 to investigate risk factors for asymptomatic diverticulosis and as a co-PI on a project investigating the role of the microbiome on colorectal adenomas. He has been the PI of the NIDDK-funded Digestive Disease Research Core Center at UNC since 1992.  Dr. Sandler would bring my experience as a translational researcher, clinician and center director to the Harvard Digestive Disease Center.