Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU)

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
What the facility does

Study and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders

Areas of expertise

Gastrointestinal (GI) and nutritional disorders have a tremendous impact on Canadians’ sense of well-being. However, the lengthy pathway between the laboratory and the patient often prevents promising research findings from getting to patients quickly.  To address this critical gap in the research-to-patient continuum, we have established a “Human Laboratory” that will take scientific discoveries from the fields of gastroenterology and nutrition to the clinic. Strategically embedded within Kingston’s primary hospital, the Human Laboratory permits high-quality human research and training to be conducted within the confines of a busy patient care setting. We already have an established pipeline of novel, promising "patient-ready" discoveries, including synthetic stool probiotics, primed for testing in patients. Our unique breadth of basic and clinical expertise, as well our extensive academic, industrial and commercial partnerships, will ensure that we realize the full socioeconomic impact of products in a timely fashion.

Research services

Chemostat suite (used to generate probiotics based on communities of beneficial human bacteria); research endoscopy suite; human GI tissue biobanking and processing; human GI physiology laboratory; human clinical trials and data analysis

Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Specialized lab EquipmentFunction
Chemostat SuiteMultifors chemostat systemCulture of synthetic microbial stool communities
 Anaerobic workstationCulture of individual synthetic stool components under strictly anaerobic conditions
Research Endoscopy SuiteResearch endoscopesEnables clinical studies, tissue and microbiome sampling, and delivery of therapeutic treatments
Biobanking Facility WorkstationFreezerworks biobanking software, ultra-low freezers, centrifuges, pipettors.Specialized software allowing for accurate, large-scale databanking
Human Tissue Research LaboratoryDissecting microscopesPermits the fine dissections necessary to perform recordings of nerve fibers from human intestinal tissue
 Ussing chambersCritical for the study of the neural and immunological regulation of epithelial ionic transport in the gut
 Patch-clamp electrophysiology equipmentAllows for the study of electrical signaling events at the level of the cell membrane of nerves and muscles; critical for deciphering their biological functions
 Calcium imaging systemDetects changes in intracellular calcium levels in live cells, which plays a vital role in many cell signaling processes
 Afferent recording equipmentRecords electrical nerve impulses (action potentials) occurring in the gut