Moss Laboratory

MossAlan Moss, MD, leads a translational research group in the Division. The lab's current interests are in fecal biomarkers, vitamin D as an immunomodulator, and the microbiome as a therapeutic target. These studies are funded by NIDDK and foundation grants. We have published extensively on the phenotype of mucosal T-cells, serum markers of intestinal inflammation, and exosome biomarkers. Our clinical publications include meta-analyses, prognosis in Ulcerative Colitis, and medication adherence.

Microbial Therapy to Prevent Relapse in Crohn’s Disease

This study will evaluate the potential for microbial therapy to prevent recurrence of Crohn’s disease after resection. It is an open-label 6 month trial of encapsulated bacteria from healthy donors. The primary end-point is rates of endoscopic recurrence at a colonoscopy after 6 months of treatment. This study is supported by the Helmsley Foundation, Openbiome, and collaborations with MIT, MGH, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Boston Medical Center.

Vitamin D in Ulcerative Colitis

This study examines serum vitamin D levels in patients with UC, and correlates with cytokine profiles, mucosal levels of cathelicidin, and microbial profiles. We are studying how serum vitamin D levels may influence mucosal levels of cathelicidin, an innate immunity factor. This study includes human samples, in vitro work, and animal studies. It is funded by philanthropy.

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) in IBD

We were the first group to describe and characterize EVs in the lumen and feces of patients with IBD. On-going in vitro and animal studies have evaluated the potential anti- / pro- inflammatory effects of these EVs in healthy mucosa and models of colitis. We are interested in testing fecal EVs and biomarkers of mucosal pathways prevalent in patients with IBD. This research is funded by NIDDK.

Purinergic Pathways in IBD

In collaboration with the Robson Lab, we have evaluated T-cell phenotypes in patients with IBD, particularly with regard to CD39 and CD73 ectoenzymes. These studies were funded by NIDDK.


Select Recent Publications

Vaughn B, Vatanen T, Allegretti J, Bai A, Xavier R, Korzenik J, Gevers D, Ting A, Robson S, Moss AC. Increased Intestinal Microbial Diversity following Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Active Crohn’s Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2016 Sep;22(9):2182-90

Gubatan J, Mitsuhashi S, Zenlea T, Rosenberg L, Robson S, Moss AC. Low Serum Vitamin D During Remission Increases Risk of Clinical Relapse in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Jun 3. pii: S1542-3565(16)30270-1. Featured in Life Science Daily, Contemporary Clinic, EmaxHealth, UPI, Science Daily, IBD News Today

Mitsuhashi S, Feldbrügge L, Csizmadia E, Mitsuhashi M, Robson S, Moss AC. Luminal Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Exhibit Pro-Inflammatory Effects on Epithelial Cells and Macrophages. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2016 Jul;22(7):1587-95

Zenlea T, Yee EU, Rosenberg L, Boyle M, Nanda KS, Wolf JL, Falchuk KR, Cheifetz AS, Goldsmith JD, Moss AC. Histology Grade Is Independently Associated With Relapse Risk in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis in Clinical Remission: A Prospective Study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2016 May;111(5):685-90

Aiping Bai, Alan Moss, Sonja Rothweiler, Maria Serena Longhi, Yan Wu, Wolfgang G. Junger, Simon C. Robson. CD39 expression by CD8+ T cells modulates interferong responses via reactive oxygen species and purinergic signaling. Nat Comm 2015 Nov 9;6:8819

Bai A, Moss A, Kokkotou E, Usheva A, Sun X, Cheifetz A, Zheng Y, Longhi MS, Gao W, Wu Y, Robson SC. CD39 and CD161 Modulate Th17 Responses in Crohn's Disease. J Immunol. 2014 Aug 29. pii: 1400346

Research Team

Haley Etskowitz, BSc

Shuji Mitsuhashi, BSc

John Gubatan, MD

Begona Gonzalez, MD (visiting researcher)