Date of Completion

Spring 4-28-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Wendy A. Henderson

Honors Major



The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in protein expression exist between patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and healthy controls (HC). A total of fourteen colonic biopsies (n=14, 8-IBD, 4-IBS, 2-HC) underwent nucleus counts using the nCounter software of the Nanostring GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler (NanoString Technologies, Inc., Seattle, Washington, USA). Three regions of interest were stained according to tryptase, crypt, and connective tissue, and visualization markers were attached to fluoresce thirty inflammatory and oncological proteins of interest. After nucleus counts for proteins of interest were plotted in Tableau (2020.4.0), overexpression of AKT, beta-catenin, histone H3, CD44, S6, STAT3 were apparent for both IBD and IBS. The overexpressed proteins endorse mostly positive correlational relationships according to the bivariate correlation conducted in IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 27) predictive analysis software. Establishing validated levels of elevated protein expression offers the clinical opportunity to devise diagnostic biomarkers. Solidifying knowledge of the relationships between the inflammatory proteins provides a potential understanding of the similarities of IBS and IBD.