Affecting roughly one in 1,000 people in western populations, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions cause chronic inflammation of the large and small bowel and ultimately lead to severe tissue damage. Current therapies can relieve and treat symptoms, but neither a cause nor a cure has been established for these disorders. It is believed that integrin-linked kinase, an enzyme that is known to be responsible for a number of different cellular functions, may play a key role in IBD. Kuljit Parhar is investigating the role of integrin-linked kinase in regulating the chronically activated inflammatory response found in IBD. Learning about how the inflammatory response is regulated could lead to more effective treatments for IBD.