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Commentaries on “Workshop Report: Developing a Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Network and Data Platform in Canada”COLLABORATION AND NETWORKING THE NAME OF THE GAME IN PEDIATRIC INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Turner, Dan

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Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: August 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 122
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182604f70
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The conduct of collaborative research faces numerous obstacles, including technical and political barriers, absence of accepted leaders, and budget constraints; however, collaboration is essential to produce meaningful research in a relatively rare disease such as pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Biomedical research should be a synergized effort of collaboration between clinicians, scientists, and cutting-edge technology, in which each taps into a unique aspect of the joint project. Approximately 175 years passed from the invention of the steam engine to the light bulb, but it took only 5 years from discovering the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 to cracking the entire human genome. The astounding development of technology with rapid globalization makes networking, as described by Sherman et al (1), the state-of-the-art tool in modern IBD research. In addition to multiple networks, established ad hoc for specific studies, there are several successful ongoing multicenter pediatric IBD partnerships, such as the prolific Pediatric IBD Collaborative Research Group and the ImproveCareNow registry in North America. Pediatric gastroenterologists from Europe collaborate under the umbrella of the Porto Pediatric IBD Working Group of ESPGHAN with annual meetings and rotating leadership. Each network operates under different rules and the described workshop is a promising attempt in seeking the appropriate funded structure for the diverse Canadian environment. Adequate funding is not a sine qua non for successful collaboration, but given that Canada is the home of world-leading IBD researchers and with its superbly organized medical and research infrastructure, undoubtedly invaluable pediatric IBD knowledge will originate from this network.


1. Sherman PM, Brown S, Rose K, et al. Workshop report: developing a pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases network and data platform in Canada. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2012;55:125–30.
© 2012 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,