Diagnose and Monitor IBD Using Circadian Gene Expression

Froy Oren, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition



Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is characterized by chronic relapsing intestinal inflammation. To date several biomarkers are used for the diagnosis of IBD, such as CRP (blood) and Fecal (stool), which are limited due to low specificity and low sensitivity for diagnosing IBD. Therefore, colonoscopy, an invasive, time consuming and costly procedure, remains the gold standard method for diagnosis and monitoring of IBD.

Our invention suggests a new non-invasive and specific IBD diagnostic tool using clock gene and protein expression detected in simple blood samples.


The proposed invention is a diagnostic tool for IBD and other systemic diseases, which measures the expression of the main circadian clock genes/proteins. These genes/proteins can be measured systemically and therefore hold the potential of being diagnosed and monitored by a simple blood sample.

Our Innovation

  • A specific, fast and non-invasive simple blood test, relying on systemic rather than local markers, with no side effects and complications
  • Diagnostic tool able to:
  • Monitor response to medical drug treatment
  • Follow up patients in remission (between flares), and possibility of intervention and preventive care

  • ELISA-based or gene-expression-based kits can be used at point of care
  • Can be applicable for all systemic diseases

Expected Impact

The researcher’s overall goal is to develop diagnostic ELISA and/or gene expression kits with several clock protein/gene which can diagnose IBD as well as reflect disease state (remission/flare-ups), IBD severity and classification, and monitor the patient’s response to medical treatment. Such a tool can reduce the use of invasive tests along the diagnosed IBD patient’s life.

Next Phase

Develop ELISA as well as gene expression kits that combine several proteins/genes for reliable and specific detection (2 year research)

Intellectual property

Provisional application in preparation

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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