Dr. Snapper is an internationally recognized physician-scientist with a passion both for patient care as well as research focusing on understanding the role of the immune system on inflammatory bowel diseases and intestinal manifestations of human immunodeficiencies. Dr. Snapper is the Wolpow Family Chair and Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Director of Basic and Translational Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition, Dr. Snapper is the Director of IBD Research within the Gastroenterology Division at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he maintains a joint clinical appointment. Dr. Snapper is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
Dr. Snapper grew up in a small town, Catskill, New York and was inspired by his father’s experiences as a family doctor. After his undergraduate work at Tufts University where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology in 1983 he pursued his medical studies and doctoral research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he fell in love with microbiology and immunology and received his MD-PhD in 1990.
Dr. Snapper’s clinical practice has concentrated on patients with immunological disorders of the GI tract – focusing on both patients with inflammatory bowel diseases as well as patients with primary immune deficiencies suffering from gastrointestinal problems.
For the last decade, his laboratory has been investigating how the “adaptive” and “innate” arms of the immune system maintain health in the intestine. In particular his laboratory is trying to understand how a defective immune system can contribute simultaneously to both immunodeficiency and intestinal inflammation with some focus on human immunodeficiencies. His laboratory has made numerous key discoveries related to patients with the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and, more recently, with those containing IL-10 receptor deficiency – both immune deficiencies that are associated with the combination of severe immune abnormalities and intestinal inflammation. Together with Drs. Christoph Klein (Munich) and Aleixo Muise (Toronto), Dr. Snapper is the Founder and Principal Investigator of the international Very Early Onset IBD Consortium (www.veoibd.org) whose mission is to identify the causes and develop therapies for infants and young children with IBD. Currently, Dr. Snapper’s laboratory is characterizing new genes that are associated with IBD and testing novel treatment strategies to manipulate immunoregulatory circuits in mice and man for IBD disease prevention and therapy.
Dr. Snapper has authored nearly 150 original articles and book chapters, and receives multiple grants from the NIH, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and from major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Snapper is on the editorial board of several journals, is a member of numerous scientific advisory boards of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, serves as a permanent member of the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology Study Section of the NIH, and is the chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.