Studying the status of the Digestive Diseases Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in science production based on the latest documents of the Scientometrics Department of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education shows that this scientific center with production 1205 articles so far, has the first rank in citations to articles, h-index, and international scientific collaborations among all medical sciences research centers in Iran with the least “self citation” to articles.

The results of the review of these documents show that the Digestive Diseases Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences is the top leader of the entire research centers (institutes and research departments) with the activity field of Clinical Sciences in production and dissemination of science.

These documents also show that the Digestive Diseases Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences has the highest rating in the evaluation and Z score among all research centers with medical sciences independent budgetary.

A look at the process of producing and publishing articles, rate of citations, and the Digestive Diseases Research Institute contribution to the production of superior science:











The important role of creating research infrastructures in  successes of research activity of the Digestive Diseases Research Institute

Scientific products of the Digestive Diseases Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in addition to its important influences on increasing the quantity and quality of science production in Iran, has contributed a lot to the advancement of knowledge of gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases sppecially digestive oncology  at the national and international level.


List of major DDRI Collaborations network across the World

1.WHO collaborating center for Study of Cancer and Noncommunicable Disease

DDRI was recognized as a WHO collaborating center for Study of gastrointestinal cancer and noncommunicable disease (NCD) based on vast experience in gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer and NCD research. It was able to make data and scientific evidence more accessible to national and regional researchers and policy makers. The main focus is to reduce the burden of GI cancers in Iran and the region

2.Gastric and Esophageal cancer study in Northern Iran (GEMINI)

The Gastro-Esophageal Malignancies in Northern Iran (GEMINI) research project with the original aim of to identify etiologic factors and prevention measures for upper gastrointestinal cancers in Northern provinces of Iran, but its achievements have gone much beyond this initial goal. GEMINI consists of several projects including cancer registries, pilot studies, case-control studies, and the Golestan Cohort Study. GEMINI has been conducted through extensive collaborations between the Digestive Disease Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences with other domestic and international health organizations including National Cancer Institute (NCI) from USA, IARC .the University of Cambridge Cancer Genetics Group (UK), the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), the University of Glasgow (UK), the University of Leeds (UK), the Johns Hopkins University (US), Mount Sinai School of Medicine (US), and the University of Toronto (Canada) were involved in various aspects of the GEMINI project. This network prepared the ground to obtain internal and external funds for the preliminary phase of the project the achievements of GEMINI include producing new knowledge, introducing new research methods, developing and expanding health research and health care infrastructures, investing in human resources, and increasing the awareness and knowledge of policy makers at all levels about the importance of chronic diseases in Iran’s health priorities. The success of GEMINI reveals the feasibility of large-scale health research studies in developing countries and serves as
a successful model not only for health research in Iran, but also for similar research studies in other developing nations
Recently we have launching the GEM Share (GEMINI Shared Repository), available from :

This website will include a list of all GEMINI projects and papers, and serve as the new proposal submission portal, to facilitate the proposal review process, and also prevent the submission of overlapping studies. A list of previously approved project, or a submitted/published paper, available in the system

3.Global Burden of Diseases (world’s largest publishing collaboration in science)

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington engages a large network of individual collaborators with specialties in various topic areas to conduct the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) and its affiliated projects. GBD is a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the comparative magnitude of health loss due to diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and geographies for specific points in time and is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. Collaborators are critical in both the data analysis as well as the policy uptake and proliferation of GBD and affiliated projects. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GBD 2010 significantly broadened the scope of previous versions of GBD. Using improved methods for estimating disability weights, GBD 2010 produced estimates for 291 diseases and injuries, 67 risk factors, 1,160 sequelae, 21 regions, 20 age groups, and 187 countries.
Christopher Murray and Alan Lopez began their collaboration on GBD in the early 1990s with a study calculating estimates for eight regions, 107 diseases, and 10 risk factors. Under their leadership, the GBD enterprise currently includes a network of 3,191 collaborators in 140 countries and three territories contributing to what has been recognized as the world’s largest publishing collaboration in science

DDRI became a collaborator in 1999 and authored  papers till 2017


DDRI has been an active member of following research group within the GBD

Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration
GBD 2015 Neurological Disorders Collaborator Group
GBD 2016 Risk Factors Collaborators
GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators
GBD 2016 Causes of Death Collaborators
GBD 2016 Mortality Collaborators
GBD 2016 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators
GBD 2016 DALYs and HALE Collaborators
GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators
GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborators
GBD Iran and its Neighboring Countries, Collaborators
GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators.GBD 2015 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators
GBD Health Financing Collaborator Network
GBD Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration
GBD 2015 Maternal Mortality Collaborators

4.NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC)

     NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) is a network of health scientists around the world that provides rigorous and timely data on risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for 200 countries and territories. The group works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), through the WHO Collaborating Centre on NCD Surveillance and Epidemiology at Imperial College London. NCD-RisC pools high-quality population-based data using advanced statistical methods, designed specifically for analyzing NCD risk factors. The Collaboration currently has data from over 2,545 population-based surveys from 193 countries since 1957, with nearly 129 million participants whose risk factor levels have been measured. DDRI is an active member of this collaboration since 2016 and is a co-author in publications. NCD-RisC is coordinated by the WHO Collaborating Centre on NCD Surveillance and Epidemiology at Imperial College London, and by its Director, Professor Majid Ezzati. Core funding for the NCD-RisC database is provided by the Wellcome Trust. Work on children and adolescents is funded by a charitable grant from the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme

 5.Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival (CONCORD)

CONCORD is the global programme for world-wide surveillance of cancer survival, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The CONCORD programme is endorsed by 40 national and international agencies, including WHO EURO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the World Bank.
CONCORD-3 updates the world-wide surveillance of cancer survival to 2014. It includes 18 cancers and groups of cancer that collectively represent 75% of the global cancer burden.
DDRI joined the CONCORD-3 and co-authored the paper which was published by The Lancet on Tuesday 30 January 2018

6.International network for study of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: InterSCOPE Collaboration

Infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types has been linked to various cancers, including cancers of the head and neck. However, the role of HPV in the causation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is unclear. InterSCOPE collaboration was established by German cancer research center to study the of HP in ESCC etiology. Six study groups, from South Africa, Australia (, Central and Eastern Europe, Brazil, Iran, and China, agreed to participate and forward their serum samples from histopathologically confirmed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma case subjects as well as serum samples from one or two age- and sex-matched control subjects to the German Cancer Research Center within a prespecified time frame for serological analysis. A total of 1561 case subjects and 2502 control subjects had complete information on all predetermined study-specific confounders.
 There was no serological evidence of an association between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and HPV in the populations studied. HPV does not appear to be an important risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

7.The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

is a new resource for Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts: (CEDCD)
This is  a public, descriptive database of cancer epidemiology cohorts with the goal to facilitate collaborative research efforts among cancer epidemiology cohorts and highlight contributions to cancer research and public health. In this database that is publicly available and searchable. The CEDCD will contain only descriptive information; it will not contain any participant-level data, this database will be updated annually


8.The Stomach Cancer Pooling (StoP) Project

is a consortium of epidemiological studies of gastric cancer. The project started in July 2012, based on a core group of 10 studies. Several investigators joined the project during the last 5 years, and the consortium now counts over 30 studies from different world areas. The main aim of the StoP Project is to examine the role of several lifestyle and genetic determinants in the etiology of gastric cancer, through pooled analyses of individual-level data, after central collection and validation of the original datasets. DDRI is active member from beginning and have co-authored all publications

9.The Polaris Observatory Collaborators

Is developed and managed by the CDA Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the support of studies and projects that increase the knowledge of human diseases, forecast future trends, promote disease prevention, enhance access to treatment and vaccines, and provide healthcare education around the world. The goal of the Polaris Observatory is to provide data, tools, training and decision analytics to support elimination of hepatitis B and C globally by 2030. The activities of the observatory are overseen by an independent advisory board with representatives from global health organizations, academia, liver societies, civil societies and donors.
Polaris observatory provides the most up to date estimates for HCV, HBV and HDV disease burden and strategies that can achieve defined targets.
DDRI has been a collaborator from 2015 and co-author the most important published paper.
Dr .Homie Razavi, (Center for Disease Analysis Foundation) Lafayette, CO 80026, USA is one of the PI.

10.International IBD Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC)

In recent years the IIBDGC has focused on collecting very large datasets from a diverse set of countries via world-wide collaboration. In addition to enabling the discovery of all these genes, we also try to dig a little deeper into what these associations actually mean. Our latest paper takes this further than we ever have before, involving analysts from a dozen research groups and using the latest statistical techniques to look for patterns across the 163 regions.
The combination of all this information allowed us make new statements about IBD risk that no single locus can tell us: IBD is not just genetically similar to other diseases of immunity, but is particularly closely related to certain inflammatory disease such as psoriasis. IBD risk is not only related to changes in the immune system, it is related to a particular subset of immune cells and signals. Not only is IBD risk related to susceptibility to bacterial infection, it is remarkably strongly connected with susceptibility to the family of bacteria that includes leprosy and TB.
DDRI is the only country in Middle east and North Africa as an active member IIBDGC

11.CRUK Grand Challenge - Mutation signatures for 5 cancers across 5 continents

Mutograph collaborative study: Somatic mutations and mutational signatures in cancer
  This study which was funded by cancer research UK with the aim of this collaboration is to advance understanding of the causes of cancer through studies of mutational signatures. This will be done by exploring whether different mutational signatures in the DNA of cancers explain geographic differences in cancer incidence, by identifying the specific causes of mutational signatures, and by investigating whether mutational signatures in the DNA of normal cells can be used to monitor cancer-causing exposures in healthy people. Through understanding the causes of cancer, our work may lead to new approaches to prevent it and provide opportunities for more effective application of therapies.
We will focus on 5 cancers that have a clear or suspected link to common lifestyle risk factors for cancer including obesity, hypertension, diabetic history, alcohol consumption and meat consumption.  These include colorectal cancer, renal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell esophageal cancer.  For each of these cancers we will identify and recruit at least 1000 cases from multiple regions across the world that comprise areas of very high risk and low risk.  All cases will be recruited using an extended ICGC protocol that includes extensive background lifestyle information as well as clinical outcome.  Whole genome sequencing of both tumor and germline DNA will be undertaken on all cases, prior to extensive identification of underlying mutation signatures.   This will be supplemented by a focused epigenetic epidemiology study to assess the potential value of methylation patterns to inform cancer etiology.   Mutation signatures and methylation data will subsequently be used to link with suspected risk factor information across high and low risk regions, allowing for identification of the causes of these large international differences, as well as identifying causes at the individual level.   We will also benefit from extensive input on mutation signature profiles from project

12.Cambridge Interconnect collaborative nutritional Study of Diabetes mellitus

A systematic cross-validation of previously described exploratory patterns across different populations
Population: Include general population; no limits on age; exclude prevalent cases of type 2 diabetes
• Exposure: any dietary intake (amount/period and/or frequency of intake)
 Outcome: incidence of T2D: self-reported or objectively measured (information on diagnosis date would be ideal)

13.The Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC,

To organize a first forum with the goal of enabling leaders of large-scale longitudinal cohorts worldwide to share best practices, discuss data sharing, explore standards, discuss common challenges, and the potential for a larger collaborative sequencing strategy. The NIH, UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and Wellcome Trust have agreed to serve as sponsors, and we expect there may be sponsorship commitments from other HIROs leaders shortly. In contrast to just five years ago, discovering genes for disease is no longer the hard part. Future studies, including those of the IIBDGC, will have to focus not just on discovering new associations, but also on turning those associations into new biological understanding

National Scientific Collaborative Networks

1.Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases in Iran (Steps 2016)

2.H. Pylori Eradication clinical trial in Iran collaborators

3.HCV elimination network

4.HBV study networks

5.National Iran Cohort Consortium

6.National Iran Population Based Cancer Registry

List of the most important research achievements in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology:

1. Identifying main risk factors and etiologies of the onset and prevalence of cancers especially upper gastrointestinal cancers in northeastern Iran by conducting the Golestan case control and golestan Cohort studies.

2. Proving adequate evidence for  carcinogenesis of opium for the first time in the world.This issue is now at the riority list IARC monograph cmmittee.

3. Proving  adequate evidence for the hot tea consumption as an important  risk facotr for esophageal cancer and it rcognition for the first time as a carcinogen for esophageal cancer by IARC monograph commottee.

4. Establishing Golestan province population based cancer registry in 2014.

5. Establishing national  population based cancer registry in Iran for the first time which was accepted by IARC to be published in Globocan in 2018.

6. Establishment of  a Moderen Golestan cohort biobank .

7. Introducing a new  laboratory KIt for diagnosis of HCV in Iran.

8. Producing the cheap, available and extremely effective anti hepatitis C combination drug SOVODAK after a few years of research and offering it to the Iran’s pharmaceutical market.

9. Producing the important drugs named  Polypill (a combination of Aspirin, Antihypertensive drugs, and Lipid lowering agents) for prophylaxis of noncommunicable disease specially cardiovascular (CVD) Which is markted in Iran for secondary prevention of CVD and is now aviable in Pharmacies.

10. Establishing Persian Cohort study  in 21 provinces of  Iran based on experiance obtained from GCS.

11. Treatment of autoimmune hepatitis with oral Cyclosporin in adults.

12. Establishing  Autoinnune hepatitis registry .

13. Providing a simple and effective non-surgical therapeutic approach for Achalasia disease.

14. Designing and presenting diagnostic kits for breath test (UBT).

15. Study of celiac Disease in Iran for the first time and defining the prevalence and establishing   Celiac disease registry s in Iran.

16. Supporting production of the first diagnostic kits for Celiac disease in Iran.

17. Coducting 15 randomized controlled trials for defining the best regimen for H.pylori eradication in Iran .

18. Use of stem cells in treatment of hepatic cirrhosis for the first time with the cooperation of Hematology and Oncology Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Royan Institute

19. Establishing  Inflammatory Bowel Disease disease ( IBD) registry for chronic irritable bowel disease patients by conducting Cohort and genetic studies in Iran.

20.Supporting Iran’s pharmaceutical industry by conducting RCT studies for safty and efficay of generic and biosimilar  drugs produced locally compared to with similar brands

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