Preclinical human IBD mechanisms is part of five focus areas of the Challenges in IBD research document, which also include environmental triggers, novel technologies, precision medicine and pragmatic clinical research. The Challenges in IBD research document provides a comprehensive overview of current gaps in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) research and delivers actionable approaches to address them. It is the result of a multidisciplinary input from scientists, clinicians, patients, and funders, and represents a valuable resource for patient centric research prioritization. In particular, the preclinical human IBD mechanisms manuscript is focused on highlighting the main research gaps in the pathophysiological understanding of human IBD. These research gap areas include: 1) triggers of immune responses; 2) intestinal epithelial homeostasis and wound repair; 3) age-specific pathophysiology; 4) disease complications; 5) heterogeneous response to treatments; and 6) determination of disease location. As an approach to address these research gaps, the prioritization of reverse translation studies is proposed in which clinical observations are the foundation for experimental IBD research in the lab, and for the identification of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers. The use of human samples in validating basic research findings and development of precision medicine solutions is also proposed. This prioritization aims to put emphasis on relevant biochemical pathways and humanized in vitro and in vivo models that extrapolate meaningfully to human IBD, to eventually yield first-in-class and effective therapies.