Research: As a physician-scientist I am interested in discovering the cells and molecules involved in normal gut motor and sensory function, and how they are disrupted in disease, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Current efforts in the lab are focused on a sensory pathway we call “gut touch,” because this sensory circuit is very similar to the skin touch circuit. We use a range of cutting-edge techniques in enteric neuroscience that range from examinations of single molecules to studies in animals and humans.
Our group is a part of the Mayo Clinic’s Enteric Neuroscience Program (ENSP), which has a long and distinguished history in the field, and is composed of several labs, so there are always many interesting collaborations and discussions.
Project(s): We have several projects ongoing that we will tailor to the students’ needs and interests. These include microscopy approaches, (immunofluorescence, super-resolution microscopy), in vitro studies looking at cell and tissue function by electrophysiology and calcium imaging, and in vivo studies that ask what the gut touch system’s role is in gut physiology.