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Identification of Novel Drug Targets for the Modulation of Gastrointestinal Motility (Cosponsored by AJP - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology)

Symposium — Monday, April 23, 2018 — 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM — Convention Center, Room 23
GI and Liver Physiology Section — Chair: Karen Uray — Co-Chair: Brian Perrino

Objective: The objective of the symposium is to explore research in the gastrointestinal motility field with the goal of identifying new drug targets for the modulation of gut motility.  The organizers, Karen Uray and Brian Perrino, have long-standing interests and expertise in various aspects of the regulation of GI motility.  Speakers have been selected to address a range of topics in gastrointestinal motility including inflammation and changes in gut circuitry, neuroimmune modulation of gut motility, the role of proteins involved in calcium sensitization including Rho kinase, PKC, and CPI-17 in smooth muscle motility, and the mechanisms of inflammation-related motility changes. The symposium is expected to cover basic physiology, cell biology and signal transduction, and touch on the role of enteric nervous system, central nervous system, and GI smooth muscle in gut motility.  Thus, the topic should appeal to a wide range of participants. Significance: Gastrointestinal motility disorders are prevalent in a number of different diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and also in surgical, trauma, and critically ill patients.  In addition to the often severe impact on patients’ quality of life, impaired gut motility causes increased complications including infectious complications and compromised nutrition.  Despite the vast number of people affected by compromised GI motility, and the impact of GI motility disorders on patient quality of life and outcomes, there is a surprising dearth of effective prokinetics.  For instance, a 2008 Cochrane review focused on pharmacologic treatment of postoperative ileus concluded that there is lack of evidence or absence of effect to support the use of any existing prokinetics for the treatment of ileus.  Thus, there is a need for new and innovative research to identify novel targets for the treatment GI motility disorders.  This area of research is the focus of the proposed symposium. Planned Speakers: The session will consist of four 20 minute presentations with 3-4 minutes for questions after each presentation. 


  • Inflammation-induced neuroplasticity in the gut.
    Gary Mawe — Neurological Sciences, University of Vermont

  • Immune modulation of GI motility.
    Terez Shea-Donohue — Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Medicine, University of Maryland

  • Microbial modulation of the gut innervation.
    Alan Lomax — Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University

  • Ca[sub]2+[/sub] sensitization mechanisms and gastric motility.
    Brian Perrino — Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

    Karen Uray —


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