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Alumni Distinguished Professor of Large Animal Surgery and Gastroenterology Associate Director, Comparative Medicine Institute Assistant Department Head of Equine Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University

Research Summary

Dr. Blikslager is a veterinarian with a clinical emphasis on surgical gastroenterology in large animals, and a doctorate in gastrointestinal physiology, He has developed novel large animal models of intestinal diseases that afflict both people and animals. He is the director of the Large Animal Models Core for the CGIBD. His research has primarily focused on mechanisms of mucosal epithelial repair in the setting of ischemia/ reperfusion injury in pigs, and originally developed a fundamental model of ex vivo porcine mucosal repair. He has used knowledge of electrophysiology as well as anatomical cellular components of the mucosa to design models that answer basic questions about intestinal mucosal integrity. Much of this research has focused on the relative roles of epithelial restitution and re-assembly of tight junctions, with detailed analyses of the mechanistic roles of ion transporters, enteric nerves, and inflammatory cells in mucosal repair. He has also studied neural-epithelial interactions in the context of stress-induced gut dysfunction, but the interaction between glial cells in particular and injured epithelium is a recent area of study.

Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission:  Dr. Blikslager’s expertise in surgical gastroenterology in large animals has been of particular value to the CGIBD through the development of the Large Animal Models Core. The Core takes advantage of the expertise and facilities in the College of Veterinary Medicine to develop large animal models relevant to human diseases.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Regenerative Medicine/Repair
Collaborators:  Dellon, Garman, Gonzalez, Magness, van Landeghem, Zeigler