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Professor, Department of Medicine

Research Summary

Dr. Liddle has devoted most of his research career to two major areas of investigation: (1) the study of enteroendocrine cells and (2) pancreatic biology and pathobiology. He has had a long-standing interest in the regulation of hormone secretion, dating back to the development of assays for measuring cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion. These methods allowed him to determine the effects of nutrients on hormone release and establish the physiological actions of CCK throughout the body. This work evolved into studies on the cellular mechanisms of hormone secretion using neuorendocrine cell lines. His laboratory characterized new mouse models for studying secretion of CCK and PYY from enteroendocrine cells expressing green fluorescent protein. Dr. Liddle’s laboratory discovered that enteroendocrine cells have many neuronal-like features including basal processes known as “neuropods”. He conducted pioneering studies to characterize the structure and function of neuropods and how enteroendocrine cells communicate with the nervous system. This neural circuit is a point of communication between food and bacteria in the gut and the nervous system and has been referred to as the first step in the gut connectome. This newly recognized neural circuit opens the door for understanding how pathogens or toxicants can access the nervous system and its possible role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Regeneration and Repair

Collaborators:  Rawls, Bohorquez

  • Division of Gastroentereology