Rodger Liddle is a gastroenterologist specializing in diseases of the pancreas and neuroendocrine tumors. He directs a basic research laboratory that studies two primary topics: (1) pancreatitis and (2) enteroendocrine cell biology. His laboratory has made fundamental observations on the role of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis. Recently, they unveiled the mechanism responsible for pressure-induced pancreatitis which underlies gallstone, trauma, and ERCP-induced pancreatitis.
Dr. Liddle has had a long-standing interest in the regulation of sensory cells of the gut known as enteroendocrine cells. Recently, his laboratory discovered that enteroendocrine cells have many neuronal-like features including basal processes known as “neuropods” which connect to nerves. This newly discovered 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. Current studies are examining this connection in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: Dr. Liddle’s work is addressing fundamental mechanisms of pancreatitis and neurodegenerative diseases that involve the gut. Investigations utilize a combination of molecular, biochemical, cell biological, and in vivo animal models that are relevant to human diseases. Dr. Liddle has served as chief of the Gastroenterology Division at Duke and is co-principal investigator of Duke’s T32 grant for training in digestive diseases and nutrition.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Basic/Translational Research
Collaborators: Rawls, Roper, Bohorquez, Garman