McMaster University

McMaster University

Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute

Farncombe Family Degestive Health Research Institute

Improving Health From The Inside Out

The Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute is an integrated group of clinical and basic scientists dedicated to understanding the impact of digestive health and nutrition on disease across the life span.
[Read more about the Farncombe Institute]

News and Announcement

High levels of circulating serotonin linked to obesity and metabolic diseases

Mice lacking Tph1 have increased metabolic rate and brown adipose tissue activity due to an inhibition of β–adrenergic signaling by serotoninThe bulk of the body's serotonin is found not in the brain but instead 95% of it circulates peripherally. In a new study coauthored by our own Dr. Waliul Khan, and published in Nature Medicine, high levels of serotonin in the gut have been found to reduce the metabolic activity of brown fat thus lowering the basal metabolic rate.They also found that a high-fat western diet triggered higher levels of circulating serotonin but that blocking the tryptophan hydroxylase (Tph1) enzyme that produces serotonin protected mice from high levels of obesity and fatty liver disease despite a high-fat diet. See coverage of this story on the CBC and the McMaster Daily News.


Dr. Stephen Collins Honoured to Give the Mayo Clinic's Charles F. Code Lecture

Biennially, the Mayo Clinic holds a commemorative lecture in honor of Dr. Charles F Code, a pioneer physiologist-clinician who died in 1997 at age 87. Dr. Collins has been nominated to give this prestigious lecture, which has in the past been given by Nobel laureate Sir James Black, to the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology at the Mayo Clinic's Grand Medical Rounds in Rochester NY on October 29th 2014. His talk is entitled "Bugs, the gut and the brain - Implications for Understanding Functional Intestinal Disorders", a video of which will be posted when available.

Dr. Jan Huizinga awarded the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Visiting Research Professorship for 2015

Dr. Jan Huizinga

In recognition of knowledge translation by the Farncombe Institute, the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology has awarding Dr. Jan Huizinga with the 2015 Visiting Research Professor Award. Dr. Huizinga researches gastrointestinal motility with work at the cellular and molecular level both in and ex vivo. The CAG Visiting Professorship is offered annually to a member who is a proven teacher and an outstanding researcher. The current 2014 holder is Dr. Paul Moayyedi also from the Farncombe Institute.

Farncombe Institute scientists put in spotlight of international science conference

Farncombe researchers at conferenceT

hey're talking guts and they've got the glory. Researchers of Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University are in the spotlight at a large international conference.

The institute and its six senior scientists will be featured during an afternoon-long symposium on Tuesday Oct. 7 of the Pan American Congress of Gastroenterology being held in Buenos Aires.

The conference for gastroenterologists of North, Central and South America is held only once every four years and it is considered a prestigious scientific congress, said Dr. Steve Collins, a gastroenterologist and director of the institute.

"This is a real coup, as it's very unusual for researchers from one institution to be given an entire symposium. This puts us among the very top in this discipline. This is a very well attended congress."

The opportunity to highlight the research of the Farncombe institute was arranged by former institute director and gastroenterologist Dr. Paul Moayyedi.

[Read complete story about conference]

To Note ...

Trainees awards

We're very proud to announce the many trainees who have received awards this year. Alberto Caminero and Giada DePalma were awarded CIHR/CAG postdocotral fellowships, Fiona Whelan was awarded two prestigious scholarships from CIHR and Cystic Fibrosis Canada and Justin McCarville was honoured by the Canadian Celiac Association. Read full details on trainee awards.

Alberto Fernandez receives an EBMO Fellowship

Congratulations to Alberto Caminero who was awarded a fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EBMO) to visit Dr. Elena Verdu's lab to work on the gluten metabolic activity of bacteria isolated from the human small intestine.

Dr. Stephen Collins has been appointed as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada

Congratulations to Stephen Collins on being elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. This was awarded in recognition for the work he has done in advancing GI research in improving our understanding of functional and inflammatory bowel disease. Well deserved Steve!

Dr. Waliul Khan awarded, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant

Congratulations Waliul Khan on being awarded the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant for 5 years. The award is for Dr. Khan's outstanding contribution to research on the regulation of goblet cell biology in enteric infection. Well done Wali!

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