mayerProfessor of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry; Division of Digestive Diseases; Director, Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, Co-Director, Digestive Disease Research Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Tools and Techniques: Structural and functional brain imaging



Interests: Brain gut axis, gut microbiome, interoception, visceral pain, stress neurobiology, ingestive behavior/obesity, systems biology, neurobiology of resilience

Personal Statement:
I am a gastroenterologist and neuroscientist interested in mind brain body interactions, with particular emphasis on bidirectional brain gut microbiome interactions in health and disease. The Oppenheimer Center (, which I am directing, has developed several programs which are focused on different aspects of these interactions: The Mind Body Research Program, the Enteric Neuroscience Program, the Ingestive Behavior & Obesity Research Program, the Chronic Pain Program and the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program. Within the Enteric Neuroscience Program, I am pursuing research into the interactions of peripheral signaling molecules (generated by immune cells, enterochromaffin cells, and gut microbes) with the brain in shaping distinct brain signatures, thereby affecting background emotions, pain sensitivity and behavior.

My interests in Evolutionary Medicine are related to the evolutionary aspects of interkingdom signaling (quorum signaling), of the enteric nervous system and of the gut microbiome to brain signaling.