Overview

  • Primary hepatic stellate cells were stained with anti-vinculin antibody for focal adhesions (green), and F-actin were labeled with Tritc-Phalloidin (red).

    Primary hepatic stellate cells were stained with anti-vinculin antibody for focal adhesions (green), and F-actin were labeled with Tritc-Phalloidin (red).

  • Confocal slices reveal the close apposition of sinusoidal endothelial cells (red) with hepatic stellate cells (green) in the Z-plane.

    Confocal slices reveal the close apposition of sinusoidal endothelial cells (red) with hepatic stellate cells (green) in the Z-plane.

  • Interstitial cells of Cajal. These cells interact with nerves and smooth muscle cells to pace smooth muscle and regulate gastrointestinal motility.

    Interstitial cells of Cajal. These cells interact with nerves and smooth muscle cells to pace smooth muscle and regulate gastrointestinal motility.

  • Engulfment of apoptotic bodies by LX-1 human stellate cells.

    Engulfment of apoptotic bodies by LX-1 human stellate cells. The plasma membrane of the cultured human hepatic stellate LX-1 cells was labeled with BODIPY FL-C5 ceramide (green fluorescence), following incubation with TAMRA-labeled apoptotic bodies (red fluorescence), and viewed by confocal microscopy. Extracellular apoptotic bodies (left panel) could readily be distinguished from intracellular apoptotic bodies (right panel).

  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

    Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows that Cryptosporidium parvumsporozoite attachment involves extensive cholangiocytemembrane ruffling, and culminates in parasite penetration into a tight-fitting vacuole formed by invagination of the plasma membrane similar to those found in naturally occurring infections in vivo.

  • Blocking of Frabininhibits invasion of cholangiocytesby actin reorganization through CDC42.

    Blocking of Frabininhibits invasion of cholangiocytesby actin reorganization through CDC42.

  • Mice bearing human pancreatic tumors

    Mice bearing human pancreatic tumors were treated with the vehicle control or Hedgehog inhibitor (Cyclopamine). Note that treatment with Cyclopamine decreases tumorigenesis (left panel) and increases apoptosis as shown by increase in CASPASE 3 activation (central panel) and number of apoptotic cells (right panel).

  • Mid-esophageal rings in a patient with eosinophilic esophagitits presenting with the solid food sticking with swallowing.

    Mid-esophageal rings in a patient with eosinophilic esophagitits presenting with the solid food sticking with swallowing.

The primary research goal of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (GIH) is to create scientific discoveries relevant to gastrointestinal and liver diseases and translate those discoveries into clinical practice. The division supports and maintains fundamental, laboratory-based research programs as well as clinical research programs focused on pathophysiology, epidemiology and the conduct of clinical trials. GIH supports robust career development opportunities for its investigators to ensure future success of its mission of providing the best care to every patient, every day.

In 2007, nearly half of the GIH division's $25 million in research funding came from the National Institutes of Health. Industry partners, nonprofit foundations and Mayo Clinic — as well as generous gifts from our benefactors, patients and families — all support the research mission. In 2007, the division initiated 55 new human clinical trials and published 427 articles, editorials and reviews.

Research topics include the study of treatments for liver and pancreas disease; investigation of new technologies used in the identification and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and other motility disorders; development of a new generation of endoscopes to perform incision-free procedures; and much more.

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