Michael Camilleri, M.D., is interested in understanding the reasons why patients develop disorders of gastrointestinal motility and function and how best to diagnose and treat them with approved medications and untested remedies. He is also interested in understanding the factors that determine people's appetite, since he believes this is one of the key factors to the control of obesity.
Through diverse methods (many of them developed in his lab at Mayo Clinic), he studies gastrointestinal diseases that arise within the gut itself, as well as diseases in which the gastrointestinal tract is secondarily affected by diseases such as diabetes mellitus, scleroderma and neurological diseases. This investigation involves diverse methods, from genetics to the nerves, muscles, lining and content of the gastrointestinal tract.
Dr. Camilleri holds several R01 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was a recipient for 10 years of a K24 (mentorship, mid-career award) from NIH, and serves as a mentor for junior staff and medical trainees in the field of clinical enteric neuroscience research. Research trainees in his lab participate in Mayo Graduate School programs, particularly the master's degree in clinical research.
- Diabetic gastroparesis. Dr. Camilleri is working to develop new approaches to diagnose (e.g., using breath tests) and treat (e.g., using ghrelin agonists and 5-HT4 agonists) this disease.
- Obesity. Dr. Camilleri is interested in understanding the role of genes inherited from our biological parents on appetite and the sensation of fullness in normal, overweight and obese people.
- Irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. These conditions account for 25 percent of all patients presenting to gastroenterologists. Dr. Camilleri conducts research on what causes and how best to treat these common conditions.
- Bile acid diarrhea. This accounts for up to one-third of patients with otherwise unexplained diarrhea. Dr. Camilleri's lab is studying the genetic factors that lead to the delivery of excess bile to the colon to cause diarrhea.
- Pharmacogenetics and novel pharmacotherapeutics. A major focus of Dr. Camilleri's lab is the development and testing of new medications for all the conditions of interest and, particularly, the understanding of how to individualize therapy based on genetic differences among people.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Camilleri's research is improving and will continue to improve patient care through:
- Novel and often noninvasive diagnostic tools replacing invasive and less accurate or less specific diagnostic tests
- Demonstration of proof of efficacy of new medications for the treatment of gastrointestinal motility and functional disorders
- Role in multicenter clinical trials leading to approval and marketing of new medications for these disorders
- Identification of beneficial or deleterious effects of dietary factors (e.g., gluten) in patients with these disorders
- Outstanding Investigator Award, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 1996
- Associate Editor, Gastroenterology, 1996-2001
- Chair, Institutional Review Board, Mayo Clinic, 1997-1999
- Atherton and Winifred W. Bean Named Professorship, Mayo Clinic, 2001
- Co-Editor, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 2001-2006
- Outstanding Mentor Award, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2002
- Founding Editor, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2002-2007
- Chair, Medical Industry Relations Committee, Mayo Clinic, 2003-2007
- Chair, Conflict of Interest Review Board, Mayo Clinic, 2003-2008
- Research Career Achievement Award, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2007
- Distinguished Investigator Award, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., 2007
- Councilor-at-Large, American Gastroenterological Association, 2007-2010
- Editor, AGA Perspectives, 2007-2010
- Chair, Publications Committee, American Gastroenterological Association, 2008-2010
- Director's Recognition Award, CTSA Education Resources, Mayo Clinic, 2008
- President, American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, 2008-2010
- Executive Dean, Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, 2009-present
- Distinguished Mentor Award, American Gastroenterological Association, 2012
- Ismar Boas Medal, German Society for Gastroenterology and Metabolic Medicine, 2012