The research interests of Simon J. Gibbons, Ph.D., are related to understanding the basic cellular mechanisms for normal and abnormal gastrointestinal motility. The goal of this research is to understand the basis for disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastric emptying problems and chronic constipation.
Dr. Gibbons is a member of the Enteric Neuroscience Program and Center for Cellular Signaling in Gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic and collaborates with Dr. Roberto De Giorgio and Dr. Elena Bonora from the University of Bologna, Italy; Dr. Greg O'Grady, Dr. Leo Cheng and Dr. Peng Du from the University of Auckland, New Zealand; Dr. Jacqueline Nelisis Zanoni from the Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Brazil; and Professor Sha Lei from the China Medical University, Shenyang, P.R. China.
- Maintenance and fate of cells within the gastrointestinal tract in healthy aging and disease, with a particular interest in the role of the gastrointestinal pacemaker cells, the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), in diabetic gastroenteropathy.
- Basic mechanisms by which Na+, Cl- and Ca2+ ion fluxes regulate cellular excitability and contractility. This includes studies on anoctamin-1 (Ano1): a multifunctional Ca2+ activated Cl- channel.
- Cellular mechanisms for and treatment of diabetic gastroparesis. This research is directed at understanding the role of macrophages and the molecules that they generate, notably carbon monoxide, in the progression and treatment of diabetic gastroparesis.
- Development of novel cellular imaging techniques and analyses for studying ionic homeostasis in living cells and the morphology of those cells in fixed tissues.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Gibbons' research is to uncover the basic mechanisms for normal function of the gastrointestinal tract and to inform the work of others in translational and clinical research who wish to understand the basis for gastrointestinal motility disorders.
- Editorial board member, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 2012-present
- Editorial board member, Autonomic Neuroscience — Basic and Clinical, 2010-present
- Organizer and co-chair, 11th International Little Brain, Big Brain meeting, 2008
- Research committee member, American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, 2009-present