Madhu Grover, MBBS, studies mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with a specific focus on the role of intestinal mucosal barrier function. Dr. Grover is particularly interested in studying the role of host and pathogen factors in the development of IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders following infectious gastroenteritis. Dr. Grover conducts research studies on patients with these disorders using a variety of complementary in vivo and ex vivo techniques.
Dr. Grover is also developing and conducting clinical trials of newer therapeutic options for patients with IBS, functional dyspepsia and gastroparesis.
- Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Gastrointestinal infections affect 1 in 6 Americans every year and can result in development of IBS, also known as postinfectious IBS (PI-IBS). Dr. Grover is interested in understanding how changes in the epithelial barrier function and gut microbiota play a role in development of IBS following infection with Campylobacter jejuni. The goal is to obtain mechanistic information on the pathophysiology of PI-IBS, lay the foundation for identifying at-risk individuals, and allow development of interventions aimed at decreasing the incidence of PI-IBS.
- Novel methodologies for measurement of intestinal permeability. An impaired intestinal permeability is implicated in the pathophysiology of celiac disease, environmental enteropathy, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and HIV. Current measurements of intestinal permeability rely on urinary excretion of naturally available, orally ingested, nonabsorbable sugars (for example, lactulose or mannitol). Dr. Grover is interested in developing novel molecules and methods of measuring in vivo intestinal permeability and ex vivo mucosal barrier function.
- Cellular changes in gastroparesis. Dr. Grover participates in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium. The focus of the project is to determine cellular and molecular changes in full-thickness gastric biopsy tissue obtained from patients with diabetic and idiopathic gastroparesis. Findings from this project have already led to identification of abnormalities in the enteric neuromuscular and immune apparatus, some of which correlate with delayed gastric emptying in these patients.
- Clinical trials. Dr. Grover conducts pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies of drugs to treat IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders and participates in multicenter clinical trials.
Significance to patient care
Around 15 percent of the U.S. population has IBS, and there is an unmet need to understand pathophysiology and explore effective treatment options for this condition. Dr. Grover's research program focuses on understanding the role of mucosal and microbial factors in the pathophysiology of IBS. In addition, Dr. Grover is discovering new ways to assess gastrointestinal physiological functions that will benefit patients with IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Finally, Dr. Grover regularly conducts clinical trials to help facilitate expansion of treatment options for IBS and other functional disorders of the gut.
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