The research interests of Xiao Jing (Iris) Wang, M.D., are in disorders of the gut-brain axis (DGBA), previously known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. These are diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation and functional dyspepsia. Dr. Wang aims to use her background in studying motility and function of the GI tract to validate and develop new medical, as well as complementary or alternative, techniques to help alleviate symptoms for patients with DGBA.
Dr. Wang also has a research interest in medical education and graduate medical training (residency and fellowship) with a specific interest in pregnancy and parenthood during training.
Dr. Wang's current active projects include the following:
- Impact of acupuncture on colonic transit in constipation. Acupuncture has been shown to provide symptomatic improvement for patients with IBS. Dr. Wang aims to study the impact of constipation on the physiology of the colon to understand why it has a role in IBS.
- Impact of parenthood during fellowship training. Dr. Wang is involved in a prospective cohort study evaluating differences in productivity between fellows who have children and those who do not. The aim of this study is to identify ways to improve trainee support during this critical life stage.
- COVID-19 and IBS symptoms. This is a cross-sectional study evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Olmsted County residents with IBS.
Significance to patient care
Research conducted by Dr. Wang aims to understand how environment and patient perspectives influence the symptoms of DGBA. She also seeks to evaluate complementary therapies for the treatment of these disorders with the hope of bringing patients effective therapies with minimal side effects.