Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Kouki Touhara, PhD

Dr. Touhara [Robert A. Swanson Family Fellow] is focusing on enteroendocrine cells which are found in the wall of the gut and secrete hormones that regulate glucose levels, food intake and stomach emptying. Abnormal activity of these cells often causes common gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and carcinoid tumors. Dr. Touhara aims to elucidate interactions of the enteroendocrine cells with the enteric nervous system which controls gut motility and communicates with the brain. This research may lead to new drug targets and treatments for disorders of the gut.

Project title: "Investigating chemical signaling between gut enteroendocrine cells and intrinsic primary afferent neurons"
Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Named Award: Robert A. Swanson Family Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): David J. Julius, PhD
Cancer Type: Brain
Research Area: Endocrinology