Meetings Keynote Address

Keynote Address

The Many Shocking Roles that 5-HT Plays in the Bowel
Sunday, June 10, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Michael D. Gershon, M.D.
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology
Columbia University, Vagelos College of P&S

Dr. Gershon’s first investigation, undertaken while a medical student, showed that 5-HT is a mediator of anaphylactic shock in mice.  During postdoctoral work with Edith Bülbring, he suggested that 5-HT is an enteric neurotransmitter.  As Chair of Anatomy & Cell Biology at Columbia, he maintained his focus on enteric 5-HT, showing its many roles as a multifunctional GI signaling molecule, participating in peristaltic reflexes, gastric accommodation, intestinal inflammation, enteric neurogenesis, neuronal survival and development.  He has also investigated the neural crest, enteric nervous system development and, with Anne Gershon, discovered that varicella zoster virus is an enteric pathogen causing enteric zoster (shingles). 

Dr. Gershon has been called the “father of Neurogastroenterology” for his extensive contributions to knowledge of the enteric nervous system and for his popular book, The Second Brain.  Dr. Gershon’s work has been recognized with awards from the American Physiological Society, Collège de France, American Association of Anatomists, American Gastroenterological Society, and Weill-Cornell.  He is a Fellow of The AAAS, AAA, and AGA and is recently finished a term as President of the Harvey Society.  


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