The long-term goal of our parent research program is to document how the gastrointestinal (GI)
tract transduces luminal signals to the brain via peripheral nerves and how these nerves
modulate GI sensory function. The goal of this US-Japan BRPC administrative supplement is for
Dr. Diego Bohórquez (parent grant P.I) who is a neuroscientist at Duke University (Durham, NC,
USA) to visit Dr. Michael Huffman who is a primate behaviorist at the Primate Research Institute
of Kyoto University (Nagoya, Japan). The goal of the visit is to acquire advanced research skills
and start to conduct collaborative research to uncover the neural basis of self-medication. In
particular, and related to the goals of the R21AT010818 NIH-NCCIH parent grant “The efferent
synapse in enteroendocrine cells”, the visit will have two specific aims:
1. To learn the scientific methodology used to study self-medication in primates in the field
at the Primate Research Institute.
2. To identify potential medicinal plants and compounds to test back at Duke University.
Once characterized these compounds could be used to alleviated behavioral disorders
by targeting gut sensory function.
By learning how self-medicating behaviors are identified and studied in the wild, we will be able
to translate that work to our laboratory. Moreover, by identifying plants with medicinal values,
these compounds could be used to modulate gut sensory function in an effort to treat behavioral
disorders by modulating gut sensory function.