• 3536 Citations

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Emerging evidence suggests that many cell types at barrier surfaces including the skin, lung, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract selectively express ion channels that serve as molecular sensors of chemical and physical stimuli. Activation of these ion channels under conditions of tissue damage and inflammation can initiate complex signaling pathways in both primary sensory neurons and numerous tissue resident cells and subsequently produce pain and itch sensations in the skin, coughing from the lung, and cramps in the GI tract. These sensory reflexes facilitate our detection of noxious environment and trigger rapid removal of harmful stimuli. I am interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying somatic and visceral hypersensitivity in the skin and gut. We use electrophysiological, pharmacological, optogenetic, and chemogenetic approaches in combination to molecular biology and behavioral methods to gain fundamental insights into the roles of membrane receptors and ion channels, especially transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and mechanosensitive Piezo channels expressed by epithelial cells, immune cells, and primary sensory neurons.

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Research Output

  • 3536 Citations
  • 95 Article
  • 4 Chapter
  • 3 Review article
  • 1 Comment/debate

Diversity of neurogenic smooth muscle electrical rhythmicity in mouse proximal colon

Spencer, N. J., Travis, L., Wiklendt, L., Hibberd, T. J., Costa, M., Dinning, P. & Hu, H., Feb 2020, In : American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 318, 2, p. G244-G253

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations

    Effects of optogenetic activation of the enteric nervous system on gastrointestinal motility in mouse small intestine

    Spencer, N. J., Travis, L., Hibberd, T., Kelly, N., Feng, J. & Hu, H., Dec 2020, In : Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. 229, 102733.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Enteric nervous system: sensory transduction, neural circuits and gastrointestinal motility

    Spencer, N. J. & Hu, H., Jun 1 2020, In : Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 17, 6, p. 338-351 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 9 Scopus citations

    Gating of human TRPV3 in a lipid bilayer

    Deng, Z., Maksaev, G., Rau, M., Xie, Z., Hu, H., Fitzpatrick, J. A. J. & Yuan, P., Jul 1 2020, In : Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. 27, 7, p. 635-644 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Synthesis and Characterization of a Specific Iodine-125-Labeled TRPC5 Radioligand

    Yu, Y., Liang, Q., Du, L., Jiang, H., Gu, J., Hu, H. & Tu, Z., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : ChemMedChem.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access