dr Emeran A. mayer

Emeran A Mayer, MD

Gastroenterologist, Neuroscientist, Distinguished Research Professor
Department of Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine


"The Gut–Brain Axis and the Microbiome: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications"
Based largely on results from preclinical studies, the concept of a brain gut microbiome axis has been established, mediating bidirectional communication between the gut, its microbiome and the nervous system.

Limited data obtained in humans suggests that alterations in these interactions may play a role in several brain gut disorders.

Methods: We reviewed the preclinical and clinical literature related to the topic of brain gut microbiome interactions.

Results: Well characterized bidirectional communication channels, involving neural, endocrine and inflammatory mechanisms exist between the gut and the brain.

Communication through these channels may be modulated by variations in the permeability of the intestinal wall and the blood brain barrier.

Brain gut microbiome interactions are programmed during the first 3 years of life, including the prenatal period, but can be modulated by diet, medications and stress throughout life.

Based on correlational studies, alterations in these interactions have been implicated in the regulation of food intake, obesity and in irritable bowel syndrome, even though causality remains to be established.

Conclusions: Targets within the brain gut microbiome axis have the potential to become targets for novel drug development for brain gut disorders.


Emeran A. Mayer is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA.

He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 35 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease and has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association, the 2016 David McLean award from the American Psychosomatic Society, and the 2017 Ismar Boas medal from the German Society for Gastroenterology and Metabolic Disease.

As one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the role of brain gut interactions in health and chronic disease, in particular in IBS, his scientific contributions to basic and translational enteric neurobiology with wide-ranging applications in clinical GI diseases and disorders is unparalleled.

He has published close to 400 scientific papers, co edited 3 books, published the best selling The Mind Gut Connection book in 2016 and the Gut Immune Connection book in June 2021. 

His most recent work has focused on alterations in the bidirectional communications within the brain gut microbiome system and their role in chronic inflammatory and functional diseases of the gut, obesity, and cognitive decline.
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