Dr. Jan Huizinga

Division of Gastroenterology

Jan Huizinga


Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine

Research Interests

The goal of my research laboratory is to elucidate control mechanisms of the motility of gastrointestinal tract. The focus is the physiology of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) as pacemaker cells of the gut. We combine electrophysiological, molecular biological and morphological techniques.

Our research continues to be an exciting journey, discovering the role of ICC in peristalsis, from sensing the distention, to directing peristaltic contractions. We search for clues in whole animals, tissue, single cells and tissue from patients with motility disorders. We work together with gastroenterologists, pathologists and surgeons.

Selected Publications

  1. Huizinga JD. Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Interstitial Cell of Cajal: From Bench to Bedside II. Gastric motility: lessons from mutant mice on slow waves and innervation. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2001 281:G1129-34. Review.
  2. Malysz J, Donnelly G, Huizinga JD. Regulation of slow wave frequency by IP(3)-sensitive calcium release in the murine small intestine. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2001;280:G439-48.
  3. Huizinga JD, Berezin I, Sircar K, Hewlett B, Donnelly G, Bercik P, Ross C, Algoufi T, Fitzgerald P, Der T, Riddell RH, Collins SM, Jacobson K. Development of interstitial cells of Cajal in a full-term infant without an enteric nervous system. Gastroenterology. 2001;120:561-7.
  4. Robinson TL, Sircar K, Hewlett BR, Chorneyko K, Riddell RH, Huizinga JD (2000) Gastrointestinal stromal tumors may originate from a subset of CD34-positive interstitial cells of Cajal. Am J Pathol 156:1157-1163.
  5. Huizinga JD, Robinson TL, Thomsen L (2000) The search for the origin of rhythmicity in intestinal contraction; from tissue to single cells. Neurogastroenterol Motil 12:3-9. Review.
  6. Thomsen, L., Robinson, T.L., Lee, J.C., Farraway, L.A., Hughes, M.J., Andrews, D.W. & Huizinga, J.D. (1998) Interstitial cells of Cajal generate a rhythmic pacemaker current. Nature Med 4:848-851.