McMaster University

McMaster University

Waliul I Khan

, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath (UK)

Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Division: Clinical Pathology

Clinical Chemistry/Immunology, Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program
Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, Division of Gastroenterology

McMaster University
3N7 Health Sciences Centre
905-521-2100 ext. 22846

Currently accepting Graduate Students
Currently accepting Post-Doctoral Fellows

photo of Dr Khan

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

  • FRCPath: Fellow of Royal College of Pathologists, UK
  • PDF, McMaster University, Canada
  • PDF, University of Manchester, UK
  • PhD, Akita University, Japan
  • MBBS, Dhaka Medical College, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


Research Focus

Main Research Areas

Mucosal immunology, Intestinal inflammation, Immuno-endocrine interaction and Host defence in the context of intestinal infection/inflammation.

Specific Focus

Infection and inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is associated with activation of immune system and alteration in the intestinal physiology which includes changes in neuro-endocrine function, mucin production and motility. Using models of enteric infection and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) my research involves studies on interaction between immune and endocrine systems in relation to gut inflammation and host defense. I am investigating how the immune system controls endocrine system in gut particularly the function of enterochromaffin cells and serotonin production and the role of serotonin in immune activation, inflammation and host defense. I am also investigating the roles T cell subsets, cytokines, and chemokines in regulation of mucin producing intestinal goblet cells and intestinal muscle function in the context of GI infection/inflammation. In addition, my research also includes investigations on immunological strategies to modulate intestinal inflammation in experimental models of IBD.


Cell culture, immunohistochemistry, immuno-fluorescence, lymphocyte proliferation study, ELISA, multiplex immunoassay system, western blotting, flow-cytometry, laser capture micro-dissection, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and RT-PCR.

Academic Interests

Dr Khan is involved in the Medical Sciences Graduate Program and teaches the following topics:

  • Infection and Immunity
  • Course coordinator:
  • Graduate Course MS713: Integrated systems in gastrointestinal health and disease (1): Physiology and Pathophysiology of GI tract
  • Graduate Course MS769: Integrated systems in gastrointestinal health and disease (2): Immunology, Inflammation & Microbiology of GI tract

Dr. Khan is also involved in training post-graduate medical biochemistry residents and fellows and general pathology residents, thesis supervision within the Undergraduate Bachelor of Health Science Program and Life Science Program, and is a Faculty of Health Sciences MD/PhD Program faculty member.

Team Members

Technical Assistant: Huaqing Wang

Research Fellow: Emmanuel Denou

Graduate Students: Janice Kim, Sharif Shajib

Undergraduate Students: Adrian Bulfon, Yasmeen Mansoor

Administrative Assistant: Alyssa Abbott


Khan team members

Selected Publications

  • H. Wang, J. J Kim, E. Denou, A. Gallagher, D. J. Thornton, M. S. Shajib, L. Xia, J. D. Schertzer, R. K. Grencis, D. J. Philpott & W. I. Khan. New role of Nod proteins in regulation of intestinal goblet cell response in the context of innate host defense in an enteric parasite infection. Infect Immun. 2015;84(1):275-85.
  • J. J. Kim, H. Wang, J. D. Terc, B. Zambrowicz, Q. M. Yang & W. I. Khan. Blocking peripheral serotonin synthesis by Telotristat Etiprate (LX1032/LX1606) reduces severity of both chemical- and infection-induced intestinal inflammation. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015;309(6):G455-65. 
  • J. D Crane, R. Palanivel, E. P Mottillo, A.L Bujak, H. Wang, R. J Ford, A. Collins, R. M Blümer, M. D Fullerton, J. M Yabut, J. J Kim, J. E Ghia, S. M Hamza, K. M Morrison, J. D Schertzer, J. R Dyck, W. I Khan & G. R Steinberg (2014).  Inhibiting peripheral serotonin synthesis reduces obesity and metabolic dysfunction by promoting brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.  Nat Med. 2015;21(2):166-72. 
  • E. Denou, K. Lolmède, C. Chabo, T. Lau. M. Fullerton, G. Nigro, A. Zakaroff-Girard, E. Luche, M. Garret C, Serino, J. Amar, M. Courtney, J. Cavallari, B. Henriksbo, N. Barra, K. Foley, H. O’Neil, P. Sansonetti, W. I. Khan, M. Surette, A. Bouloumie, G. Steinberg, R. Burcelin & J. Schertzer. NOD2 peptidoglycan sensing protects against diet-induced insulin resistance. EMBO Mol Med. 2015;7(3):259-74.
  • K. L Flannigan, T. A Agbor R. W, Blackler, J. J Kim, W. I Khan, E. F Verdu, J. G Ferraz & J. L Wallace. Impaired hydrogen sulfide synthesis and IL-10 signaling underlie hyperhomocysteinemia-associated exacerbation of colitis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(37):13559-64.
  • J. J. Kim, B. W. Bridle, J. E. Ghia, H. Wang, S. N. Syed, M.M. Manocha, P. Rengasamy, M.S. Shajib, Y. Wan, P. B. Hedlund & W. I. Khan (2013). Targeted Inhibition of Serotonin Type 7 (5-HT7) Receptor Function Modulates Immune Responses and Reduces the Severity of Intestinal Inflammation.  J Immunol.190:4795-804.
  • M. S. Shajib, H. Wang, J. J. Kim, I. Sunjic, J. E. Ghia, E. Denou, M. Collins, J. A.  Denburg & W. I. Khan (2013).  Interleukin 13 and serotonin: linking the immune and endocrine systems in murine models of intestinal inflammation. PLoS ONE. 8:e72774.
  • M. Manocha, M. S. Shajib, M. M. Rahman, H. Wang, P. Rengasamy, M. Bogunovic, M. Jordana, L. Mayer & W. I. Khan (2013).  IL-13 mediated immunological control of enteroendocrine cell hyperplasia and serotonin production in gut.  Mucosal Immunol. 6:146-55.
  • J. McClemens, J. J. Kim, H. Wang, Y. K. Mao, M. Collins, W. Kunze, J. Bienenstock, P. Forsythe & W. I. Khan (2013).  Lactobacillus Rhamnosus (JB-1) Ingestion Promotes Innate Host Defense in an Enteric Parasitic Infection. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 20:818-26.
  • M. Manocha & W. I. Khan (2012). Serotonin and GI Disorders: An Update on Clinical and Experimental Studies. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2012;26;3:e13.doi: 10.1038/ctg.2012.8.
  • N. Li, J.E Ghia, H. Wang, J. McClemens, F. Cote Y. Suehiro, J. Mallet &W. I. Khan(2011). Serotonin activates dendritic cell function in the context of gut inflammation. Am J Pathol. 178:662-71
  • S. Husain, H. Wang, J. Ghia, N. Has, Y. Deng, R. K. Grencis, A. Velcich, DJ Thornton &W. I. Khan(2010). Muc2 Gene Deficiency in Mice Impairs Host Resistance to Enteric Parasitic Infection. Gastroenterology 138:1763-71
  • W. I. Khan& J. E. Ghia (2010). Gut hormones: emerging role in immune activation and inflammation. Clinical & Experimental Immunology 161:19-27
  • J. E. Ghia, Nan Li, H. Wang, M. Collins, Y. Deng, R. T. El-Sharkawy, F. Cote, J. Mallet & W. I. Khan(2009).
  • Y. Motomura, H. Wang, Y. Deng, R.T. El-Sharkawy, E.F. Verdu & W.I. Khan. (2009). Helminth antigen based strategy to ameliorate inflammation in experimental model of colitis. Clinical & Experimental Immunology 155: 88-95.
  • Y. Motomura, J. Ghia, H. Wang, H. Akiho, R. T. El-Sharkawy, M.Collins, Y.Wan, J. T. McLaughlin &W. I. Khan(2008). Enterochromaffin cell and 5-hydroxytryptamine responses to the same infectious agent differ in Th1 and Th2 dominant environments. Gut 57:475-81.
  • H. Wang, J. Steeds, Y. Motomura, Y. Deng, M. Verma-Gandhu, R. El-Sharkawy, J. McLaughlin, R. K. Grencis &W. I. Khan(2007). CD4+ T cell-mediated immunological control of enterochromaffin cell hyperplasia and 5-hydroxytryptamine production in enteric infection. Gut. 56: 949-57
  • W. I. Khan, Y. Motomura, H. Wang, R. T. El-Sharkawy, E. F. Verdu, M. Verma-Gandhu, B. J. Rollins & S. M. Collins (2006). Critical Role of MCP-1 in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Colitis in the Context of Immune and Enterochromaffin Cells. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 291:G803-11
  • W. I. Khan, Y. Motomura, P. A. Blennerhassett, A. K. Varghese, J. Gauldie & S. M. Collins (2005). CD40-CD40 ligand interaction plays a critical role in the development of intestinal muscle hypercontractility and host immunity during nematode infection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 288:G15-22
  • W. I. Khan, M. Richard, H. Akiho, P. A. Blennerhasset, N. Humphreys, R. K. Grencis, J. Van-Snick & S. M. Collins (2003). Modulation of intestinal muscle contractility by IL-9 or anti-IL-9: correlation with worm expulsion in nematode infections. Infection & Immunity 71: 2330-8
  • W. I. Khan, P. A. Blennerhasset, A. K. Varghese, S. K. Chowdhury & S. M. Collins (2002). Intestinal nematode infection ameliorates experimental colitis. Infection & Immunity 70:5931-7
  • W. I. Khan, P. Blennerhasset, Y. Deng, J. Gauldie & S. M. Collins (2001). IL-12 gene transfer in nematode infected mice induces Th1 immune response and attenuates physiological changes and delays worm expulsion. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 281: G102-10
  • W. I. Khan, B. A. Vallance, P. Blennerhasset, Y. Deng, K. I. Matthaei & S. M. Collins (2001). Critical role for signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6 in mediating intestinal muscle hypercontractility and worm expulsion in Trichinella spiralis-infected mice. Infection & Immunity 69: 838-44

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