Division of Gastroenterology

Premysl Bercik


Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine

Research Areas

  • Functional gastrointestinal diseases
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Visceral sensitivity
  • Gut-brain axis


  • The role of low-grade inflammation in the pathophysiology of gut dysfunction
  • The effect of gut inflammation on CNS function and gut-brain axis
  • The role of microbiota in functional GI diseases
  • Development of new techniques to study gastrointestinal motility, including videofluoroscopy image analysis and magnet-tracking
  • The role of antro-pyloro-duodenal coordination in gastroparesis


  • McMaster University Department of Medicine Internal Career Award 2008-2011
  • Evaluation of effects of probiotics on gut and brain. Nestle Research Institute 2008-2009 (co-investigator, PI: SM Collins)
  • Effect of probiotics on anxiety and depression in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS. Nestle Research Institute 2008-2009 (Principal Investigator)
  • Hamilton Health Sciences Young Investigator Research Award 2005

Selected Publications

  1. Verdu EF, Bercik P, Huang XX, Lu J, Al-Mutawaly N, Sakai H, Tompkins TA, Croitoru K, Tsuchida E, Perdue M and Collins SM. The role of luminal factors in the recovery of gastric function and behavioral changes after chronic Helicobacter pylori infection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol (published on-line July 2008, *The first and second authors contributed equally to this publication.
  2. Verma-Gandhu M, Verdu EF, Bercik P, Blennerhassett PA, Al-Mutawaly N, Ghia JE, Collins SM. Visceral pain perception is determined by the duration of colitis and associated neuropeptide expression in the mouse. Gut 2007; 56: 358-64.
  3. Mauro M, Radovic V, Wolfe M, Kamath M, Bercik P, Armstrong D. 13C urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori: Evaluation of 10-minute breath collection. Can J Gastroenterol. 2006; 20: 775-8.
  4. Mauro M, Radovic V, Zhou P, Wolfe M, Kamath M, Bercik P, Croitoru K, Armstrong D. 13C urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori: Determination of the optimal cut-off point in a Canadian community population. Can J Gastroenterol. 2006; 20: 770-4.
  5. Varghese AK, Verdú EF, Bercik P, Khan WI, Blennerhassett PA, Szechtman H, Collins SM. Antidepressants attenuate increased susceptibility to colitis in a murine model of depression. Gastroenterology 2006; 130:1743-53.
  6. Verma-Gandhu M, Bercik P, Motomura Y, Verdu EF, Khan WI, Blennerhassett PA, Wang L, El-Sharkawy RT, Collins SM. CD4+ T-cell modulation of visceral nociception in mice. Gastroenterology 2006; 130:1721-8.
  7. Verdu EF, Bercik P, Verma-Gandhu M, Huang XX, Blennerhassett P, Jackson W, Mao Y, Wang L, Rochat F, Collins SM. Specific probiotic therapy attenuates antibiotic induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice. Gut 2006; 55: 182-90.
  8. Bercik P, Schlageter V, Mauro M, Rawlinson J, Kucera P, Armstrong D. Non-invasive verification of nasogastric tube placement using a magnet tracking system: A pilot study in healthy subjects. JPEN 2005; 29: 305-10.
  9. Wang XY, Lammers WJ, Bercik P, Huizinga JD. Lack of pyloric interstitial cells of Cajal explains distinct peristaltic motor patterns in stomach and small intestine. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2005; 289: G539-49.
  10. Bercik P, Verdu EF, Collins SM. Is irritable bowel syndrome a low-grade inflammatory bowel disease? Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2005; 34: 235-45.
  11. Vallance BA, Gunawan MI, Hewlett B, Bercik P, Van Kampen C, Galeazzi F, Sime PJ, Gauldie J, Collins SM. TGF-ß 1 gene transfer to the mouse colon leads to intestinal fibrosis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2005; 289: G116-28.
  12. Verdú EF, Bercik P, Blennerhasset P, Huang XX, Bergonzelli G, Rochat F, Corthésy-Theulaz I and Collins SM. Lactobacillus paracasei normalizes muscle hyper-contractility in a murine model of post-infective gut dysfunction. Gastroenterology 2004; 127: 826-37.
  13. Bercik P, Wang L, Verdú EF, Mao YK, Blennerhassett P, Khan WI, Kean I, Tougas G, Collins SM. Visceral hyperalgesia and intestinal dysmotility in a mouse model of post-infective gut dysfunction. Gastroenterology 2004; 127: 179-87.