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Research Lab – Department of Clinical Sciences 

Comparative Gastroenterology Lab

Lab Contact:    919.513.7725

The Gastrointestinal Physiology Laboratory studies mechanisms responsible for maintenance and restoration of the intestinal barrier, with the ultimate objective of pharmacologically restoring the mucosal barrier in patients suffering from diseases associated with increased intestinal permeability. Restoring the intestinal barrier would be of particular significance in patients suffering from diseases such as intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury and gastric ulcer disease because of potential for severe medical complications such as sepsis that can occur with these diseases .

The laboratory collaborates extensively with the Leukocyte Biology Laboratory and the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease at UNC-Chapel Hill.

View Publications online at PubMed

Comparative Gastrointestinal Physiology Lab Members

Blikslager lab group pic

Ongoing Research

Development of a porcine model of esophageal injury and repair

NC State CVM Identification of stem, progenitor, and transit amplifying cells in porcine small intestine and colon.

“My research interests are in the development and characterization of a porcine model of esophageal injury and repair. We hope to elucidate underlying mechanisms and pathways in esophageal injury so we might better understand disorders such as Barrett’s Esophagus in humans, which is caused by continuous low-grade injury to the esophagus and can progress to more serious diseases such as esophageal adenocarcinoma.” – Leandi Kruger

“ I have two current research focuses. The first area of my research is the mechanisms underlying regulation of tight junctions in intestinal hypoxic injury and repair. Secondly, I am interested in examining the role of lubiprostone, a ClC-2 activator, in an experimental mouse model of colitis, and also hypoxic injury in an in vitro model utilizing a human colon cell line.” – Youngeeon Jin

The Role of ClC-2 in Intestinal Development and Repair

The central hypothesis for these studies is that the secretory protein ClC-2 recruits tight junction proteins to the apical lateral membrane, restoring intestinal barrier function.

NC State CVM The Role of ClC-2 in Intestinal Development and Repair


“I am broadly interested in immunology, the mechanisms that underlie infectious disease, and gastrointestinal physiology. I am currently working to develop a mouse model in which symptoms of human Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be replicated and examined collectively by comparing post-infectious and post-inflammatory models for their ability to induce two major problematic symptoms that IBS patients experience, intestinal motility dysfunction and visceral hypersensitivity. Once a model is selected, I’ll evaluate histopathological changes and investigate additional symptoms such as alterations in intestinal permeability and secretion. The ultimate goal of this project is to identify causal genetic links that contribute to the development of IBS using the Collaborative Cross genetic reference panel.” – Shante Bryant



The lab offers graduate training through the Comparative Biomedical Sciences program. CBS is a multidisciplinary graduate program with faculty who are employing state-of-the-art techniques to address a number of interesting scientific problems in the basic and applied biomedical sciences. The Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is offered through the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University and confers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. In addition, the laboratory participates in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research via the Mucosal Pathophysiology Core. We also collaborate with the Center for Biology and Gastrointestinal Disease, an NIH-funded Center linking GI researchers at UNC and NCSU.


Graduate Students


Ana Sheridan-Comparative Gastrointestinal Physiology Lab

Ana Sheridan
Junior in Biomedical and
Health Sciences Engineering