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2016 AGA – Rome Foundation Research Award Recipient


Principle Investigator: Izumi Kaji, PhD, RD

Assistant Project Scientist
University of California at Los Angeles

Dr. Kaji is a registered dietician and received her PhD in GI Physiology from the University of Shizuoka in Japan. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Hokkaido University. Her primary interests include chemosensing of short chain fatty acids and mucosal defense.

Title: Enteric neural FFA3 activation regulates colonic motility

Dr. Kaji and her team hypothesizes that microbial-derived luminal SCFA have an anti-diarrheal effect via activation of neurally-expressed FFA3. In order to understand how colonic motility is regulated by absorbed SCFA, histological and electrophysiological analyses will be carried out with rat tissue. First, FFA3-expressing myenteric neurons will be characterized to identify their contribution to the enteric neural circuit. Next, the effect of selective FFA3 agonists and antagonists on colonic motility will be studied in isolated muscle tissues. Finally, the effect of FFA3 ligands on intestinal hypersecretion will be examined in a rat model.

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