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Enteric inter-Systemic Disorders (ESD) affect a large component of the American population, with a wide spectrum of phenotypic manifestations, including associations of gastrointestinal issues with anxiety, diabetes with mental illness, and obesity with drug addiction. ESD afflict a significant number of children, relatives and friends. However, we lack a clear understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms, as well as the comorbid nature of ESD. Many of these mechanisms appear to arise from complex interactions between genes and the environment that alter the gut brain-axis, as well as the brain’s control of reward-driven, motivational and cognitive behaviors. Moreover, emerging evidence is also associating ESD with either surgical procedures altering central reward pathways (e.g. bariatric and colorectal surgery) or to pain management of these procedures.

Founded in 2020 within the Department of Surgery at UAB, the Center for Inter-Systemic Networks and Enteric Medical Advances (UAB CINEMA) seeks to discover new therapeutic targets for ESD through research, education and pharmacological advancements.

UAB CINEMA will provide training for all levels of students, postdocs and physician-scientists during their fellowship. Furthermore, it will encourage and facilitate research on enteric research and the central manifestations associated with ESD, including mental illness (i.e. addiction), disruptions in feeding behavior and obesity. The faculty supporting CINEMA will be comprised of a group of investigators with a common goal of understanding the cellular mechanisms and circuitries involved in ESD, and how disruption of the gut-brain-axis underlies ESD.

Contact Us

Jayleen Grams, MD, PhD

Aurelio Galli, PhD

University of Alabama at Birmingham
1032 Tinsley Harrison Tower
1900 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35233

(205) 934-1353