Duke Gastronauts

The mind-viscera connection has fascinated scientists for centuries, but its molecular underpinnings has remained largely unexplored. Tapping into this dialogue hopes to help solve common health challenges of modern society such as obesity, diabetes, anorexia, autism, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. This symposium is a gathering aimed at sparking a scientific debate about the future of gut-brain biology.

Friday September 9

7:30 a.m.
Registration and continental breakfast

8:15 a.m.
Diego V. Bohórquez, Duke University

8:30 a.m.
History of Neurogastroenterology
Michael Gershon, Columbia University

9 a.m.
Nutrient Sensing Neural Circuits
Monica Dus, University of Michigan

9:30 a.m.


10 a.m.
Bioengineering for the Peripheral Brain
Warren Grill, Duke University

10:30 a.m.
Gut-brain Organoids
Maxime Mahe, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

10:45 a.m.
Funding Gut-brain Biology
Panelists: Tyler Best, DARPA ElectRx; Michael Carr, GSK Biolelectronics; Robert Kokoska, U.S. Department of Defense; and Gene Civillico, NIH SPARC; Moderator: Xiling Shen, Duke University

12:00 p.m.

Lunch and poster session

1:30 p.m.
Gastrointestinal Neuroimmunology
Daniel Mucida, Rockefeller University

2:00 p.m.
Neurotransmitter Releasing Bacteria
Philip Strandwitz, Northeastern University

2:15 p.m.
Mindbending Microbes
Emeran Mayer, UCLA

2:45 p.m.


3:15 p.m.
Kevin J. Tracey, The Feinstein Institute

3:45 p.m.
Invitation to Gastronauts 2017
Nancy Zucker, Duke University

4:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception


  • Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • Duke School of Medicine
  • Duke Division of Gastroenterology
  • Duke Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Duke Division of Endocrinology
  • Center for the Genomics of Microbial Systems at Duke
  • Duke Department of Neurobiology