Charalabos Pothoulakis, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Pothoulakis is an Associate Director of CURE DDRCC and the co-director of the Animal Core of this Center. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of CURE since 2007. He is also Director of Research and of the IBD Research Center at the Division of Digestive Diseases at UCLA and he oversees research of the STAR fellows of our Division. He research is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which neuropeptides and hormones modulate intestinal inflammation. His laboratory discovered that the neuropeptides substance P, neurotensin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, and melanin-concentrating factor (MCH) are important mediators of intestinal inflammation. His research program involves studies examining the role of neuropeptides and hormones in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Clostridium difficile infection, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and colon cancer. His recent projects also involve the neuropeptide-dependent mechanisms by which communication between the intestinal mucosa and fat depots affect the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation, and the role of neuropeptide receptor – microRNA interactions in the development of colitis and colitis-associated cancer.He is an author of over 180 original articles and numerous reviews and book chapters and has been a member of several Editorial Boards, including Gastroenterology, American Journal of Physiology, and Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In 2015, he became an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.  He is currently the Vice-Chair of Hormones, Transmitters, Growth Factors and their Receptors Section of the AGA. In 2005 Dr. Pothoulakis received an honorary degree from Harvard University. He is also a recipient of the “Janssen Award in Basic Research in Gastrointestinal Motility” by the AGA for his discoveries and insights into the function of gastrointestinal neuropeptides. Dr. Pothoulakis’ research projects have been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Broad Foundation, The Martin Blinder Foundation for Crohn’s Disease, and the Knapp Foundation.