Health Desk-- 27 March, 2017: Bangladesh-born leading biomedical scientist Dr. Waliul Islam Khan is currently working in Canada.
His recent studies have revealed a new role of serotonin in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In a seminal study utilizing experimental models, he demonstrated a critical role of gut-derived serotonin in the modulation of immune responses and generation of intestinal inflammation.
Serotonin acts as a hormone/ neurotransmitter in our body and is well-known for its role in diverse functions in the brain such as mood, behavior, and anxiety.
However, what is often underappreciated is that the vast majority of serotonin in the body is found in the gut, not in the brain. The gut contains about 95% of the body's serotonin and is produced mainly in hormone producing cells in the gut.
A major area of Dr. Khan’s current research program is to understand what role gut-derived serotonin has in the pathogenesis of various diseases.
Recently, in a groundbreaking study, his research team has discovered a new role of serotonin in obesity and diabetes. They found that blocking the production of gut serotonin by a pharmacological agent or gene targeting reduced the development of obesity caused by high-fat diet and related metabolic disease including fatty liver disease and insulin resistance.
These new discoveries may ultimately lead to the development of new strategies in the treatment of IBD and obesity.
These novel research findings were published in very high-quality international journals which include Nature Medicine, Gastroenterology, Gut, Journal of Immunology and American Journal of Pathology.
Dr. Khan received his MBBS degree from Dhaka Medical College, Ph.D. degree from Japan and Post-doctoral fellowships from UK and Canada.
He is a Fellow of Royal College of Pathologists, UK. He is currently working as a Professor at the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada and also as a Clinical Immunologist at Hamilton Health Sciences (comprises four hospitals) and St. Joseph Health Care, Hamilton, Canada.
Besides Wellcome Trust (UK) International Fellowship, Japanese Society of Promotion of Science Award and Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award, this prominent physician received several prestigious academic awards.