Photo of Claudia Sanmiguel, MD
Claudia Sanmiguel, MD
Program Director, Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program; Clinical Instructor of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA

Address CHS 42-210 MC737818 10833 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles CA 90095 Phone: (310) 206-0192

Dr. Sanmiguel was born into a loving and hard working family in Bogota, Colombia. Her parents and two sisters taught her the value of working hard for what you want to achieve in life, to respect each person for his/her own merits and to cherish each moment that you spend with your loved ones. For her, it has been a long and exciting journey from her first day at school in all girls school in Bogota, to her current position as Assistant Professor at one of the best schools of Medicine in the United States. Dr Sanmiguel is the Director of the Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program at the CNSR . The UCLA Digestive Diseases Division and the CNSR provided her with the opportunity to clinically practice medicine, as well as lead an obesity-research team in a cutting-edge environment looking for answers into the effects of gut-brain axis on eating behaviors and body weight control. “We want to understand the mechanisms behind how the human brain interprets hunger and fullness signals and helps us to make food choices. We believe that if we understand how the gut-brain axis works in regulating eating behaviors and body weight, we can come up with innovative therapies for obesity and other eating disorders.”

Claudia graduated at the top her class at one of the most prestigious Medical Schools in Colombia and went on specializing in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. Her potential attracted a world class laboratory on gastrointestinal motor function research, and took her from her beloved nation and family to far off Canada to participate in a multidisciplinary team aiming for the development of diagnostic tools and therapeutic devices using electrical stimulation of gut. “ I am grateful for the extraordinary support and guidance from my mentors at the University of Alberta. They show me the importance of having an open mind, to be innovative, to appreciate multidisciplinary work and to learn from failures to come up with different approaches to solve problems.”

She went back to Colombia to a prestigious academic position at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana School of Medicine where she participated in patient care as well as in the training of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students. However, she “felt the itch to go back to the research environment and to be part of a team looking for answers to everyday medical problems”. She returned to Canada and then moved to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, where Dr. Sanmiguel was part of a team investigating gut-brain signaling and its implications for the treatment of obesity and motility disorders. This line of research brought her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles along with her mentor, Dr Edy Soffer. Their work resulted in innovative therapies that are the basis for current devices being used to treat obesity and acid reflux in humans. She moved on to complete her medical training in the US, in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and in Gastroenterology at the University of California Los Angeles, where the groundbreaking work of Emeran Mayer, MD, head of UCLA’s Center for the Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, had always intrigued Dr. Sanmiguel. “I believe Dr Mayer is a visionary and his work has paved the road for novel approaches to understanding the role of the brain as a crucial, but frequently forgotten, component in many disease processes. I feel very fortunate to get to work with him and his team.”

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Categories: Brain Gut Microbiome Program, Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program, Members, Staff
Updated 11 months ago.Return to top.

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