Photo of Arpana Gupta, PhD
Arpana Gupta, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress
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Address 10833 Le Conte Avenue Center for Health Sciences 42-210 MC:737818 Los Angeles CA 90095 Phone: (310) 206-0192Fax: (310) 825-1919

Dr. Arpana (Annie) Gupta completed a PhD degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, followed by an APA accredited clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical Center. After coming to UCLA she joined the neuroimaging and psychophysiological cores at the Center for Neurobiology of Stress in 2012. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor, where she specializes in research that investigates the influence of environmental factors on shaping neurobiological phenotypes associated with stress and pain-based diseases such as obesity and functional gastroenterological disorders (FGIDs) [vuvlodynia, irritable bowel syndrome]. Her programmatic line of research broadly defined focuses on the bidirectional interactions between the brain and peripheral factors (in particular immune factors and gut microbiota-related metabolites) and how these interactions are modified by vulnerability (early adversity, race, adult stress, socioeconomic status [SES], diet) and protective (resilience, exercise) factors in contributing to the underlying pathophysiology of these disorders. She is dedicated to using advanced automated and mathematical analytic techniques, which allows her to integrate information from multiple data sources, while accounting for sex and race differences. Her goal is to develop a comprehensive model that provides a powerful and sensitive biomarker that will increase biological readouts of these stress and pain-based disorders, thus bringing to the forefront those individuals who are at increased risk as a result of disadvantaged backgrounds.

Selected References

Gupta A, Mayer EA, Sanmiguel CP, Van Horn JD, Woodworth D, Ellingson BM, Fling C, Love A, Tillisch K, Labus JS. Patterns of Brain Structural Connectivity Differentiate Lean from Overweight Subjects. Neuroimage-Clinical, 2015. 13(7): 506-17. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2015.01.005 [Epub Ahead of Print]. PMCID: PMC4338207.

Mayer EA, Tillisch K, Gupta A. Gut-Brain Axis and the Microbiota. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2015; 125(3): 926-38. doi: 10.1172/JCI76304. [Epub ahead of Print]. PMID: 25689247.

Sanmiguel CP, Gupta A, Mayer EA. Gut Microbiome and Obesity: A Plausible Explanation for Obesity. Current Obesity Reports. 2015. In press.

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Lisa Kilpatrick, PhD
Assistant Researcher, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress
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Address 10833 Le Conte Avenue Center for Health Sciences 42-210 MC:737818 Los Angeles CA 90095 Phone: (310) 206-0547Fax: (310) 825-1919

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Emeran A. Mayer, MD, PhD
Director, UCLA Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress; Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
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Address 10833 Le Conte Avenue Center for Health Sciences 42-210 MC:737818 Los Angeles CA 90095 Phone: (310) 206-0192Patient Appointments: (310) 206-6279Fax: (310) 825-1919

Dr. Emeran Mayer is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 30 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease, and his work has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is currently principal investigator on 4 NIH grants including a center grant from ORWH/NIDDK on sex differences in brain gut interactions, a consortium grant by NIDDK on pelvic pain syndromes, a RO1 grant on the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on brain signatures in IBS and a ROI grant on brain gut microbiome interactions in inflammatory and functional GI disorders (both from NIDDK). He has published over 320 peer reviewed articles (average H index 90), including 100 chapters and reviews, co-edited four books, and organized several interdisciplinary symposia in the area of visceral pain and mind body interactions. His current research focus is on the role of the gut microbiota in brain gut interactions in emotion regulation, chronic visceral pain and in obesity.

Selected References:

Complete reference list: https://scholar.google.com/mayerea

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Joseph Pisegna, MD
Professor, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
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Address 200 UCLA Medical Plaza Los Angeles CA 90095 Phone: (310) 825-1597

Dr. Joseph Pisegna is Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Dr. Pisegna is interested in the molecular pharmacology of hormones and receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, especially the diagnosis and management of islet cell tumors of the pancreas, including the Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. These research and clinical interests derive from research in the biochemistry and physiology of neuroendocrine tumors. While a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Pisegna first developed a clinical interest in the Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES), where he discovered and cloned the receptor for gastrin and named it the cholecystokinin B receptor. More recently, Dr. Pisegna has demonstrated that receptors for gastrin are present in the kidney and mediate food-induced regulation of salt excretion. Dr. Pisegna was recruited to the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Center for Ulcer Research and Education (CURE) in 1996. He is a recipient of the VA Career Development Award at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. His addition to the faculty of the UCLA Center for Pancreatic Diseases provides unsurpassed expertise in the diagnosis and medical management of pancreatic endocrine tumors.

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Claudia Sanmiguel, MD
Program Director, Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program; Clinical Instructor of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA
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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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Jean Stains, RN
Nurse CoordinatorG Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
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Phone: (310) 206-1758Fax: (310) 825-1919

Jean has been with OCNSR for 20 years and has extensive experience in research, as well as many other areas of nursing. She has managed numerous human physiology studies for the Center. Her current focus is in brain imaging, looking for biomarkers in chronic pain syndromes such as IBS, extensive phenotyping of persons with chronic pain syndromes and studying the effects of behavioral therapies, such as MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction training) to improve quality of life in these individuals.

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