Leading digestive physiology expert in SBS receives prestigious international award

Professor John Furness, Head of the Digestive Physiology and Nutrition laboratory, Department of Anatomy, has been recognized by The Physiological Society for his outstanding contribution to digestive and autonomic nervous system research.

Disorders of the gut and poor gut health can lead to digestive and metabolic diseases including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Proper neural control of digestive processes is essential to health.

Professor Furness is a highly influential leader in this area of physiology. He is well renowned for his research which led to the modern day understanding of how the intrinsic nervous system of the digestive tract – the enteric nervous system – functions and controls the gut, the movements of the digestive system, the blood supply to the digestive organs and the movement of fluids between the interior of the digestive system and the rest of the body.

It is this work of Professor Furness that has achieved international recognition by The Physiological Society, the largest network of physiologists in Europe. Honorary membership is the highest honor of the Society and is awarded to those known as individuals of distinction in science who have contributed significantly to physiology and its advancement. It is a highly significant award for Professor Furness and tributes his work and contribution on a global scale.

As Professor Furness says, “science is a team sport and will advance best through team work”. Together with his research group, he is now targeting the manipulation of the nervous system of the gut to control disease, as part of a $7 million research grant from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the US. The laboratory is also studying the link between gut disorders and diabetes and how nerves control the immune system in the gut. To find out more please visit Furness Laboratory: Digestive physiology and nutrition.

Our warm congratulations to Professor Furness on receiving this highly coveted award.