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Professor Qasim Aziz, PhD; FRCP


Professor of Neurogastroenterology Director Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology Deputy Lead Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma

Centre: Neuroscience and Trauma



Professor Aziz after completing his undergraduate medical training in his native Pakistan he came to the UK in 1988 for higher medical training. After completing core medical training in Manchester, he started his research career at the University of Manchester as a Digestive Disorders Foundation (currently CORE) clinical research fellow and obtained his PhD in 1996. He held posts of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, and is now Professor of Neurogastroenterology and Director of The Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London.

Contact Information

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

26 Ashfield Street 

London E1 2AJ

TEL: +44 (0)20 7882 2630



Secretary: Sam Pimm

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2655;



Professor Aziz has obtained national and international awards for his research the two most important being the British Society of Gastroenterology Research Gold Medal and the American Gastroenterology Association, Janssen Award for Basic and Clinical Research. He has published numerous original articles in reputed medical journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Lancet and Gastroenterology. He has held the position of Chairman, Neurogastroenterology and Motility Section of the British Society of Gastroenterology, executive committee member of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and member of the United European Gastroenterology Federation Education Committee. He is currently co-lead for World Health Organisations ICD-11 coding for visceral pain and Chair of the Abdominal and Pelvic Pain Special Interest Group of the International Society for the Study of Pain. He has been a member of Rome III and Rome IV Committees for criteria for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. He is also a member of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons of UK and Ireland.


Professor Aziz is involved with undergraduate, post graduate teaching at a national and international level


  • Regularly an invited speaker at national and international meeting such as The British Society of Gastroenterology; American Gastroenterology Association and United European Gastroenterology. Currently lead for organizing the World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain 2019



Co-lead for neurogastroenterology module of Gastroenterology MSc

Lecturer on Neuroscience MSc

Project Supervisor for BSc

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Problem Based Learning Modules; OSCE exams 3rd & 5years
  • Research experience for 2-4 med. Students/year: leading to published papers in e.g Nature Reviews'14 & Eur J Gastro'15; J Clin. Gastro'17
  • Special Study Component: 5 /year & mark reports. Students have authored papers-Pain'14; Gut'15

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Co-lead-neurogastroenterology section of Gastroenterology MSc. Develops curriculum, set/mark exams, online teaching & supervise research projects.
  • Supervisor PhD students
  • Taught on courses for trainees
  • Supervise: internal & external clinical research fellows
  • Organised: conferences on NG related topics
  • Organised: self-management courses and education events Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstrction
  • Media education appearances on Channel 5, TV documentary ‘Mysterious Illnesses’; Profiled on M. Moseley’s BBC documentary; Advisor for stage play ‘gut feelings’ which led to film by Andrew Kotting 



Research Interests:

Key Research interests:

  • Mechanisms of visceral pain in health and disease
  • Psychophysiological factors mediating inter-individual differences in pain perception
  • Human models and novel treatments for visceral pain including neuromodulation
  • Neurophysiological basis for satiety and nausea
  • Hereditary disorders of connective tissue e.g Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Imaging of gastrointestinal function in health and disease using magnetic resonance imaging 

Professor Aziz’s research is aimed at understanding the neurophysiological basis of human brain-gut communication. He has made an important contribution to the understanding of how gut pain is processed in the brain, and how both inflammation/injury to gut nerves and psychological factors can lead to the development of chronic visceral pain. His current pain program includes studies of the psychophysiological risk factors for the development of chronic visceral pain and use of autonomic nervous system neuromodulation for the mangagement of visceral pain and inflammation. He has also performed seminal research on the link between hereditary disorders of connective tissue such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and gastrointestinal symptoms. Currently he is also studying the affect of psychological factors that modulate appetite and the neuroendocrine and gut physiological responses to nutrients

He has previously been a Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist and has held the MRC Career Development Award until 2008.  He has pioneered the use of a number of neurophysiological techniques to study the human brain gut axis. Amongst his major achievements is the systematic evaluation of the human brain processing of visceral pain and nutrient responses and how these are modulated by psychological factors. He holds funding from a variety of sources including the Medical Research Council (MRC), National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), European Union and pharmaceutical industry.

Research Group Members

Dr Ahmed Albusoda Clnical Research Fellow and PhD student funded by EU Marie Curie ITN grant and Barts Charity

Healther Fitzke PhD student funded by BBSRC, LIDO grant

Dr Ron Fried, Clinical Research Fellow, NIHR EME grant

Dr James Ruffle, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow

Dr Ali Gholamrezaei, Co-supervised PhD student at Leuven University, Belgium

Imke Courtois, Co-supervised PhD student at Leuven University, Belgium

Asmaa Al-Khalidi Research Assistant

Professor Aziz has numerous national and international research collaborations

Research Group Page


Key publications since 2010 only

  1.  Ruffle JK, Coen SJ, Giampietro V, Williams SCR, Apkarian AV, Farmer AD, Aziz Q. Morphology of subcortical brain nuclei is associated with autonomic function in healthy humans. Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Oct 28. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23850. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29080228.
  2. Farmer AD, Gallagher J, Bruckner-Holt C, Aziz Q. Narcotic bowel syndrome. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 May;2(5):361-368. doi: 10.1016/S2468-1253(16)30217-5. Epub 2017 Mar 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 28397700.
  3. Beckers AB, Keszthelyi D, Fikree A, Vork L, Masclee A, Farmer AD, Aziz Q. Gastrointestinal disorders in joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type: A review for the gastroenterologist. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Aug;29(8). doi: 10.1111/nmo.13013. Epub 2017 Jan 13. Review. PubMed PMID: 28086259.
  4. McGuire C, Boundouki G, Hockley JR, Reed D, Cibert-Goton V, Peiris M, Kung V, Broad J, Aziz Q, Chan C, Ahmed S, Thaha MA, Sanger GJ, Blackshaw LA, Knowles CH, Bulmer DC. Ex vivo study of human visceral nociceptors. Gut. 2016 Sep 21. pii: gutjnl-2016-311629. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-311629. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27654583.
  5. Boeckxstaens GE, Drug V, Dumitrascu D, Farmer AD, Hammer J, Hausken T, Niesler B, Pohl D, Pojskic L, Polster A, Simren M, Goebel-Stengel M, Van Oudenhove L, Vassallo M, Wensaas KA, Aziz Q, Houghton LA; COST Action BM1106 GENIEUR members. Phenotyping of subjects for large scale studies on patients with IBS. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2016 Aug;28(8):1134-47. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12886. Epub 2016 Jun 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 27319981.
  6. Aziz Q, Fass R, Gyawali CP, Miwa H, Pandolfino JE, Zerbib F. Functional Esophageal Disorders. Gastroenterology. 2016 Feb 15. pii: S0016-5085(16)00178-5. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.02.012. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27144625.
  7. Mujagic Z, Keszthelyi D, Aziz Q, Reinisch W, Quetglas EG, De Leonardis F, Segerdahl M, Masclee AA. Systematic review: instruments to assess abdominal pain in irritable bowel syndrome. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Nov;42(9):1064-81. doi: 10.1111/apt.13378. Epub 2015 Aug 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 26290286.
  8. Slattery SA, Niaz O, Aziz Q, Ford AC, Farmer AD. Systematic review with meta-analysis: the prevalence of bile acid malabsorption in the irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jul;42(1):3-11. doi: 10.1111/apt.13227. Epub 2015 Apr 27. Review. PubMed PMID: 25913530.
  9. Treede RD, Rief W, Barke A, Aziz Q, Bennett MI, Benoliel R, Cohen M, Evers S, Finnerup NB, First MB, Giamberardino MA, Kaasa S, Kosek E, Lavandʼhomme P, Nicholas M, Perrot S, Scholz J, Schug S, Smith BH, Svensson P, Vlaeyen JW, Wang SJ. A classification of chronic pain for ICD-11. Pain. 2015 Jun;156(6):1003-7. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000160. PubMed PMID: 25844555; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4450869.
  10. Fikree A, Aktar R, Grahame R, Hakim AJ, Morris JK, Knowles CH, Aziz Q.Functional gastrointestinal disorders are associated with the joint hypermobility syndrome in secondary care: a case-control study. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015 Apr;27(4):569-79. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12535. PubMed PMID: 25817057.
  11. Farmer AD, Ban VF, Coen SJ, Sanger GJ, Barker GJ, Gresty MA, Giampietro VP, Williams SC, Webb DL, Hellström PM, Andrews PL, Aziz Q. Visually induced nausea causes characteristic changes in cerebral, autonomic and endocrine function in humans. J Physiol. 2015 Mar 1;593(5):1183-96. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.284240. Epub 2015 Jan 29. PubMed PMID: 25557265; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4358679.
  12. Hockley JR, Boundouki G, Cibert-Goton V, McGuire C, Yip PK, Chan C, Tranter M, Wood JN, Nassar MA, Blackshaw LA, Aziz Q, Michael GJ, Baker MD, Winchester WJ, Knowles CH, Bulmer DC. Multiple roles for NaV1.9 in the activation of visceral afferents by noxious inflammatory, mechanical, and human disease-derived stimuli. Pain. 2014 Oct;155(10):1962-75. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.06.015. Epub 2014 Jun 24. PubMed PMID: 24972070; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4220011.
  13. Al Omran Y, Aziz Q. Functional brain imaging in gastroenterology: to new beginnings. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Sep;11(9):565-76. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.89. Epub 2014 Jun 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 24912384.
  14. Botha C, Farmer AD, Nilsson M, Brock C, Gavrila AD, Drewes AM, Knowles CH, Aziz Q. Preliminary report: modulation of parasympathetic nervous system tone influences oesophageal pain hypersensitivity. Gut. 2015 Apr;64(4):611-7. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306698. Epub 2014 May 28. PubMed PMID: 24870622.
  15. Farmer AD, Al Omran Y, Aziz Q, Andrews PL. The role of the parasympathetic nervous system in visually induced motion sickness: systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Brain Res. 2014 Aug;232(8):2665-73. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-3964-3. Epub 2014 May 4. Review. PubMed PMID: 24792503.
  16. Farmer AD, Randall HA, Aziz Q. It's a gut feeling: how the gut microbiota affects the state of mind. J Physiol. 2014 Jul 15;592(14):2981-8. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.270389. Epub 2014 Mar 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 24665099; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4214654.
  17. Fikree A, Grahame R, Aktar R, Farmer AD, Hakim AJ, Morris JK, Knowles CH, Aziz Q. A prospective evaluation of undiagnosed joint hypermobility syndrome in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Oct;12(10):1680-87.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.01.014. Epub 2014 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 24440216.
  18. Farmer AD, Coen SJ, Kano M, Paine PA, Shwahdi M, Jafari J, Kishor J, Worthen SF, Rossiter HE, Kumari V, Williams SC, Brammer M, Giampietro VP, Droney J, Riley J, Furlong PL, Knowles CH, Lightman SL, Aziz Q. Psychophysiological responses to pain identify reproducible human clusters. Pain. 2013 Nov;154(11):2266-76. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.05.016. Epub 2013 May 25. PubMed PMID: 23714265.
  19. Aziz Q. Brain-gut interactions in the regulation of satiety: new insights from functional brain imaging. Gut. 2012 Nov;61(11):1521-2. Epub 2012 Jun 3. Review. PubMed PMID: 22661493.
  20. Chua YC, Ng KS, Sharma A, Jafari J, Surguy S, Yazaki E, Knowles CH, Aziz Q. Randomised clinical trial: pregabalin attenuates the development of acid-induced oesophageal hypersensitivity in healthy volunteers - a placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;35(3):319-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04955.x. Epub 2011 Dec 27. PubMed PMID: 22211824.
  21. Van Oudenhove L, McKie S, Lassman D, Uddin B, Paine P, Coen S, Gregory L, Tack J, Aziz Q. Fatty acid-induced gut-brain signaling attenuates neural and behavioral effects of sad emotion in humans. J Clin Invest. 2011 Aug;121(8):3094-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI46380. Epub 2011 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 21785220; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3148741.
  22. Coen SJ, Kano M, Farmer AD, Kumari V, Giampietro V, Brammer M, Williams SC, Aziz Q. Neuroticism influences brain activity during the experience of visceral pain. Gastroenterology. 2011 Sep;141(3):909-917.e1. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jun 12. PubMed PMID: 21699797.
  23. Peiris M, Bulmer DC, Baker MD, Boundouki G, Sinha S, Hobson A, Lee K, Aziz Q, Knowles CH. Human visceral afferent recordings: preliminary report. Gut. 2011 Feb;60(2):204-8. doi: 10.1136/gut.2010.221820. Epub 2010 Oct 28. PubMed PMID:21030526


View all Qasim Aziz's Research Publications at:


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