Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Madusha Peiris, BSc (Hons), PhD

Research Fellow

Centre: Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Telephone: 0207 882 2634


Dr Peiris completed her BSc (Hons) and PhD studies at the University of Queensland, Australia before beginning a research career in with the Neurogastroenterology group at the Wingate Institute.


MBBS Year 1
MBBS Year 2
MSc Gastroenterology
MSc Neuroscience


Research Interests:

Obesity and Appetite Regulation:

Fundamental research on function of human sensorimotor cells and systems
• Nutrient receptor mechanisms in the gut epithelium
• Enteroendocrine communication between the gut and the CNS

Understanding disease in humans
• Changes in enteroendocrine cell function in obesity
• Stress and neuroendocrine responses

New diagnostics, therapies and personalized medicine
• Mechanism of action of bariatric surgery
• Cell-based – vagal afferent neurons and enteroendocrine cells
• Organ-based – enteroendocrine-vagal-brain communication
• Clinical trials of anti-obesity treatments in obese patients

Role of Microbiota in regulating enteric nervous system:

Characterising the effect of microbial populations on:
• Neuronal subtypes innervating the gut
• Function and activity of ENS mediated processes e.g. motility, secretion and sensory signaling.
• Enteroendocrine cell populations and downstream activity/interaction with ENS

Enteric Nervous System:

Fundamental research on function of human and mouse sensorimotor cells and systems:
• Peripheral mechanisms of mechanical and chemical induced gut pain pathways.
• Identification of novel molecular targets for motility, sensory and inflammatory gut disorders.

Understanding molecular mechanisms of human gut dieseases:
• Oesophageal sensitization
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Key Publications

Effects of obesity and gastric bypass surgery on nutrient sensors, endocrine cells, and mucosal innervation of the mouse colon. M Peiris‡, R Aktar, S Raynel, Z Hao, M Mumphrey, H-R Berthoud & LA Blackshaw. Nutrients,10(10) 1529. 2018. (IF: 4.196)
‡Corresponding author

The extracellular matrix glycoprotein Tenascin-X regulates peripheral sensory and motor neurones. R Aktar, M Peiris, A Fikree, V Cibert-Goton, M Walmsley, I Tough, P Watanabe, E Araujo, S Mohammed, JM Delalande, D Bulmer, SM Scott, H Cox, NC Voermans, Q Aziz, and LA Blackshaw. J Physiol. Sep;596(17):4237-4251, 2018. (IF: 5.037)

Peripheral KV7 Channels Regulate Visceral Sensory Function in Mouse and Human Colon. Peiris*‡, JR Hockley*, D Reed, E St John Smith, DC Bulmer, LA Blackshaw. Mol Pain. Jan-Dec;13:17448069-17709371, 2017 (IF:3.18, citations: 4)
*Joint first authors; ‡ Corresponding author

TRPM8 on mucosal sensory nerves regulates colitogenic responses by innate immune cells via CGRP. PR. de Jong, N Takahashi, M Peiris, S Bertin, J Lee, A Paniagua, DS Herdman, M Corr, LA Blackshaw and E Raz. Mucosal Immunol. 8(3):491-504, 2015. (IF 7.374)

Mechanisms of activation of mouse and human enteroendocrine cells by nutrients. E Symonds*, M Peiris*, B Chia, AJ Page, AEK Masding, V Galanakis, M Atiba, DC Bulmer, RL Young, LA Blackshaw. Gut. 64(4):618-26, 2015. (IF: IF 16.658)
* Joint first authors

All Publications


Lucas Baumard
Ahsen Ustaoglu
Harween Dogra (Completed June 2019)