Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Professor Qasim Aziz, PhD (Manchester), FRCP

Qasim

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

Centre: Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Email: q.aziz@qmul.ac.uk

Profile

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.

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 past 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. He is currently gastroenterology speciality lead for North Thames Clinical Research Network.

Contact Information

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
26 Ashfield Street
London E1 2AJ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2630

Email: q.aziz@qmul.ac.uk

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PA (for academic matters)
Sam Pimm
PA to Prof Qasim Aziz
s.j.pimm@qmul.ac.uk 

Please note that Sam Pimm should only be contacted for academic matters. NHS patient queries should be directed to:

NHS patient queries
Mohamed Rahman 
020 3594 3300
mohamed.rahman4@nhs.uk

Teaching

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

International 

  • Regularly an invited speaker at national and international meeting such as The British Society of Gastroenterology; American Gastroenterology Association and United European Gastroenterology and European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. In 2019 he was co-lead for organizing the World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain and also for the London Neurogastroenterology Course. He is member of the scientific committee for the World Congress on Pain 2020 organised by the International Association for the Study of Pain.

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Courses:

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. His students have authored papers regularly in peer reviewed journals.

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Co-lead-neurogastroenterology section of Gastroenterology MSc. Develops curriculum, set/mark exams, online teaching & supervise research projects.
  • Co-lead for Pain and Epilepsy module of Neuroscience MSc.
  • 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

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 National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), European Union and pharmaceutical industry.

Research Group Members

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

Heather Fitzke - PhD student funded by BBSRC, LIDO grant

Dr James Ruffle - NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow

Anisa Choudhary - PhD student funded by Bowel and Cancer Research

Dr Rabia Lalani - Clinical Research Fellow on NIHR funded EME grant

Dr Kazuya Takahashi - Visiting Clinical Research Fellow from Japan

Professor Aziz has numerous national and international research collaborations

Research Group Page

Publications

Key Publications

Ruffle JK, Patel A, Giampietro V, Howard MA, Sanger GJ, Andrews PLR, Williams SCR, Aziz Q, Farmer AD. Functional brain networks and neuroanatomy underpinning nausea severity can predict nausea susceptibility using machine learning. J Physiol. 2019 Mar;597(6):1517-1529. doi: 10.1113/JP277474. Epub 2019 Feb 27. PubMed PMID: 30629751; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6418775.

Aktar R, Peiris M, Fikree A, Eaton S, Kritas S, Kentish SJ, Araujo EJA, Bacarin C, Page AJ, Voermans NC, Aziz Q, Blackshaw LA. A novel role for the extracellular matrix glycoprotein-Tenascin-X in gastric function. J Physiol. 2019 Mar;597(6):1503-1515. doi: 10.1113/JP277195. Epub 2019 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 30605228; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6418764.

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.

Botha C, Farmer AD, Nilsson M, Brock C, Gavrila AD, Drewes AM, Knowles CH, Aziz QPreliminary 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.

Farmer AD, Ban VF, Coen SJ, Sanger GJ, Barker GJ, Gresty MA, Giampietro VP, Williams SC, Webb DL, Hellström PM, Andrews PL, Aziz QVisually 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.

All Publications