Meet Markus Muttenthaler, Ferring Innovation Grant recipient

Some descriptionTitle: Senior Research Officer, BSc, MSc, PhD, University of Queensland, Australia

Research Project: Mapping the location and function of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors throughout the gut

Knowing when and where a signalling system is upregulated is fundamental for understanding its role in health and disease. This project aims to map the oxytocin and vasopressin signalling system to better understand its role and therapeutic potential in gastrointestinal disorders.

What motivated you to research this area? I am fascinated by the complexity of the gastrointestinal system and how little we know about it. The gut is the second most innervated organ in the human body and is in constant communication with the brain. Many of the neuropeptides produced in the brain are also found in the gut, yet their role there is often poorly understood. Additionally, there are many gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), where we do not know their causes nor how to fix them.

What do you hope to achieve through your grant? Oxytocin and vasopressin are part of an ancient signalling system that goes back over 600 million years and regulates important processes such as reproduction, water balance and social interaction. We anticipate that this project will provide novel insights on their function and therapeutic potential in gastrointestinal disorders. I would like to thank Ferring for its research support. We are still a fairly young research team and support at this stage really counts.

Most exciting thing about your research project? To work with talented people and reveal new knowledge that could improve people’s lives.

Most challenging part of your research project? Some of the technical aspects of the proposed work.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Scientist, traveller, husband (not sure when surfer dropped from this list!)

Interesting fact about yourself? Lived in 4 continents and travelled to over 90 countries.

Visit www.ferring-research.com/ferring-grants to learn more about the Ferring Innovation Grants Program.

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