Laboratory Projects:

Exploiting cGMP signaling for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Affects 10 million Americans
(20%) experience
signs (5-15% of all children).
Principally neuromuscular, abdominal pain, cramping, along with diarrhea (IBS-D; 1/3), constipation (IBS-C), or both (IBS-M).

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Affects 1.6 million Americans,
(80,000 are children).
Damaging inflammation (includes Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis). Abdominal pain and frequent, severe, and bloody diarrhea.

Colorectal Cancer (CRC)
Affects 1.3 million Americans (have or are survivors), 150,000 will be diagnosed and 50,000 will die per year in the USA. Metastatic disease is usually lethal due to a few effective treatments. Chemoprevention is warranted for some populations.

lab projects

The most common and severe diseases affecting the colon are a focus of our work.

luminal epithelial cells of the colon

Drugs that can target the cGMP signaling axis in luminal epithelial cells of the colon.


We recently discovered that activating cGMP signaling in the intestinal epithelium using a low dose of the PDE5 inhibitor sildenafil significantly reduces intestinal tumors in mice.

Cover art for the journal “Cancer Prevention Research”:

 July 2017 and Feb. 2018

 Media Articles:

 Eurekalert Release

 NBC News Interview

 Medical Research Interview


Laboratory Personnel

photo of Yali Hou, BSC
Yali Hou, BSC

Research Associate
photo of  Bianca Islam, BSC, MSC, PHD
 Bianca Islam, BSC, MSC, PHD

PhD Graduate
photo of  Victoria Sahar
 Victoria Sahar

 Undergraduate Student