Emeran Mayer, MD

Dr. Emeran Mayer is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. Dr. Mayer has had a career-long interest in the role of mind brain body interactions in health and chronic disease, which he has pursued early in his career by studying healers amongst indigenous tribes in the Orinoco area (Yanoami), and in Irian Jaja (Asmat). He has a longstanding interest in ancient healing traditions, and has personally practiced different mind based strategies, including Zen meditation, Ericksonian hypnosis, and Autogenic Training. He started his research carrier at the Institute of Physiology in Munich, with a dissertation into the mechanisms by which stress and the brain affects coronary blood flow in the heart. After moving to the US, he became a gastroenterologist and focused his work on basic, translational and clinical aspects of brain gut interactions. He has 30 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease, and his work has been continuously supported by several NIH grants. He has published over 300 peer reviewed articles (average H index 76), including 90 chapters and reviews, co-edited four books, and organized several interdisciplinary symposia in the area of visceral pain and mind body interactions. He is a thought after speaker all over the world, with 32 speaking engagements during the past 2 years. He has made seminal contributions to the characterization of physiologic alterations in patients with various chronic pain disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as on pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches to this conditions. He has been studying brain mechanisms underlying the effect of mind body interventions such as hypnosis, mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy on chronic pain. He is principal investigator on a center grant from the National Institutes of Health on sex-related differences in brain gut interactions, and on a NIDDK funded consortium grant (Multidisciplinary Approaches to Pelvic Pain, MAPP) in which he also heads a multisite neuroimaging core. His research efforts during the past few years have focused on several new areas of brain gut interactions, in particular on the role of the gut microbiota in influencing brain structure and function, and associated behavior, and on the role of food addiction in obesity. In addition to his research accomplishments, he is a nationally renowned clinical expert on disorders related to altered brain gut interactions, including irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, chronic nausea, cyclical vomiting syndrome.