Joseph Pisegna, MD

Pisegna Molecular Genetics and Physiology Laboratory

Key investigators

  • Joseph Pisegna, MD
  • Patrizia M. Germano, MD
  • Suwan Oh, PhD


  • NIH/NCI M3LD Study subaward - “Gut-related markers and hepatocellular cancer risk in a multi-ethnic cirrhotic cohort" 
  • VA Merit Review - Gastrointestinal Hormonal Regulation of Obesity Project F-7219R
  • VA Cooperative Study CSP 577 Confirm Trial
  • NIH NIDDK U01 Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Centers (CSCPDPC -CCs -RFA-DK-14-027) - “Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, and Prevention of Pancreatogenic Diabetes”
  • Diacomp NIH NIDDK/Emory University Pisegna, PI - “Role of the Vagus Nerve in Regulating Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome"

Research funding

  • BX004560-01, 01/01/201912/31/2023, Veterans Affairs Merit Review, CMA: Cancer Stem Cells in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer
  • 1R21 CA225623-01, 03/01/2018-02/29/2020, NIH/NCI Identification of Microbial Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Multi-Ethnic Population of Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  • R01 CA204145 07/22/2016-06/30/2021, NIH/NCI Gut-Related Markers and Hepatocellular Cancer in a Multi-Ethnic Cirrhotic Cohort
  • U01, 01/01/2016-12/30/2021, NIH/NIDDK Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Centers (CSCPDPC -CCs -RFA-DK-14-027)
  • CSP 577 Confirm Trial 10/01/2012-09/30/2027, VA Cooperative Study investigating FIT vs screening colonoscopy

Current research projects

  • Evaluation of the role of high protein dietary intervention in metabolic syndrome
  • Evaluation of the role of high protein dietary intervention in hepatic steatosis
  • Role of PACAP in metabolic syndrome
  • Role of PACAP and VIP in mouse models of colitis
  • Role of VIP in metabolic syndrome and hepatic steatosis
  • GWAS studies in colonic polyps, NAFLD and NASH
  • Pathophysiology, epidemiology and prevention of pancreatogenic diabetes
  • Pathophysiology of gastrin and VIP on the regulation of gastric and renal function

Future research directions

  • Genetic basis for metabolic syndrome, NAFLD and NASH
  • Pathophysiological basis for hormone and receptors to regulate gastrointestinal function
  • Neuroendocrine tumor-pathophysiology and genetic basis
  • Gastrointestinal regulation of renal physiologic function

Key publications - Full list on PubMed

  1. Rao S, Yang X, Ohshiro K, Zaidi S, Wang Z, Shetty K, Xiang X, Hassan I, Mohammad T, Latham PS, Nguyen BN, Wong L, Yu H, Al-Abed Y, Mishra B, Vacca M, Guenigault G, Allison MED, Vidal-Puig A, Benhammou JN, Alvarez M, Pajukanta P, Pisegna JR, Mishra L. β2-spectrin (SPTBN1) as a therapeutic target for diet-induced liver disease and preventing cancer developmentSci Transl Med. 2021 Dec 15;13(624):eabk2267.doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abk2267
  2. Van C, Condro MC, Lov K, Zhu R, Ricaflanca PT, Ko HH, Diep AL, Hoang AQ, Pisegna J, Rohrer H, Waschek JA. PACAP/PAC1 Regulation of Inflammation via the Sympathetic Nervous System in a Model of Multiple SclerosisJ Mol Neurosci. 2018 Jul 30. doi: 10.1007/s12031-018-1137-8. PMID:30058008
  3. Jacobs JP, Dong TS, Agopian V, Lagishetty V, Sundaram V, Noureddin M, Ayoub WS, Durazo F, Benhammou J, Enayati P, Elashoff D, Goodman MT, Pisegna J, Hussain S. Microbiome and bile acid profiles in duodenal aspirates from patients with liver cirrhosis: The Microbiome, Microbial Markers and Liver Disease Study. Hepatol Res. 2018 Jun 20. doi: 10.1111/hepr.13207. PMID:29923681
  4. Mohapatra SS, Batra SK, Bharadwaj S, Bouvet M, Cosman B, Goel A, Jogunoori W, Kelley MJ, Mishra L, Mishra B, Mohapatra S, Patel B, Pisegna JR, Raufman JP, Rao S, Roy H, Scheuner M, Singh S, Vidyarthi G, White J. Precision Medicine for CRC Patients in the Veteran Population: State-of-the-Art, Challenges and Research DirectionsDig Dis Sci. 2018 May;63(5):1123-1138. doi: 10.1007/s10620-018-5000-0. Epub 2018 Mar 23. Review.PMID:29572615
  5. Benhammou JN, Dong TS, May FP, Kawamoto J, Dixit R, Jackson S, Dixit V, Bhattacharya D, Han SB, Pisegna JRRace affects SVR12 in a large and ethnically diverse hepatitis C-infected patient population following treatment with direct-acting antivirals: Analysis of a single-center Department of Veterans Affairs cohortPharmacol Res Perspect. 2018 Feb 22;6(2):e00379. doi: 10.1002/prp2.379. 2018 Apr.
  6. Ehrlich D, Jamaluddin N, Pisegna J, Padua D. A Challenging Case of Severe Ulcerative Colitis following the Initiation of Secukinumab for Ankylosing SpondylitisCase Rep Gastrointest Med. 2018 Feb 15;2018:9679287. PMID:29666723
  7. Vu JP, Luong L, Parsons WF, Oh S, Sanford D, Gabalski A, Lighton JR, Pisegna JR, Germano PM. Long-Term Intake of a High-Protein Diet Affects Body Phenotype, Metabolism, and Plasma Hormones in MiceJ Nutr. 2017 Dec;147(12):2243-2251. doi: 10.3945/jn.117.257873. Epub 2017 Oct 25.PMID:29070713
  8. Aby ES, Dong TS, Kawamoto J, Pisegna JR, Benhammou JN. Impact of sustained virologic response on chronic kidney disease progression in hepatitis CWorld J Hepatol. 2017 Dec 28;9(36):1352-1360. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i36.1352.PMID: 29359019
  9. Wang L, Jacobs JP, Lagishetty V, Yuan PQ, Million M, Reeve JR, Pisegna J and Tache Y High protein diet promotes sensitity to cholecystokinin and shifts the cecal microbiome without altering brain inflammation in diet induced obesity in ratsAm J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2017 Jul 19.
  10. Calais J, Czernin J, Eiber M, Fendler WP, Gartmann J, Heaney A, Hendifar A, Pisegna J, Hecht JR, Wolin E, Slavik R, Gupta P, Quon A, Schiepers C, Allen-Auerbach M, Herrmann K. Most Intended Management Changes after 68-Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT are Implemented J Nucl Med. 2017 May 4. pii: jnumed.117.192450. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.117.192450. PMID:28473600
  11. Li R, Yang J, Saffari A, Jacobs J, Baek KI, Hough G, Larauche MH, Ma J, Jen N, Moussaoui N, Zhou B, Kang H, Reddy S, Henning SM, Campen MJ, Pisegna J, Li Z, Fogelman AM, Sioutas C, Navab M, Hsiai TK. Ambient Ultrafine Particle Ingestion Alters Gut Microbiota in Association with Increased Atherogenic Lipid MetabolitesSci Rep. 2017 Feb 17;7:42906. PMID: 28211537
  12. Benhammou JN, Phan J, Lee H, Ghassemi K, Parsons W, Grody WW, Pisegna JRA Sodium Channel Myotonia Presenting with Intermittent Dysphagia as a Manifestation of a Rare SCN4A VariantJ Mol Neurosci. 2016 Dec 23. doi: 10.1007/s12031-016-0878-5.PMID:28012096.
  13. Padua D, Mahurkar-Joshi S, Law I, Polytarchou C, Vu J, Pisegna J, Shih D, Iliopolous D, and Pothoulakis C A Long noncoding RNA signature for ulcerative colitis identifies IFNG-AS1 as an enhancer of inflammationAmerican Journal of Physiology 2016 311(3):G446-57.
  14. Wang J, Benhammou JN, Ghassemi K, Kim S, Pisegna JR (2017) Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration Accurately Diagnoses Smaller Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors Compared To Computer Tomography-Guided Fine Needle AspirationGastroenterol Pancreatol Liver Disord 4(2): 1-7.
  15. Padua D, Vu JP, Germano PM, Pisegna JRThe Role of Neuropeptides in Mouse Models of Colitis. J Mol Neurosci. 2016 Jun;59(2):203-10. doi: 10.1007/s12031-015-0688-1. Epub 2015 Dec 8. Review.PMID:26646243
  16. Vu JP, Goyal D, Luong L, Oh S, Sandhu R, Norris J, Parsons W, Pisegna JR, Germano P. PACAP intraperitoneal treatment suppresses appetite and food intake via PAC1 receptor in mice, by inhibiting ghrelin and increasing GLP-1 and leptinAm J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015 Sep 3:ajpgi.00190.2015. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00190.2015. [Epub ahead of print]
  17. Vu JP, Larauche M, Flores M, Luong L, Norris J, Oh S, Liang LJ, Waschek J, Pisegna JR, Germano PM. Regulation of Appetite, Body Composition, and Metabolic Hormones by Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP)J Mol Neurosci. 2015 Jun;56(2):377-87.
  18. Vu JP, Million M, Larauche M, Luong L, Norris J, Waschek JA, Pothoulakis C, Pisegna JR, Germano PM. Inhibition of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) induces resistance to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in miceJ Mol Neurosci. 2014 Jan;52(1):37-47.

Past GI research fellows

  • Joon Ki Choi, MD
  • Jihane Benhammou, MD, PhD
  • Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD
  • Arpana Gupta, PhD
  • Deepinder Goyal, MD
  • Noam Jacobs, MD, PhD
  • Sang Le, MD
  • Edward Lee, MD, MS
  • Edward Lew, MD, MS
  • Elizabeth Marcus, MD
  • Rong-Ming Lyu, PhD
  • Hank Wang, MD, MS
  • Emily Whang, MD
  • Ning Zeng, MD, PhD

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