Yvette Taché, PhD, receives ANMS Distinguished Investigator Award for Women in Neurogastroenterology (2021)

Dr. Taché, co-director, G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience received the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Distinguished Scientist Award for Women in Neurogastroenterology at the ANMS 2021 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. This award is presented annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of women in advancing the field of neurogastroenterology through research, clinical expertise, leadership, mentorship and/or advocacy. Awardees are nominated by colleagues and the ANMS president and voted on by the ANMS council. The recipient is honored at the ANMS annual meeting and invited to present a state-of-the-art lecture during the meeting.

Dr. Taché was honored in recognition of her outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of neurogastroenterology and motility, including her pioneering work on brain-gut interactions and the role of peptides in the underlying mechanisms of stress-related gut dysfunction. Her talk was entitled “The role of brain peptides in the regulation of gut function: A 40 year journey.”

Yvette Taché, PhD, and Million Mulugeta, DVM, PhD, receive $2.7M NIH OT 2 grant for “Comprehensive structural and functional mapping of mammalian colonic nervous system” (2020)

Awarded by the SPARC program (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions), this additional funding is directed to continuing research on neuronanatomical and functional mapping of pig and human colons under healthy conditions and in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome and opioid constipation. The knowledge of these nerve circuitries and activities will allow the targeting of selective neural structures to create more effective electroceuticals to treat colon diseases that are intractable to mainstay therapies. Conditions that may benefit from electroceutical treatment include inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), postoperative ileus, chronic constipation and colorectal dysfunctions. This is a multi-center collaboration with Simon Brookes, PhD, Flinders University, Gemma Mazzuoli-Weber, DVM, PhD, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Thomas Gould, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno, James Dunn, MD, PhD, Stanford University and Roberto Di Gorgio, MD, PhD, University of Ferrera. UCLA subcontract PIs include Lin Chang, MD, Catia Sternini, MD, and Wentai Liu, PhD, and co-investigators, Muriel Larauche, PhD, Pu-Qing Yuan, PhD, and Lixin Wang, PhD. More about SPARC

Million Mulugeta, DVM, PhD, awarded grant to map the peripheral structural and functional neurocircuitries of visceral pain of the colorectum and bladder (2019)

Dr. Mulugeta was awarded a three-year, HEAL/SPARC grant, through the Office of The Director NIH, NDS Institute, in the amount of $2.2 million to investigate visceral pain afferents involved in the cross-organ sensitization of the colon and bladder through tracing, function assessment and spinal neuromodulation. The project aims to fill gaps in knowledge in the neurocircuitries of pelvic pain cross-sensitization and provide bases for new therapies and modalities including neuromodulation. The project will involve investigators from the UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases (Muriel Larauche, PhD; Pu-Qing Yuan, PhD; Lixin Wang, MD, PhD; and Yvette Taché, PhD), as well as investigators from the UCLA Departments of Integrative Biology and Physiology and Neurobiology, USC and SAHMRI at Flinders University, Australia.

Muriel Larauche, PhD, awarded NIH SBIR phase II grant / New study tests promising peptides targeting pain in IBS (2019)

Dr. Larauche and Sentia Medical Sciences, Inc. (La Jolla, CA) were awarded a $2 million two-year, NIH SBIR Phase II grant, through the NIH NIDDK institute, to investigate and validate the use of non-selective peripherally-restricted CRF receptor antagonists (astressins) to target visceral pain in IBS patients. The grant follows a six-month SBIR Phase I grant awarded in June 2018 to the same team. Dr. Larauche will be responsible for the preclinical studies and testing the efficacy of the astressin drug candidates in both prophylactic and therapeutic modalities in rodent models of chronic IBS. Drs. Yvette Taché and Lin Chang from the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases are also involved in the study. Read more >

Yvette Taché, PhD, co-chair, and Kalyanam Shivkumar, MD, PhD, chair of ISAN (2019)

Dr. Taché, director, Animal Core, CURE and co-director, G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and Dr. Shivkumar, member, CURE and director, UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, were organizing committee members of the 11th Congress of the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience held July 2019 on the campus of UCLA. The meeting provided a forum for autonomic neuroscience investigators from around the world to gather, discuss and share ideas on a broad range of topics related to the autonomic nervous system. This year the committee partnered with NIH-funded SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions) investigators to provide an expanded, multi-disciplinary program. Dr. Taché is currently part of SPARC, an unprecedented international effort.

SPARC (stimulating peripheral activity to relieve conditions) team maps the colonic nervous system (2018)

The ability to modulate the electrical signals transmitted by peripheral nerves — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body, controlling the function of each organ — could provide the key to a powerful new class of treatments for many intractable diseases and conditions, including GI disorders. The UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases is currently part of an unprecedented international effort to do just that.

A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded consortium headed by Yvette Taché, PhD, distinguished professor in the division, has completed the first year of a three-year, $7.5 million OT2 grant whose objective is to provide the first comprehensive and detailed structural and functional mapping of the nervous system of the colon in humans and the pig — a large animal model with structural and physiological similarities to humans. The grant is part of NIH’s Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program, which is expected to provide approximately $238 million in funding over a five-year period in an effort to map the body’s electrical wiring and develop devices that will allow for the therapeutic stimulation of those nerves. Read full article

Middleton Award recognizes Yvette Taché's pioneering research in brain-gut interactions (2015)

For more than three decades, Yvette Taché, PhD, has been a leader in unraveling the complex brain-gut interactions that occur when stress leads to gastrointestinal disorders, paving the way for new treatments. Now, Dr. Taché's pioneering work has been recognized with the highest honor for scientific achievement given to a researcher or clinician by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Taché, a professor in the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases since 1982, was named winner of the 2014 William S. Middleton Award, which honors senior Veterans Health Administration investigators who have achieved international acclaim for accomplishments in areas of prime importance to the VA's research mission. Dr. Taché is the first female recipient of the Middleton Award since 1960.

"As basic scientists, we are always thinking about how our discoveries might be translated into a better understanding of a disease and improved treatments," says Dr. Taché, associate director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA and co-director of the Center for Neurobiology of Stress & Women's Health. "To have the VA recognize that this experimental work will have implications on the medical needs of the veteran population is very gratifying."

Brain-gut interaction was a new field when Dr. Taché arrived at UCLA more than three decades ago, but through their efforts in the laboratory, she and her colleagues contributed to a new understanding of the complex brain-gut interactions that occur when stress leads to gut dysfunction. Dr. Taché's group was among the first to demonstrate the role of peptides in brain-gut interactions, and her group was the first to establish the importance of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in stress-related gut function alterations - laying the foundation for the current interest in modulating this pathway as potential therapeutic venue for functional diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Dr. Taché's interest in the mechanisms by which stress contributes to gut dysfunction is rooted in her PhD training at the University of Montreal, where she worked in an internationally renowned neuro-endocrinology laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Hans Selye, who coined the term "stress" and conducted pioneering research showing its consequences on the body, including the stomach.

"In recent years the study of brain-gut interactions has emerged as an important aspect of gastroenterology research," Dr. Taché says. "I am hopeful that the recognition through this award will encourage young researchers to continue to build on our findings."