Latest ANMS Blog

Microbiota and the brain-gut connection

Written by Stefanie Twist
Reviewed by Dr. Premsyl Bercik

In the past few years, attention devoted to microbiota and the brain-gut connection has increased. Gut microbiota encompasses the bacterial colonies, fungi, viruses, and other microbes that live within our gastrointestinal tract.(1, 2) Importance of bacteria in our GI tract should not be understated as they contribute to key biological processes in our body. However, when there are changes to this balance, it can be the reason symptoms develop.
Microbiota development starts at birth. Factors such as vaginal versus cesarean birth and breastfeeding versus formula shape the diversity and proliferation of strains of bacteria.(2, 3) Human breastmilk has nutrients which can help shape the microbiome and immune development of children. Infant’s initial exposure to microbiota is through the act of birth. Cesarean section births correlated with increased risk of children developing celiac disease, asthma, type 1 diabetes, and obesity.(4) This may occur because infants born vaginally are exposed to their mother’s vaginal microbiota while those born via cesarean are not.

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A Message from the ANMS President John Pandolfino, MD

John Pandolfino, MD
John Pandolfino, MD

It is both a privilege and honor for me to assume the role of President of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society and to continue to work with an exceptional group of staff, councilors and officers. This is an unprecedented time in our history for both our society and our global community as we deal with a world-wide pandemic, and begin to truly address many of the inequities that have plagued society and our academic culture. I am humbled by this opportunity, and believe the ANMS can make a substantial contribution by addressing these issues head-on, and evolving into a new academic society focused on collaboration and developing deep ties to our community.

I have been involved with the ANMS since I was a trainee, and have been in a continuous leadership role since 2012 when I was elected to council, and subsequently became treasurer and president-elect. Over this time, I was fortunate to work with multiple presidents, such as Drs. Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Gianrico Farrugia, John Wiley, and Lin Chang. Happily, I will be able to continue to work with Drs. Beverley Geenwood-Van Meerveld and John Wiley, as they help solidify the future of the ANMS with their leadership roles in the ANMS Institute. Dr. Greenwood-Van Meerveld will take over as Director of the Institute, and Dr. John Wiley will remain as an advisor to the Institute, to maintain a strong continuity with our industry partners.

Over the last four years, we have also had an amazing team of ANMS councilors, and we are always sad to see exceptional people rotate off council. I would personally like to thank Drs. Miranda van Tilburg, William Chey, Elyanne Ratcliffe, and Purna Kashyap for their amazing contributions to the ANMS. These councilors have helped our society develop an amazing social media presence, an exceptional grant process to fund young investigators, and an excellent series of cutting-edge educational programs. These projects have showcased the important role ANMS has taken in educating and training our members and the next generation of leaders. This great work will continue with our remaining councilors: Drs. Jose-Garza, Simon Gibbons, Baharak Moshiree, and Linda Nguyen, and our newly elected councilors: Drs. Jason Baker, Katja Kovacic, David Levinthal, Eamonn Quigley, Shanthi Srinivasan, and Gregory Sayuk. I would also like to congratulate Dr. Nicholas Verne for his election as the new President-Elect and Dr. Fedias Christofi, who will assume the role of Treasurer. Last, Dr. C. Prakash Gyawali will transition from his role as councilor and continue his work as an ex-officio member focusing on our Clinical Training Program and curriculum development with our global sister societies. I look forward to working with them over the next two years in my role as president.

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Upcoming Events

2020 ANMS Monthly Virtual Symposia Schedule for both Clinical and Basic Science
Clinical Symposia Theme: Better Together: Bridging the Divide Between Pediatrics and Adult GI Motility Disorders
View Schedule

Functional Abdominal Pain November 18 – 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET
Moderator: Kimberly Harer

  • Approach to Kids with Functional Abdominal Pain – Miguel Saps, MD, University of Miami Health System
  • Central Neuromodulators for Functional Abdominal Pain – Douglas Drossman, MD, DrossmanCare
  • Brain Gut Therapies – Miranda van Tilburg, PhD,  Campbell University
  • Register Now If you miss the session, you can view it on the ANMS YouTube channel.

Pelvic Floor DysfunctionDecember 2 – 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET
Moderator: Erin Toto

  • Newer approaches to diagnose dyssynergic defecation with insights into normal defecation – Leila Neshatian, MD, Stanford University
  • Management of defecatory dysfunction in adults – biofeedback and more – Adil Bharucha, MBBS, MD, Mayo Clinic
  • Pediatric approach to defecatory dysfunction – Samuel Nurko, MD, MPH, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Register Now If you miss the session, you can view it on the ANMS YouTube channel.

Basic Science Symposia Theme: Basic Concepts in Neurogastroenterology

Relationships of GI dysfunction to central neurological disorders – November 11 ‐ 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET
Moderator: Fievos Christofi
• Pathogenic Mechanisms Involving Basal Ganglia and Nigro-Vagal Neural Circuitry are Linked to Gastrointestinal Dysmotility in Parkinsonism – R. Alberto Travagli, PhD, Penn State
• Autism Spectrum Disorders and GI Dysfunction are Linked to Serotonin in the Gut-Brain Microbiome Axis – Kara Margolis, MD, Columbia University
• Gut Chemosensation and Appetite regulation in the Brain-Gut Axis – Helen Raybould, PhD, UC Davis
If you missed the session, you can view it on the ANMS YouTube channel Click here

GI Dysmotility: Role of non-neuronal cells – December 16 – 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET
Moderator: Keith Sharkey
• Emerging roles of enteric glia in neurogastroenerolgy & motility disorders – Meena Rao, MD, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital
• The natural history of muscularis propria macrophages determines their functional roles in gastrointestinal motility – Simon Gibbons, PhD, Mayo Clinic
• Functional connectivity of the smooth muscle, interstitial cell of Cajal, PDGFRα cell (SIP) syncytium drives normal gastrointestinal motility – Kenton Sanders, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno

Register here If you miss the session, you can view it on the ANMS YouTube channel

Register at links above. These are free of charge.

FNM 2020 – 4th Meeting of the Federation of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
and Postgraduate Course on Gastrointestinal Motility

Hosted by: Australasian of Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association, Inc
Date: April 14-17, 2021
Location: Adelaide, Australia

CANCELLED: XVIth Little Brain Big Brain meeting (LBBB)
Date: March 22-25, 2020
Location: Port Elliot YHA, South Australia

About ANMS

The Mission and Goals of the ANMS
The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society is an organization that was established in 1980 dedicated to the study of neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility and functional GI disorders.

Mission of the ANMS
To be the multidisciplinary society leading the field of neurogastroenterology by fostering excellence in research, education, training, and patient care.

Neurogastroenterology encompasses the study of brain, gut, and their interactions with relevance to the understanding and management of GI motility and functional GI disorders.

ANMS Condemns Racism, Injustice and Inequality
The ANMS condemns any cases of racism, injustice and inequality in America. As a scientific and medical society, the ANMS leadership would like to emphasize the importance of fostering diversity, equity and inclusion. We must dedicate ourselves to removing barriers that exclude persons of color from participation in our community. As a multidisciplinary society leading the field of neurogastroenterology and motility we must foster collaborations and support each other during these challenging times.



Start receiving YOUR benefits today:

  • Interact with clinicians and researchers who share your interest in neurogastroenterology, gastrointestinal motility, and functional GI disorders
  • One-year subscription and online access to our official journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility
    Subscription to The Recorder, the ANMS newsletter
  • Research grant opportunities
  • Mentoring opportunities for young investigators
  • Registration discounts for postgraduate courses and scientific meetings
  • ANMS continuing education programs to include live demonstrations and workshops for physicians, trainees, and nurses


Robust funding opportunity announced by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. They are accepting applications to support international, multidisciplinary research teams to join the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) Collaborative Research Network.

Research teams interested in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) have the opportunity to request up to $9 million for three-year grants for projects that focus primarily on Circuitry & Brain-body Interactions, inclusive of genetics and neuro-immune contributors to disease. Applications must be submitted by multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research teams consisting of three to five investigators.The pre-proposal deadline is December 11, 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Details are available via the URL provided below. The Senior Associate Director, Research Operations MJF, Lindsey Riley is very aware of the rapidly emerging interest in the gut-brain axis and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), GI motility issues and the potential role for intestinal barrier dysfunction in the pathophysiology of PD.

Click here for more information about the initiative. Questions can be directed to

MJF will be hosting an informational webinar scheduled for October 28th and 12:00 pm Eastern for interested investigators. Register here.

ANMS Grant Programs

The ANMS Grant Program will be suspended this year due to the pandemic.

ANMS is accepting applications for the Ironwood Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Innovation Research Award One grant of up to $30,000  will be awarded to provide a one-year grant to support high-risk, cutting-edge clinical, translational and/or basic research in the field of IBS.

Applicants must be members of the ANMS at the time of application and also the mentors must be ANMS members.  The application deadline. Funds will be available in February 2020. Click here for more information and to submit your on-line application.

Objective: To support high-risk, cutting edge, innovative and novel research to address existing gaps in knowledge related to all facets of IBS.   Applications related to the broad range of topics relevant to this IBS are welcome by the ANMS.  This grant is intended to support work that will generate preliminary data that will lead to extramurally-funded research grants and to promote career development in the area of neurogastroenterology and motility.

Description: The Ironwood IBS Innovation Research Award will provide support for Assistant, Associate and Full Professors pursuing extramurally funded research careers in the area of neurogastroenterology and motility.  Grant applications should be used to make the applicant competitive for subsequent extramural research funding, such as NIH K01, K08, K23, K24, R21, and R01 grants and career development awards from major societies and foundations.

Eligibility: The eligibility will be limited to Assistant, Associate, or Full Professors with extramural funding no greater than $300,000 per year in direct costs.  Applications from New Investigators (within 5 years of first full academic appointment and never having received independent federal funds) are given special consideration during peer review and at the time of funding consideration.

ANMS is accepting applications for the 2020 Small Grants Program. The Research Program will provide 2 grants of $30,000 each. The program will fund research projects focused on any topic area relevant to neurogastroenterology and motility. It is anticipated that one award will be made to a clinical/translational investigator and one award will be made to a basic science investigator. Applicants must have a primary appointment at an academic institution. Applicants must also be a member of the ANMS at the time of application and also the mentor must be an ANMS member. The application deadline is November 1, 2019. Funds will be available to successful applicants in February 2020. Click here for more information and to submit your on-line application. 

Description: Will provide support for junior faculty, postdoctoral research fellows, and senior GI fellows pursuing extramurally funded research careers in the area of neurogastroenterology and GI motility. Two grants of up to $30,000 each will be awarded in 2020 for qualified applicants. It is anticipated that one award will be made to a basic science/translational investigator and that one award will be made to a clinical/translational investigator. Grant applications should be used to make the applicant competitive for subsequent extramural research funding, such as NIH K01, K08, K23, K24, R21, and R01 grants and career development awards from major societies and foundations.

Applications will be evaluated by members of the Research Committee.


The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Research Committee is launching a Mentoring Program in Neurogastroenterology and Motility to help young clinicians and scientists (MDs, PhDs, or DVMs) as they start their research career in the areas of neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility. The areas of interest can be varied and the research may take the form of clinical investigation, basic science research, or translational science research. The objective of the program is to provide guidance to individuals at an early stage of their career who may enter the field of neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility.

Mentor/Mentee Application Forms
Mentor Form
Mentee Form

Clinical Training

Center Schedules

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Augusta University, Augusta, GA (schedule)
  • Medical College of Wisconsin (Adult) (schedule) and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Pediatrics), Milwaukee, WI (schedule)
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH (Pediatric) (schedule)
  • Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA (schedule)
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (schedule)
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX (schedule)
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (schedule)
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Salem, NC (schedule)
  • Washington University, St. Louis, MO (schedule)

Clinical Training Application

Clinician Resources

Manuscripts Sponsored by ANMS on Clinical Topics in GI Motility


Parkman HP.
Training in gastrointestinal motility.
Dig Dis. 2006;24(3-4):221-7.


Murray JA, Clouse RE, Conklin JL.
Components of the standard esophageal manometry.
Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2003;15(6):591-606.

Kahrilas PJ.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
N Engl J Med 2008;359:1700-7.

© American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society 2020