Stephen D. Liberles, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell Biology – Harvard Medical School
Investigating the role of enteric neurons and the gut-brain axis in allergic disease
Stephen Liberles is a professor in the cell biology department at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His research focuses on the molecular neuroscience of sensory systems, including olfaction, pheromone-sensing, taste, and internal organ senses of the vagus nerve. His work has significantly advanced the understanding of vagus nerve cell types that control autonomic physiology, identified non-classical families of olfactory receptors, and revealed molecular mechanisms underlying sensation within internal organs.
The goal of Stephen Liberles’s research is to understand allergen-sensing pathways in the gut by investigating the role of enteric neurons and the gut-brain axis in allergic disease. The aims of this research are to develop a genetic toolbox for study of enteroendocrine cells and control enteroendocrine cells through chemical genetics.
Zhang C, Kaye JA, Cai Z, Wang Y, Prescott SL, Liberles SD. Area Postrema Cell Types that Mediate Nausea-Associated Behaviors. Neuron. 2021 Feb 3;109(3):461-472.e5. PMID: 33278342
Prescott SL, Umans BD, Williams EK, Brust RD, and Liberles SD, “An airway protection program revealed by sweeping genetic control of vagal afferents”, Cell (2020), 181: 574-589. PMID: 32259485
Nonomura K, Woo S, Chang RB, Gillich A, Qui Z, Francisco AG, Ranade SS, Liberles SD, Patapoutian A, “Piezo2 is an airway stretch sensor mediating lung inflation-induced apnea”, (2017) Nature, 541: 176-181 PMID: 28002412
Williams EK, Chang RB, Strochlic DE, Umans BD, Lowell BB, and Liberles SD, “Sensory neurons that detect stretch and nutrients in the digestive system”, (2016) Cell, 166: 209-221 PMID: 27238020
Chang RB, Strochlic DE, Williams EK, Umans BD, and Liberles SD, “Vagal sensory neuron subtypes that differentially control breathing”, (2015) Cell, 161: 622-633 PMID: 25892222