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Dr. Jan Huizinga


McMaster University

Smooth Muscle, Electrophysiology, Patch Clamp, PCR, Single Cell PCR, Intestinal Motility, Molecular Biology, Gastrointestinal Pharmacology, Intercellular Communication, Pacemaker Systems, Ion Channel Activity, Inflammation
Areas of Specialization:
+1 905.525.9140 x 22590


Huizinga’s laboratory is interested in gut pacemaker network properties. Motor patterns of the gut are orchestrated by pacemaker cells, interstitial cells of Cajal, in conjunction with intrinsic and extrinsic nerves. We explore pacemaker cells via electrophysiology (patch clamping, sharp electrodes), we explore structure function relationships, we explore whole organ function through spatio-temporal mapping via video recording of motor patterns. We have a strong emphasis on mathematical modeling of the gut pacemakers as a system of weakly coupled oscillators. All this is to enhance our understanding of human colonic motility, which we explore in patients and volunteers through High Resolution Colonic Manometry.

We have space for graduate students who are interested in mathematical modeling and/or electrophysiology.



Huizinga JD, Parsons SP, Chen JH, Pawelka AJ, Pistilli M, Li C, Yu Y, Ye P, Liu Q, Tong M, Zhu YF & Wei D

Motor patterns of the small intestine explained by phase-amplitude coupling of two pacemaker activities: the critical importance of propagation velocity

Wei R, Parsons SP & Huizinga JD

Spatial Noise in Coupling Strength and Natural Frequency within a Pacemaker Network; Consequences for Development of Intestinal Motor Patterns According to a Weakly Coupled Phase Oscillator Model