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Alan Lomax PhD
 Alan Lomax
Contact Info

Faculty Bio

My laboratory studies how interactions between the microbiota, nervous system and the immune system can contribute to symptom generation in inflammatory bowel disease.  We also investigate the regulation of neurogenesis in the enteric nervous system.

Research Interests

We study enteric neurons and nociceptive neurons to understand how neuroplasticity can lead to pain and altered function during disease.  Our research on neurogenesis focuses on factors that suppress the generation of new neurons in the adult enteric nervous system.  Extensive collaborations with clinicians at Kingston General Hospital enables translational work using patient biopsies and microbiota.

Selected Publications

Pradhananga S, Tashtush AA, Allen-Vercoe E, Petrof EO and Lomax AE (2020).  Protease-dependent excitation of nodose ganglion neurons by commensal gut bacteria. The Journal of Physiology 598: 2137-2151. Editor’s choice. 

Jimenez-Vargas NN, Gong J, Wisdom MJ, Jensen DD, Latorre R, Hegron A, Teng S, DiCello JJ, Rajasekhar P, Veldhuis NA, Carbone SA, Yu Y, Lopez-Lopez C, Jaramillo-Polanco J, Canals M, Reed DE, Lomax AE, Schmidt BL, Leong KW, Vanner SJ, Halls ML, Bunnett NW, Poole DP (2020).  Endosomal signaling of delta opioid receptors is an endogenous mechanism and therapeutic target for relief from inflammatory pain.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (26): 15281-15292.  
Lomax AE*, Pradhananga S, Sessenwein JL, O’Malley D (2019).  Bacterial modulation of visceral sensation: mediators and mechanisms.  American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 317(3): G363-G372.  

Tuck CJ, Caminero A, Jimenez-Vargas N, Soltys CL, Jaramillo Polanco JO, Lopez-Lopez CD, Constante M, Lourenssen SR, Verdu EF, Muir JG, Lomax AE, Reed DE, Vanner SJ.  The impact of dietary fermentable carbohydrates on a post-inflammatory model of irritable bowel syndrome.  Neurogastroenterology and Motility 31(10): e13675. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13675. 

Yu Y, Villalobos-Hernandez E, Pradhananga S, Baker C, Keating C, Grundy D, Lomax AE, and Reed DE (2019).  Deoxycholic acid activates colonic afferent nerves via 5-HT3 receptor dependent and independent mechanisms.  Published on June 19 in American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 317(3): G275-G284. 

Reardon CR, Murray K, Lomax AE (2018).  Neuroimmune communication in health and disease.  Physiological Reviews 98: 2287-2316.

Park SJ, Yang Y, Wagner B, Valinsky WC, Lomax AE, Beyak MJ (2018).  Increased TASK channel mediated currents underlie high fat diet-induced vagal afferent dysfunction.  American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.  315: G592-601.  Featured in APS select.  

Guerrero R, Valdez Morales E, Bron R, Poole D, Reed DE, Castro J, Campaniello M, Hughes PA, Brierley S, Bunnett NW, Lomax AE, Vanner SJ (2018).  Co-Expression of μ and δ opioid receptors by colonic nociceptors. Published online in British Journal of Pharmacology 175: 2622-2634 
Sessenwein JL, Baker CC, Pradhananga S, Maitland ME, Petrof EO, Allen-Vercoe E, Noordhof C, Reed DE, Vanner SJ, Lomax AE (2017). Protease-mediated suppression of DRG neuron excitability by commensal bacteria. Journal of Neuroscience 37: 11758-11768.
Cervi AL, Moynes DM, Chisholm SP, Nasser Y, Vanner SJ, Lomax AE (2017).       A role for interleukin 17A in IBD-related neuroplasticity. Neurogastroenterology and Motility May 30: doi: 10.1111/nmo.13112.
Stamp LA, Gwynne RM, Foong JP, Lomax AE, Hao MM, Kaplan DI, Reid CA, Petrou, S, Allen AM, Bornstein JC, Young HM (2017). Optogenetic demonstration of functional innervation of mouse colons by neurons derived from transplanted neural cells. Gastroenterology 152: 1407-1418.
Lomax AE, Pradhananga S, Bertrand PP (2017). Plasticity of neuroeffector transmission during bowel inflammation. American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 312: G165-170. 
Guerrero-Alba R, Valdez Morales EE, Jimenez-Vargas JN, Lopez Lopez C, Jaramillo Polanco J, Okamoto T, Nasser Y, Bunnett NW, Lomax AE, Vanner SJ (2017). Stress activates pronociceptive endogenous opioid signaling in DRG neurons during chronic colitis. Gut 66: 2121-2131.

Lukewich MK, Lomax AE (2015).  Mouse models of sepsis elicit spontaneous action potential discharge and enhance intracellular Ca2+signalling in sympathetic postganglionic neurons. Neuroscience 284: 668-677.

Moynes DM, Vanner S, Lomax AE (2014).  Participation of interleukin 17A in neuroimmune interactions. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity 41: 1-9.   Provided issue’s cover image. 

Benson JR, Xu J, Moynes DM, Lapointe TL, Altier C, Vanner S, Lomax AE (2014).  Sustained neurochemical plasticity in the central terminals of mouse DRG neurons following colitis. Cell and Tissue Research 356: 309-317.
Lukewich MK, Lomax AE (2014).  Endotoxemia enhances catecholamine secretion from male mouse adrenal chromaffin cells through an increase in Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum. Endocrinology 155: 180-192.
Lukewich MK, Rogers RC, Lomax AE (2014).  Divergent neuroendocrine responses to localised and systemic inflammation. Seminars in Immunology 26: 402-408.
Lukewich MK, Lomax AE (2013).  Toll-like receptor 4 activation reduces adrenal chromaffin cell excitability through a nuclear factor kB-dependent pathway. Endocrinology 154: 351-362.
Roberts JA, Lukewich MK, Sharkey KA, Furness JB, Mawe GM, Lomax AE (2012).  The roles of purinergic signalling during gastrointestinal inflammation. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 12: 659-666.
Hao MM, Lomax AE, McKeown SJ, Reid CA, Young HM, Bornstein JC (2012).   Early development of electrical excitability in the mouse enteric nervous system.  Journal of Neuroscience 32: 10949-10960.  Featured in This Week in the Journal.
Chisholm SP, Cervi A, Nagpal S, Lomax AE (2012).  Interleukin 17A increases neurite outgrowth from adult postganglionic sympathetic neurons.  Journal of Neuroscience 32: 1146-1155.  Provided issue’s cover image.
Lukewich MK, Lomax AE (2011).  Altered adrenal chromaffin cell function during experimental colitis.  American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 300: G654-664.
Bertrand PP, Barajas-Espinosa AR, Bertrand RL, Lomax AE (2010).  Real time electrochemical detection of mucosal serotonin release during experimental colitis.  American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 298: G446-G455.
Motagally M, Lukewich MK, Chisholm SP, Neshat S, Lomax AE (2009).  Tumor necrosis factor α activates nuclear factor kB to inhibit N-type voltage-gated Ca2+ current in postganglionic sympathetic neurons.  Journal of Physiology 587: 2623-2634.

Lomax AE, O’Reilly MT, Neshat S and Vanner S (2007).  Sympathetic vasoconstrictor regulation of mouse colonic submucosal arterioles is altered in experimental colitis.  Journal of Physiology 583: 719-730.


Research in my laboratory is funded by operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Weston Foundation, Crohn's and Colitis Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Our major research methodologies include electrophysiology, microscopy, Ca2+ imaging, cell culture, immunohistochemistry and PCR.  I am always interested in hearing from well qualified and highly motivated applicants for graduate and postdoctoral research positions.  Please e-mail me at