Gastrointestinal and Bladder Disease Group

About us

Research in our group is aimed at uncovering the causes of and developing therapeutics for gut and bladder diseases. In our human colon research, neurochemicals and their receptors are characterised using modern molecular techniques and classical pharmacological techniques. We have found distinctly different expression patterns of tachykinin-related genes occur in diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).  Recently we showed that the novel tachykinin hemokinin-1 is involved in the pathophysiology of CD and UC, and signals via COX2- and 15-PGDH-dependent mechanisms to regulate PGE₂ levels. Interaction between tachykinins and prostaglandins are also found in slow transmit constipation.

In our bladder research, there is increasing evidence that factors released from the bladder urothelium play an important role in direct signalling to afferent nerves, myofibroblasts and the detrusor muscle. In the animal bladder, both stretch and acid induce ATP release from the mucosa. In the human bladder, ATP release is altered in detrusor overactivity and painful bladder disorders, leading to symptoms of urgency, frequency, painful urge to empty the bladder, and/or urge incontinence.



A/Prof Denis W. King

St George Hospital


  • Liying Dai (PhD)
  • Stelina Drimousis (PhD)
  • Cassandra Liang (Honours)
  • Hafiz Sana-Ur-Rehman (PhD)
  • Zhinoos Taidi (Masters)