Seungil Ro

( University of Nevada, Reno )


(775) 784-1462
  • Institution:University of Nevada, Reno
  • Departments: Molecular Biosciences
  • Disciplines: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Biochemistry
  • Location:Washoe County


My research interest is studying the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) that control gut neuromuscular (motility) disorders. The gut is a vital organ for human survival: it is where food is digested, where nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream, and where undigested waste moves through and leaves the body. This digestive process is achieved by the synchronized movement (motility) of gastrointestinal (GI) muscle, which mixes food and propels the digested content through the GI tract. Motility of GI muscle is controlled by three key cells: enteric nervous system (ENS), interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). ENS and ICC generate complex rhythmic motor behavior and spontaneous electrical slow waves, respectively, both of which control SMCs, the final effectors for muscle contraction and muscle relaxation. Developmental abnormalities and pathophysiological damage of these cells are directly linked to GI neuromuscular diseases such as Hirschsprung’s disease, diabetic gastroenteropathy (DGEP), gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), and chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO).