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Helen Cox


  • Phone86182
  • SE1 1UL

    United Kingdom

  • 2682

Personal profile

Research interests

The Cox research group (Guy’s, KCL) investigates how nutrient metabolites stimulate gut hormone and enteric neurotransmitter release to modify gastrointestinal (GI) functions such as epithelial ion transport, intestinal motility and body metabolism.

We are expert Ussing-chamber electrophysiologists analysing real-time changes in ion transport across mucosal preparations with intact enteric innervation. We are one of very few European groups with this in-depth electrophysiological experience and combined with pharmacological strategies we have established for example, how microbial metabolites differentially co-activate enteroendocrine cells and enteric nerves in a GI region-specific manner (Tough et al 2018).  Short chain fatty acids stimulate the release of satiety hormone peptide YY and incretin, glucagon-like peptide-1; that slow GI motility, reduce food intake and control blood glucose respectively. Dysfunction of these intestinal signalling pathways can contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Methologically, we utilise physiological, pharmacological and molecular strategies to elucidate hormone and 5HT-receptor activities in complex (mouse models, and rodent and human GI tissues) as well as simpler epithelial monolayer models (epithelial cells grown in culture).


Research interests (short)

Nutrient and microbial metabolite sensing in the GI tract.

Hormone and neuropeptide receptor signalling.

Epithelial ion transport and barrier function.

Education/Academic qualification

Cellular Pharmacology, Doctor of Philosophy, Angiotensin Receptor Cellular Pharmacology, University of Southampton

Award Date: 2 Feb 1983

Physiology & Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science

Award Date: 7 Jul 1979


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