Gastroenterology Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology research focuses intestinal inflammation and the interaction of the gut microbiome, intestinal epithelial cells and mucosal immune system. Studies range from disease models, to clinical trials and epidemiological studies.

Gastroenterology is a major clinical department in NNUH and a major research theme in the Norwich Medical School. 7 full time NHS consultants lead the clinical department. The department is extremely actively clinically with a large endoscopy unit in the UK with a throughput of 17000 patients per year. The endoscopy department is acknowledged as one of the leading units and training centres in the UK. It also a leading screening centre and was among the first in the UK to start colorectal cancer screening in 2007 and flexible sigmoidoscopic screening in 2013. It has a major interest in Hepatology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Nutrition.

Academic gastroenterology within the clinical department is led by Professor Watson with 2 senior lecturers (Beales, Hart) and one lecturer (Chan). There are also 2 academic clinical fellows and one NIHR research fellow. Clinical gastroenterological research is part of a much broader research programme of Gastroenterology and Gut Biology led by a partnership of the Norwich Medical School (13 Principal Investigators, including 3 Professors) and the Institute of Food Research (25 Principal Investigators).

Current ongoing projects include clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease, the epidemiology of food risk factors in gastrointestinal disease, the role of gut bacteria in gastrointestinal disease, clinical and preclinical studies in sclerosing cholangitis, clinical studies in nutrition, the development of new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. While attached to gastroenterology practical experience will be obtained by supervised periods of "hands-on" research. This will include opportunities in clinical, laboratory-based and epidemiological research and the chance to experience and learn many experimental techniques of the post-holders choosing.

The department is also heavily involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and the FY2 post will have the opportunity to further their experience in teaching and assessments. A major interest in the "teaching" side of academic training can be accommodated and is encouraged. This could involve planning and giving teaching sessions under supervision. The exact make up of the post would be decided following discussion with the post-holder.

Key areas of research interest are:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Microbial host interactions in the gut
  • Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Dietary risk factors for gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastrointestinal cancers

Gastroenterology has close links with the BBSRC-funded Gut and Food Safety collaborative research programme and the EPIC (The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) research programme.


NHS Partner Researchers

  • Dr Simon Chan

  • Dr Mark Tremelling

  • Dr Florence Walston

For more information, contact Professor Alastair Watson (