Nicholas E Diamant, FRCPC, MD
Emeritus Professor


Research Interests
My research, although anchored by a particular interest in the esophagus, has been characterized by its direction to fundamental concepts and principles that govern integrative neuromuscular control throughout the gut. Three main themes are woven through the research: myogenic characteristics (especially factors that determine oscillatory properties and functional coordination of smooth muscle cells); neuro-humoral control of smooth muscle; and brain-gut interaction (both biomedical and psychophysiological-psychobehavioural).

Present research activities are directed to four areas:
1) Neuromuscular control mechanisms that regulate motor activity in the smooth muscle portion of the esophagus;
2) Psychophysical aspects of visceral pain in normal subjects and patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS);
3) Treatment modalities for IBS and other functional abdominal pain disorders;
and  4) The assessment of and outcome of oropharyngeal swallowing disorders.

The studies are done primarily in animals, or with in vitro tissue from animals and humans. The in vitro studies include assessment of muscle contractile properties and the electrophysiological cell membrane characteristics. In addition, there is an active program of in vivo human studies designed to explore normal physiological mechanisms, as well as management strategies for irritable bowel syndrome, and the assessment of swallowing disorders.

Publications (PubMed)