In 2023, the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) awarded a $35,000 Nancy and Bill Norton Research Grant to Dr. Will Takakura from Michigan Medicine.
Will Takakura graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School and then completed his internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai. After graduation, he completed a 1-year internal medicine fellowship while focusing on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) research under the tutelage of Dr. Mark Pimentel and Dr. Ali Rezaie. His prior work has shown that single spot methane can accurately predict intestinal methanogen overgrowth (IMO), is correlated with constipation, and that it reliably decreases with antibiotics.
He is currently a second-year gastroenterology fellow at the University of Michigan. He leads a busy clinical life seeing patients from all over Michigan, as the University of Michigan serves as the major referral center for the state. He is focused on treating and improving the care for patients with functional GI disorders. He is interested in developing biomarkers and predicting outcomes.
He has a strong interest in the relationship between the microbiome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). He will use the Nancy and Bill Norton Research Award to investigate the relationship between biofilms and IBS. Given the dense population of bacteria that are present in biofilms, there may be an association with diarrhea predominant IBS. Biofilms may be partially responsible for the gut microbial dysbiosis seen in IBS and its responsiveness to antibiotics. In this grant, he will investigate the clinical significance of biofilms in IBS and will evaluate the relationship between biofilms and symptoms, bowel prep volume and method, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal methanogen overgrowth (IMO), and colonic transit time. The ultimate goal is to evaluate if biofilms may be useful in predicting a response to antibiotics or dietary therapies.
In his career, he is interested in developing precision medicine in functional GI disorders. In particular, he is interested in developing biomarkers and statistical models to predict outcomes and response to therapies in IBS. He hopes that one day he can develop an accurate tool to provide precision medicine in functional GI disorders.