Neural control of intestinal inflammation – therapies for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is common, chronic and debilitating; treatments are variably successful, costly and can lose effectiveness over time. A major form of IBD, Crohn’s Disease, almost always recurs, even after the affected region has been surgically removed. Patients and their families are desperate for new, effective treatments that are safe and have limited side effects.

Our research is systematically investigating the pathways of neuroimmune interactions in the intestine, including vagal, sympathetic and enteric nervous system pathways. We are closely comparing neuro-immune changes that are associated with active inflammation and remission both in human and in an animal model.

The project involves a team of neuroscientists, physiologists, clinicians and bioengineers working closely together.

Research team

Take part in this project

Student applications

Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.

How to apply

Accepting students


Populin L, Stebbing MJ, Furness JB (2021), ‘Neuronal regulation of the gut immune system and neuromodulation for treating inflammatory bowel disease’, FASEB Bioreviews 3:953–966,

Contact us

Professor John Furness

[email protected]