Skip to main content

Robert C. De Lisle, PhD

Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D.: 1984, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Postdoctoral: University of California, San Francisco

The focus of my research is investigation of pathobiology of cystic fibrosis (CF) in the gastrointestinal (GI) system.

CF is one of the most common life-shortening genetic diseases in Caucasians and is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. CFTR is a cAMP-regulated chloride channel expressed in many epithelial cells. In the absence of functional CFTR, exocrine secretions are poorly-hydrated and viscous mucus covers affected epithelial surfaces. In the GI system accumulation of mucus can lead to obstruction of the lumen. Accumulated mucus also provides a niche for abnormal bacterial colonization and overgrowth. In the healthy gut, gastrointestinal motility is an important control for bacterial load, especially in the proximal small intestine. GI motility has been reported to be impaired in about ½ of CF patients, and this may contribute to bacterial overgrowth. These effects of CF interfere with proper nutrition, are detrimental to overall health, and lower the quality of life in CF patients.

Using the Cftr knockout mouse (Cftr tm1UNC) model of CF we are investigating the inter-related roles of excessive mucus, abnormal bacterial growth, and impaired motility in the pathophysiology of CF in the intestine. Pharmacological and dietary approaches are being used to determine the mechanisms of intestinal dysfunction in CF. Recent work from our lab shows significant changes in expression of genes whose products control prostaglanind levels, and these changes are implicated in the CF pathophysiology. The long term goal is to provide new therapeutic interventions to improve intestinal function in CF. This work includes in vivo and in vitro studies; morphological and immunocytochemical techniques; and measurement of mRNA and protein levels for various inflammatory markers and signaling molecules.

abnormal bacteria growth

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

  • none

Former trainees (Postdoc & Graduate Students)

  • Oxana Norkina, M.D., postdoctoral fellow Univ Mass School of Medicine, Worcester, MA
  • Igor Boulatnikov, PhD., Senior Scientist Univ Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS
  • Subramanian Venkateswaran, PhD; Department of Biochemistry, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Abdulbaki (Baki) Agbas, PhD; Research Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS;
  • Simran Kaur, Ph.D., homemaker;
  • Chanderdeep Tandon, Ph.D., Instructor, Jaypee University of Information Technology, India;

Recent Publications

Click here for Complete List of Publications from PubMed

  1. De Lisle RC. Disrupted tight junctions in the small intestine of cystic fibrosis mice. Cell Tissue Res 355: 131-142, 2014.
  2. De Lisle RC and Borowitz D. The Cystic Fibrosis Intestine. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 3: a009753, 2013.
  3. Geiser J, De Lisle RC and Andrews GK. The zinc transporter Zip5 (Slc39a5) regulates intestinal zinc excretion and protects the pancreas against zinc toxicity. PLos ONE 8: e82149, 2013.
  4. Geiser J, De Lisle RC, Finkelstein D, Adlard PA, Bush AI and Andrews GK. Clioquinol synergistically augments rescue by zinc supplementation in a mouse model of acrodermatitis enteropathica. PLos ONE 8: e72543, 2013.
  5. Lynch SV, Goldfarb KC, Wild Y, Kong W, De Lisle RC and Brodie EL. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator knockout mice exhibit aberrant gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes 4: 41-47, 2013.
  6. Pondugula SR, Kampalli SB, Wu T, De Lisle RC, Raveendran NN, Harbidge DG and Marcus DC. cAMP-stimulated Cl- secretion is increased by glucocorticoids and inhibited by bumetanide in semicircular canal duct epithelium. BMC Physiol 13: 6, 2013.
  7. De Lisle RC. Lubiprostone stimulates small intestinal mucin release. BMC Gastroenterol 12: 156, 2012.
  8. De Lisle RC, Meldi L and Mueller R . Intestinal smooth muscle dysfunction develops postnatally in cystic fibrosis mice. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 55: 689-694, 2012.
  9. Geiser J, Venken KJT, De Lisle RC and Andrews GK. A mouse model of acrodermatitis enteropathica: loss of intestine zinc transporter ZIP4 (Slc39a4) disrupts the stem cell niche and intestine integrity. PLoS Genet 8: e1002766, 2012.
  10. Wouthuyzen-Bakker M, Bijvelds MJ, de Jong H, De Lisle RC, Burgerhof JG and Verkade HJ. Effect of antibiotic treatment on fat absorption in mice with cystic fibrosis. Pediatr Res 71: 4-12, 2012.
Last modified: Sep 05, 2019


Robert C. De Lisle, PhD
Associate Professor Emeritus

Mail Stop 3038
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160

P: (913) 588-2742
F: (913) 588-2710