Aaron May-Zhang
Last active: 7/16/2018


Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are the most common digestive diseases. In the United States, nearly one of every four people are affected by these disorders. Unfortunately, in cases of gut stasis or improper innervation, such as Hirschprung’s disease, the most reliable treatment at this time involves resecting the diseased portions of the gut. The recovery process from such procedures can be quite challenging for many patients; in the U.S. alone, over 130,000 ostomy surgeries are performed each year!

Because the enteric nervous system is the key regulator of gut homeostasis and motility, the goal of my research is to identify novel therapeutic targets within human enteric nerves that can be used to treat these diseases and fully restore gut function. Such discoveries will be integral in designing new pharmaceutical treatments and stem cell therapies.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Optimization of Laser-Capture Microdissection for the Isolation of Enteric Ganglia from Fresh-Frozen Human Tissue. May-Zhang AA, Deal KK, Southard-Smith EM (2018) J Vis Exp (136)
    › Primary publication · 29985370 (PubMed) · PMC6042974 (PubMed Central)
  2. How and why do gastrointestinal peptides influence food intake? Woods SC, May-Zhang AA, Begg DP (2018) Physiol Behav 193(Pt B): 218-222
    › Primary publication · 29577941 (PubMed) · PMC6087670 (PubMed Central)
  3. Using the cerebrospinal fluid to understand ingestive behavior. Woods SC, May AA, Liu M, Tso P, Begg DP (2017) Physiol Behav : 172-178
    › Primary publication · 27923718 (PubMed) · PMC5944842 (PubMed Central)
  4. CCK increases the transport of insulin into the brain. May AA, Liu M, Woods SC, Begg DP (2016) Physiol Behav : 392-7
    › Primary publication · 27570192 (PubMed) · PMC5028313 (PubMed Central)
  5. Estrogen and insulin transport through the blood-brain barrier. May AA, Bedel ND, Shen L, Woods SC, Liu M (2016) Physiol Behav : 312-321
    › Primary publication · 27182046 (PubMed) · PMC4947438 (PubMed Central)
  6. Is endogenous GLP-1 a major influence on the orbitofrontal cortex? May AA, Woods SC (2015) Mol Metab 4(12): 977-8
    › Primary publication · 26909314 (PubMed) · PMC4731707 (PubMed Central)
  7. Ginsenoside Rb1 increases insulin sensitivity by activating AMP-activated protein kinase in male rats. Shen L, Haas M, Wang DQ, May A, Lo CC, Obici S, Tso P, Woods SC, Liu M (2015) Physiol Rep 3(9)
    › Primary publication · 26359241 (PubMed) · PMC4600387 (PubMed Central)
  8. Insulin Detemir Is Transported From Blood to Cerebrospinal Fluid and Has Prolonged Central Anorectic Action Relative to NPH Insulin. Begg DP, May AA, Mul JD, Liu M, D'Alessio DA, Seeley RJ, Woods SC (2015) Diabetes 64(7): 2457-66
    › Primary publication · 25667307 (PubMed) · PMC4477354 (PubMed Central)