New Faculty

Dr. Brian Muegge joins the Department of Medicine

Dr. Muegge was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri. He earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Princeton University. Dr. Muegge received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in 2013, where he studied the role of diet in shaping the structure and function of the mammalian gut microbiome in the lab of Jeffrey Gordon, MD. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and returned to Washington University in St. Louis in 2015 as a Fellow in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research. Dr. Muegge joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine in August, 2019.

Research Interests: Dr. Muegge studies the diffuse enteroendocrine system in the intestinal epithelium, the largest endocrine organ in the body. Hormones made by enteroendocrine cells are important regulators of insulin release, gut motility, and satiety. Despite their importance to human health, the gut endocrine system is understudied because the cells are rare, heterogenous, and can’t be easily studied in primary culture. Dr. Muegge’s research uses a recently developed protocol from the lab of his post-doctoral mentor, Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, to grow enteroendocrine cells from primary mouse or human intestinal stem cells in long-term, self-renewing culture. Using this platform, he has identified that enteroendocrine cells are resistant to injury that destroys other members of the intestinal epithelium and respond by increasing the expression of some hormone and pro-reparative cytokines. His ongoing research program uses computational and systems genomics to study the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern these endocrine adaptations during normal health and disease. The outcome of this research will be to identify new secreted factors from enteroendocrine cells that can be used to treat patients suffering from intestinal or metabolic diseases.