Mississippi College

John Piletz

2015 marks my third year at MC - a Christian university. Please peruse my semester calendar, course syllabi & recent publications listed below.

About Me

As an ex-med school professor, I'm happy to be teaching in MC's new and innovative medical science program. Rejuvenated and too young to retire, I've taken on a new line of research concerning the symbiotic garden each of us has within us - trillions of bacteria and other microbes representing thousands of different species called the microbiome - and surprisingly what these intestinal indwellers have to say about mental health! Gut microbiota had been thought for over a century to passively contribute to the digestive process, and much of what we knew about them – until recently – was killing pathogens with antibiotics. Newer research points to myriad health benefits by "good" bacteria. Beginning with probiotics to improve digestion and compete out the pathogenic bacteria, new research has revealed the existence of an integrated physiological system called the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis (MGB axis). The enteric nervous system is key to intestinal movement and metabolism, but it also is connected with the brain through the vagus nerve and the spinal cord. Good bacteria are called commensals and "bad" bacteria are called pathogens.  They emit diverse chemical signals to each other as well as to the endothelial cells of the gut.  Emerging scientific evidence indicates that these signals are orchestrated by homeostatic mechanisms stemming to/from our brains.  Can we learn enough about this MGB axis to harness its health benefits?  The concept is very new - yet it has gastronomic implications!  These and many other questions are being explored with students in my lab.  Students challenge minds and shape life-long learners, of which I seem to be a prime example!

Class Schedule

Spring 2015

  • BIO6430 X - Graduate Biology Seminar
    Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, Med Sci 202
  • BIO 6430-Z - Graduate Biology Seminar
    Fridays, 1:00 - 5:00 pm, Med Sci 202
  • BIO 6330-Z - Graduate Biology Seminar Observation
    Fridays, 1:00 - 5:00 pm, Med Sci 202
  • BIO 6330 Y - Graduate Biology Seminar Observation
    Wednesdays, 6, Med Sci 202
  • Bio 452 c/ - Enteric Cell-Cell Signal Lab Rsch
    TBD, 3.5 hours per week per 1 credit hr, Medsci 219
  • BIO 6460/6 - Enteric-Bacterial Laboratory Research
    TBD, 3.5 hours per week per 1 credit hr, Medsci 219



BIO 6460/6 Documents

Other Documents