Mark Pimentel, MD, is the executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai and in collaboration with Ruchi Mathur, MD, whose work focuses on links between metabolic disease and gut microbiome, and Ali Rezaie, MD, whose innovative work in GI motility improves the wellbeing of patients, as part of the MAST team they focus on the development of drugs, diagnostic tests and devices related to conditions of the microbiome.
Pimentel’s team researches irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) conditions effecting about 10% of the population worldwide and about 10%-15% of people in the U.S. In the past, there was no definitive test to diagnose IBS. For a time, IBS was thought to be a psychological disease; however, the Pimentel Lab discovered a blood test to provide a definitive diagnosis showing that IBS is an organic disease. Having a definitive diagnosis for IBS paved the way for additional research in the Pimentel Lab to treat the condition.
The areas of greatest interest and work in the MAST Program include motility disorders of the GI tract, SIBO, IBS, metabolic diseases (such as obesity and diabetes) and many others, as they relate to the microbiome. The MAST Program’s mission is to find better treatments for the conditions related to the microbiome.
It is increasingly clear that influencing the gut microbiome has the potential to revolutionize the management of not only infectious disease states but a broad range of other conditions in which the microbiome is now being shown to play a critical role."
Mark Pimentel, MD
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A few of the most significant accomplishments of the Pimentel Laboratory include:
- Developing the first blood test for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) having identified a link between the disease and episodes of acute gastroenteritis (food poisoning). Developing and validating the second-generation blood test for IBS—providing increased specificity and accuracy to help doctors diagnose diarrhea-predominant and mixed-type IBS (IBS-D and IBS-M).
- The discovery of rifaximin as a treatment for IBS with diarrhea
- Describing the association between IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which forms the basis for microbiome therapies in this condition
- Determining IBS/SIBO to be an autoimmune disease
- Developing the first animal model to study treatment of IBS/SIBO caused by gastroenteritis
- Discovering the association between methanogens in the gut and metabolic-related issues
- Developing and validating the only breath test to measure hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulfide to help diagnose and differentiate between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal methanogenic overgrowth (IMO) and diarrhea
Collaborations & Resources
- Benjamin Basseri, MD
- Srinivas Gaddam, MD
- Goodarzi Laboratory
- Mathur Laboratory
- Shirley Paski, MD
- Rezaie Laboratory
- Cedars-Sinai Research Cores
- Functional Medicine Discussion Group—Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Gastroenterology & Hepatology—Update on IBS Diagnostics and Therapeutics
- Low Fermentation/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Diet
- Mark Pimentel, MD—A New IBS Solution
- Mark Pimentel, MD—Twitter
- Mark Pimentel, MD—YouTube
- Mark Pimentel, MD - Facebook
- Support the IBS Research Fund
Rezaie A, Leite GGS, Melmed GY, Mathur R, Villanueva-Millan MJ, Parodi G, Sin J, Germano JF, Morales W, Weitsman S, Kim SY, Park JH, Sakhaie S, Pimentel M
PLoS One. 2020 Jul 16;15(7):e0236199
Leite G, Morales W, Weitsman S, Celly S, Parodi G, Mathur R, Barlow GM, Sedighi R, Millan MJV, Rezaie A, Pimentel M
PLoS One. 2020 Jul 9;15(7):e0234906
Pimentel M, Lembo A
Dig Dis Sci. 2020 Mar;65(3):829-839
Takakura W, Pimentel M
Front Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 10;11:664
Contact the Pimentel Lab
8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Building, Room 5009
Los Angeles, CA 90048