Faculty Profile


  • Dr. Shi is currently a tenured Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas.

    Dr. Shi earned his M.D. from Wannan Medical College in Chine, and received his graduate education and post-doctoral training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is an American Gastroenterology Association Fellow. His research has been focused mainly on neurogastroenterology and gut inflammation. As a principal investigator/project director, Dr. Shi has been awarded multiple R01 grants from National Institute of Health (NIH), and Investigator-Initiated Research Award from the US Department of Defense (DoD) among other extramural and internal grants. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and 4 book chapters, and served as a scientific reviewer for federal grant agencies such as NIH, DoD, and VA. He has also served as an academic editor in editorial board in several peer-reviewed journals.


    MD, Wannan Medical College - Wuhu, China, 1984

    MS, Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, WI, 1996


    Medical Physiology Postgraduate Training, Lanzhou University College of Medicine - Lanzhou, China, 1987

    Molecular GI Physiology Postdoctoral Fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, WI, 2001

  • Research Interests

    Dr. Shi's lab has focused mainly on neurogastroenterology and gut inflammation.  The research interests in the Shi Lab include: neuromuscular control of bowel functions in normal and disease; mechanisms of inflammation, fibrosis, and tissue remodeling in inflammatory bowel disease; microbiome roles in gastrointestinal health and disease. Currently, the Shi Lab is working on the following three programs:

    1. Pathogenic mechanisms of fibrosis and tissue remodeling in Crohn's disease - This program is supported by a new R01 award (NIDDK) (2020 to 2024).  The main goal is to investigate if mechanical stress plays a critical role in gut inflammation, fibrosis, and smooth muscle hyperplasia in Crohn's disease, focusing on mechanosensitive activation of transcription co-activator YAP/TAZ and upregulation of pro-inflammatory, pro-fibrogenic and proliferative factors, i.e. IL-6, CTGF and BDNF.
    2. Mechanism of action of exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) in Crohn's disease - This is a new Investigator-Initiated Research Award (IIRA), funded in August 2020 by the US Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.  This project test the hypothesis that the benefits of EEN in Crohn's disease is mainly due to its liquid nature rather than the nutrient components of EEN.  The role of microbiome will also be studied.
    3. Pathogenic mechanisms of motility dysfunction and abdominal pain n obstructive bowel disorders - This is an on-going program in the lab, continuously supported by NIH/NIDDK for the last 12 years, and also by UTMB internally (John Sealy Foundation bridging grant and pilot grant, and DOM seed grant).  We have found that mechanical distention-induced pro-inflammatory and pain mediators in gut smooth muscle cells play a pivotal role in motility dysfunction and abdominal pain in preclinical models of mechanical obstruction, functional obstruction, and fecal retention.
  • PubMed