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Michael Gershon

AKA Michael David Gershon

Born: c. 1936

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Biologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Gut neurobiology

Michael Gershon is a neurobiologist at New York's Columbia-Presbyterian, and is generally considered the father of modern neurogastroenterology, the study of the enteric nervous system — the gut — as a complex, autonomous system. The enteric system consists of some 100M neurons embedded along the alimentary canal, which stretches from the esophagus to the anus. Gershon's work has established that serotonin acts as a primary neurotransmitter in this system, which has led to the discovery of other gut neurotransmitters. He has shown how drugs, encompassing everything from over-the-counter medicines to LSD, interact with the independent nerve mass in the enteric system, which Gershon calls "the second brain". He has also written poetry about the gut.

Not to be confused with Michael Gerson, Bush speechwriter.

Wife: Anne (Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University)
Son: Perry Gershon
Daughter: Dana Samantha Gershon

    University: BA, Cornell University (1958)
    Medical School: MD, Cornell University (1963)
    Professor: Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Columbia University

    American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
    American Association of Anatomists President (1995)
    Phi Beta Kappa Society

Official Website:

Author of books:
The Second Brain: A Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestine (1998, science)

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