McMaster University

McMaster University

Waliul I Khan

, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath (UK)

Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Division: Clinical Pathology

Clinical Chemistry/Immunology, Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program
Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, Division of Gastroenterology

McMaster University
3N7 Health Sciences Centre
905-521-2100 ext. 22846

Currently accepting Graduate Students
Currently accepting Post-Doctoral Fellows

photo of Dr Khan

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

  • FRCPath: Fellow of Royal College of Pathologists, UK
  • PDF, McMaster University, Canada
  • PDF, University of Manchester, UK
  • PhD, Akita University, Japan
  • MBBS, Dhaka Medical College, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


Research Focus

Main Research Areas

Mucosal immunology, Intestinal inflammation, Immuno-endocrine interaction and Host defence in the context of intestinal infection/inflammation.

Current Research Focus

  1. Investigations on the role of the immune system in regulation of endocrine cell biology and serotonin production in gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  2. Studies on the role of serotonin in immune cell activation, inflammation and host defense in GI tract.
  3. Investigations on the crosstalk between the microbiome and endocrine cells in GI tract.
  4. Role of serotonin in obesity and related metabolic disorders.
  5. Studies on regulation of intestinal goblet cell biology and mucin production in intestinal infection and inflammation.


In vivo colitis (IBD) models, Parasite infection (Trichuris muris) model, Organoids, Cell culture, immunohistochemistry, immuno-fluorescence, lymphocyte proliferation study, ELISA, multiplex immunoassay system, flow-cytometry, RT-PCR and Western blotting.


Academic Interests

Dr Khan is involved in the Medical Sciences Graduate Program and teaches the following topics:


  • Infection and Immunity
  • Course coordinator:
  • Graduate Course MS713: Integrated systems in gastrointestinal health and disease (1): Physiology and Pathophysiology of GI tract
  • Graduate Course MS769: Integrated systems in gastrointestinal health and disease (2): Immunology, Inflammation & Microbiology of GI tract

Dr. Khan is also involved in training post-graduate medical biochemistry residents and fellows and general pathology residents, thesis supervision within the Undergraduate Bachelor of Health Science Program and Life Science Program, and is a Faculty of Health Sciences MD/PhD Program faculty member.

Current Research Team Members

Research Technician: Huaqing Wang

Post-doctoral Fellow: Suhrid Banskota

Graduate Students: Eric Kwon, Sabah Huq, Jensine Grondin & Yeganeh Yousefi

Undergraduate Students: Zuhayr Yakub, Daniel Tham


Selected Publications

  • H. Wang, Y. H. Kwon, V. Dewan, F. Vahedi, S. Syed, M. E. Fontes, A. A. Ashkar, M. G. Surette & W. I. Khan (2019). TLR2 Plays a Pivotal Role in Mediating Mucosal Serotonin Production in the Gut.  J Immunol. 202(10):3041-3052.
  • Y. H. Kwon,  H. Wang, E. Denou, J. E. Ghia, L. Rossi, M. E. Fontes, S.P. Bernier, M. S. Shajib, S. Banskota, S. M. Collins, M. G. Surette & W. I. Khan (2019). Modulation of Gut Microbiota Composition by Serotonin Signaling Influences Intestinal Immune Response and Susceptibility to Colitis. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 7(4):709-728.
  • A. M. Martin, J. M. Yabut, J. M. Choo, A.J. Page, E. W. Sun, C.F. Jessup, S. L. Wesselingh, W. I. Khan, S. B. Rogers, G. R. Steinberg & D. J. Keating (2019). The gut microbiome regulates host glucose homeostasis via peripheral serotonin.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(40):19802-19804.
  • J. M. Yabut, J. D. Crane, A. E. Green, D. J. Keating, W. I. Khan & G. R.  Steinberg (2019). Emerging Roles for Serotonin in Regulating Metabolism: New Implications for an Ancient Molecule.   Endocr Rev. 40(4):1092-1107.
  • H. Wang, J. J Kim, E. Denou, A. Gallagher, D. J. Thornton, M. S. Shajib, L. Xia, J. D. Schertzer, R. K. Grencis, D. J. Philpott & W. I. Khan (2015). New role of Nod proteins in regulation of intestinal goblet cell response in the context of innate host defense in an enteric parasite infection. Infect Immun. 84(1):275-85.
  • J. J. Kim, H. Wang, J. D. Terc, B. Zambrowicz, Q. M. Yang & W. I. Khan. Blocking peripheral serotonin synthesis by Telotristat Etiprate (LX1032/LX1606) reduces severity of both chemical- and infection-induced intestinal inflammation (2015). Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 309(6):G455-65. 
  • J. D Crane, R. Palanivel, E. P Mottillo, A.L Bujak, H. Wang, R. J Ford, A. Collins, R. M Blümer, M. D Fullerton, J. M Yabut, J. J Kim, J. E Ghia, S. M Hamza, K. M Morrison, J. D Schertzer, J. R Dyck, W. I Khan & G. R Steinberg (2014).  Inhibiting peripheral serotonin synthesis reduces obesity and metabolic dysfunction by promoting brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.  Nat Med. 2015;21(2):166-72. 
  • J. J. Kim, B. W. Bridle, J. E. Ghia, H. Wang, S. N. Syed, M.M. Manocha, P. Rengasamy, M.S. Shajib, Y. Wan, P. B. Hedlund & W. I. Khan (2013). Targeted Inhibition of Serotonin Type 7 (5-HT7) Receptor Function Modulates Immune Responses and Reduces the Severity of Intestinal Inflammation.  J Immunol.190:4795-804.
  • M. Manocha, M. S. Shajib, M. M. Rahman, H. Wang, P. Rengasamy, M. Bogunovic, M. Jordana, L. Mayer & W. I. Khan (2013).  IL-13 mediated immunological control of enteroendocrine cell hyperplasia and serotonin production in gut.  Mucosal Immunol. 6:146-55.
  • J. McClemens, J. J. Kim, H. Wang, Y. K. Mao, M. Collins, W. Kunze, J. Bienenstock, P. Forsythe & W. I. Khan (2013).  Lactobacillus Rhamnosus (JB-1) Ingestion Promotes Innate Host Defense in an Enteric Parasitic Infection. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 20:818-26.
  • M. Manocha & W. I. Khan (2012). Serotonin and GI Disorders: An Update on Clinical and Experimental Studies. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2012;26;3:e13.doi: 10.1038/ctg.2012.8.
  • N. Li, J.E Ghia, H. Wang, J. McClemens, F. Cote Y. Suehiro, J. Mallet &W. I. Khan (2011). Serotonin activates dendritic cell function in the context of gut inflammation. Am J Pathol. 178:662-71.
  • S. Husain, H. Wang, J. Ghia, N. Has, Y. Deng, R. K. Grencis, A. Velcich, DJ Thornton &W. I. Khan (2010). Muc2 Gene Deficiency in Mice Impairs Host Resistance to Enteric Parasitic Infection. Gastroenterology 138:1763-71.
  • W. I. Khan& J. E. Ghia (2010). Gut hormones: emerging role in immune activation and inflammation. Clinical & Experimental Immunology 161:19-27.
  • J. E. Ghia, Nan Li, H. Wang, M. Collins, Y. Deng, R. T. El-Sharkawy, F. Cote, J. Mallet & W. I. Khan (2009). Serotonin has a key role in pathogenesis of experimental colitis. Gastroenterology; 137(5):1649-60.
  • Y. Motomura, H. Wang, Y. Deng, R.T. El-Sharkawy, E.F. Verdu & W.I. Khan. (2009). Helminth antigen based strategy to ameliorate inflammation in experimental model of colitis. Clinical & Experimental Immunology 155: 88-95.
  • Y. Motomura, J. Ghia, H. Wang, H. Akiho, R. T. El-Sharkawy, M.Collins, Y.Wan, J. T. McLaughlin & W. I. Khan(2008). Enterochromaffin cell and 5-hydroxytryptamine responses to the same infectious agent differ in Th1 and Th2 dominant environments. Gut 57:475-81.
  • H. Wang, J. Steeds, Y. Motomura, Y. Deng, M. Verma-Gandhu, R. El-Sharkawy, J. McLaughlin, R. K. Grencis &W. I. Khan(2007). CD4+ T cell-mediated immunological control of enterochromaffin cell hyperplasia and 5-hydroxytryptamine production in enteric infection. Gut. 56: 949-57.
  • W. I. Khan, Y. Motomura, H. Wang, R. T. El-Sharkawy, E. F. Verdu, M. Verma-Gandhu, B. J. Rollins & S. M. Collins (2006). Critical Role of MCP-1 in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Colitis in the Context of Immune and Enterochromaffin Cells. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 291:G803-11.
  • W. I. Khan, M. Richard, H. Akiho, P. A. Blennerhasset, N. Humphreys, R. K. Grencis, J. Van-Snick & S. M. Collins (2003). Modulation of intestinal muscle contractility by IL-9 or anti-IL-9: correlation with worm expulsion in nematode infections. Infection & Immunity 71: 2330-8.
  • W. I. Khan, P. A. Blennerhasset, A. K. Varghese, S. K. Chowdhury & S. M. Collins (2002). Intestinal nematode infection ameliorates experimental colitis. Infection & Immunity 70:5931-7.
  • W. I. Khan, B. A. Vallance, P. Blennerhasset, Y. Deng, K. I. Matthaei & S. M. Collins (2001). Critical role for signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6 in mediating intestinal muscle hypercontractility and worm expulsion in Trichinella spiralis-infected mice. Infection & Immunity 69: 838-44.

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