Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory

Dr. Galandiuk and Second year medical student Andrew Littlefield with Norbert Burzynski prize winning presentation “M1 Macrophages and the Immune Checkpoint Protein Expression of Colorectal Cancer using RNA Sequencing” at Research!Louisville. Dr. Susan Galandiuk mentored the winning poster work.

Susan Galandiuk, MD

Professor, Director Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory
Director, Price Institute of Surgical Research



At the Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory, we are fortunate to have researchers from across the United States and abroad who share our enthusiasm and commitment to transform patients' lives through medical research. Their desire for knowledge and understanding drives them in their quest to prevent, better manage, and, one day, cure digestive diseases. As they painstakingly unravel the mysteries of digestive diseases, they are forging new pathways of discovery. 



The Price Institute of Surgical Research funds one or two "Price Fellows" each year so that they may obtain a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) while conducting research in the Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory. To learn more about our current research please view our publications. The Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory is located in the Medical Dental Research Building on Floyd Street within the Price Institute for Surgical Research.    

 Our laboratory focuses on basic molecular research into gastrointestinal diseases including: 

  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Colorectal Cancer



We encourage teamwork—both in the laboratory and in collaboration with researchers at regional, national and international institutions. Together, we apply our expertise to statistical analysis, pathological interpretation, and genetics research.



Our clinical research fellows have access to, and gain experience with, the latest drugs as well as surgical techniques for digestive disorders. This unique focus on medical and surgical treatments allows us to offer some of our patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new medications or to take advantage of new surgical procedures for inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.  



1. Temporal increase in the incidence of anal squamous cell carcinoma in Kentucky and factors associated with adverse outcomes. O'brien SJ, Gaskins JT, Ellis CT, Martin BA, Mcdowell J, Gondim DD, Galandiuk S.Cancer Med. 2023 May;12(10):11462-11474. doi: 10.1002/cam4.5865. Epub 2023 Mar 29.PMID: 36991580 Free PMC article.

2. Obesity hormones and itaconate mediating inflammation in human colon cancer cells - Another lead to early-onset colon cancer? Scheurlen KM, Snook DL, Alfieri T, Littlefield AB, George JB, Seraphine C, Cook CN, Rochet A, Gaskins JT, Galandiuk S.Heliyon. 2023 Jan 21;9(2):e13132. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e13132. eCollection 2023 Feb.PMID: 36825172 Free PMC article.

3. The NOTCH4-GATA4-IRG1 axis as a novel target in early-onset colorectal cancer. Scheurlen KM, Chariker JH, Kanaan Z, Littlefield AB, George JB, Seraphine C, Rochet A, Rouchka EC, Galandiuk S.Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2022 Oct;67:25-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2022.06.002. Epub 2022 Jun 30.PMID: 35941043 

4. Itaconate and leptin affecting PPARγ in M2 macrophages: A potential link to early-onset colorectal cancer. Scheurlen KM, Snook DL, Walter MN, Cook CN, Fiechter CR, Pan J, Beal RJ, Galandiuk S.Surgery. 2022 Mar;171(3):650-656. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.10.054. Epub 2021 Dec 6.PMID: 34876290 Free PMC article.

5. Decreased Tumoral Expression of Colon-Specific Water Channel Aquaporin 8 Is Associated With Reduced Overall Survival in Colon Adenocarcinoma.O'Brien SJ, Kalbflesich T, Srivastava S, Pan J, Rai S, Petras RE, Ronquillo N, Polk HC Jr, Galandiuk S.Dis Colon Rectum. 2021 May 13. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002071. Online ahead of print.PMID: 33990498

6. Long non-coding RNA ZFAS1 is a major regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition through miR-200/ZEB1/E-cadherin, vimentin signaling in colon adenocarcinoma. O'Brien SJ, Fiechter C, Burton J, Hallion J, Paas M, Patel A, Patel A, Rochet A, Scheurlen K, Gardner S, Eichenberger M, Sarojini H, Srivastava S, Rai S, Kalbfleisch T, Polk HC Jr, Galandiuk S.Cell Death Discov. 2021 Mar 26;7(1):61. doi: 10.1038/s41420-021-00427-x.PMID: 33771981 Free PMC article.