Milena Saqui-Salces

Assistant Professor-Gut Cellular Physiology
495K AnSc/VetMed
1988 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-6014
+1 612 624 4277


  • Post-doctorate: University of Michigan - Physiopathology of the GI Tract
  • PhD: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) - Biological Science
  • BS: Instituto Technologico de Veracruz - Biochemical Engineering

Research Interests

The endocrine function of the gastrointestinal tract is my main research interest. I reported for the first time that endocrine cells of the stomach that secrete gastrin, ghrelin and somatostatin have primary cilia. Primary cilia are sensory organelles that work as antennas that the cells use to sense their immediate environment and to regulate signaling pathways. Cilia in gastrin-secreting cells are associated to sensing luminal components of food that affect gastrin release. I have also found that the alteration of gastrin and gastric acid secretion leads to the development of obesity and fatty liver in mouse models. The goal of my research is to understand the cells and mechanisms involved in sensing components of food and hos those luminal signals (food) mediate GI hormone secretion and participate in metabolic homeostasis and the development of obesity.


  • ANSC 3091W/5091 Research Proposals: From Ideas to Strategic Plans
  • ANSC 3301 Human & Animal Physiology (co-instructor)
  • NUTR 5626 Nutritional Physiology (guest lecturer)

Honors & Awards

  • 2009 - Poster of distinction Digestive Diseases Week. Title: IL-1b induces specific gastric mucous cell differentiation and proliferation.

  • 2009 - Poster of distinction Digestive Diseases Week. Title: Gastric epithelial cell express primary cilia.

  • 2007 - Canifarma Award to Clinical Research (Mexico). Title: Deteccion temprana de lesiones intraepiteliales cervicales de bajo y alto grado (Early detection of low and high grade intraepithelial lesions of the cervix). Authors: Ortíz-Arce C, Montante-Montes D, Saqui-Salces M, Hinojosa L, Hernández-Gallegos E, Gamboa-Domínguez A, Pardo L, Stúhmer W, Camacho, J.

  • 2006 - PhD, graduated with Honor mention, UNAM, Mexico.

Dr. Milena Saqui-Salces