Mark Pimentel, MD, is currently the head of the Pimentel Laboratory and executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai. This program focuses on the development of drugs, diagnostic tests and devices related to conditions of the microbiome.
The Pimentel Lab researches irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) conditions effecting about 10 percent of the population worldwide and about 10 to 15 percent of people in the U.S. In the past, there was no definitive test to diagnose IBS. For a time, IBS was thought to be a psychological disease; however, the Pimentel Lab discovered a blood test to provide a definitive diagnosis showing that IBS is an organic disease. Having a definitive diagnosis for IBS paved the way for additional research in the Pimentel Lab to treat the condition.
The Pimentel Laboratory, in collaboration with Ruchi Mathur, MD, whose work focuses on links between metabolic disease and gut microbiome, and Ali Rezaie, MD, whose innovative work in GI motility improves the well-being of patients, work together in the MAST program to find better treatments for the conditions related to the microbiome. The areas of greatest interest and work in the MAST program include motility disorders of the GI tract, SIBO, IBS, metabolic diseases (such as obesity) and many others, as they relate to the microbiome.