Dr David Smolilo



Clinical Scientist & Surgical Assistant

David graduated from the Flinders University Medical School and was a trainee surgeon before deciding to change direction and pursue research instead. He also assists at operations for a number of colorectal surgeons in private hospitals.

He is currently in the last year of a PhD project at Flinders University. The focus of his research has been on the structure and connections within the ‘gut brain’. Over the last 50 years, we have gained a greater appreciation of how complex the enteric nervous system really is. We have also discovered the importance of the ‘gut-brain axis’ and the influence of resident gut bacteria on the overall health of a person.  

Over the last three decades, Flinders University scientists have worked closely with colorectal surgeons at the Flinders Private Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre. This unique, world-first association has been very productive, with significant advances in our understanding of how the human gut works. Several colorectal surgeons have completed PhD projects in the same lab and continue the tradition of the surgeon scientist.

After completing his PhD, David is keen to pursue research that could offer novel therapeutic interventions for people suffering from colonic motility issues such as chronic constipation.  With the support of the colorectal group, he would like to find a way to control the speed of the colon through modulating the activity of the nerves that influence it. Building on very promising organ bath experiments, the end aim is to develop a ‘remote control’ for the human colon.