Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center | Research and Clinical Trials

The Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center at Boston Children's performs groundbreaking research studies in a number of areas related to motility.

We are one of the few centers in the country with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. These include therapeutic trials for the treatment of different gastrointestinal diseases, such as intractable constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), intractable abdominal pain and validation of advanced techniques to study motility.

GI motility research

Our researchers are working daily to answer pressing questions about GI motility and related disorders. Ongoing research includes:

  • Genetic mutations in children with gastroparesis and pseudo-obstruction
  • mRNA patterns in gastric mucosa of children with gastroparesis, pseudo-obstruction and constipation
  • Validation of new methods to establish gastric emptying
  • New methods for the study of intestinal motility
  • Use of high resolution manometry in children with motility disorders
  • Study of the mechanisms of fecal continence
  • Therapeutic trial of botulinum toxin for short-segment Hirschsprung's disease
  • Study of the role of visceral hyperalgesia in functional bowel disorders
  • Study of the mechanisms underlying GERD
  • Role of non-acid reflux in patients with GERD
  • Use of esophageal impedance in children with GERD
  • Study of esophageal function
  • Complications after treatment with proton pump inhibitors
  • Use of Functional MRI (fMRI) to understand brain function in patients with pain
  • Multiple clinical trials

For more information on motility research, call the research coordinator at 617-355-5998 or visit our research website.

Find a clinical trial

Boston Children’s Hospital conducts hundreds of clinical trials at any given time. While children must meet strict criteria in order to be eligible for a clinical trial, your child may be eligible to take part in a study. Before considering this option, you should be sure to:

  • Consult with your child’s treating physician and treatment team
  • Gather as much information as possible about the specific course of action outlined in the trial
  • Do your own research about the latest breakthroughs relating to your child’s condition

If your physician recommends that your child participate in a clinical trial, you can feel confident that the plan detailed for that study represents the best and most innovative care. Taking part in a clinical trial at Boston Children’s is entirely voluntary. Our team will be sure to fully address any questions you may have, and you may remove your child from the medical study at any time.

To find a Boston Children’s Hospital clinical trial, visit and search for “Boston Children’s Hospital” and your child’s condition.