Steven R. Vigna, PhD

Associate Professor of Cell Biology
Associate Professor in Medicine
Campus mail Duke Box 103859, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-8860
Email address

We are interested in the mechanisms of signal transduction of neuropeptides and peptide hormones, mechanisms of receptor regulation, and the role of receptor regulation in health and disease. The major peptide of interest is the neurotransmitter substance P which is involved in gastrointestinal tract regulation, pain pathways, inflammation, and central nervous system functions. Our major focus is at the level of the receptors for this peptide. We are currently studying mechanisms of substance P receptor desensitization, resensitization, and downregulation in model cell systems and using analysis of substance P-induced endocytosis of the substance P receptor to reveal mechanisms of pain transmission and inflammation in vivo in animal models. The approaches used to investigate questions of interest are pharmacological, cellular, biochemical, and molecular.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 1978
  • B.S., University of Washington, 1971


Vigna, S. R. “Distinction between cholecystokinin-like and gastrin-like biological activities extracted from gastrointestinal tissues of some lower vertebrates..” General and Comparative Endocrinology 39, no. 4 (December 1979): 512–20.

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Vigna, S. R., and A. Gorbman. “Stimulation of intestinal lipase secretion by porcine cholecystokinin in the hagfish, Eptatretus stouti..” General and Comparative Endocrinology 38, no. 3 (July 1979): 356–59.

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Walsh, J. H., J. R. Reeve, and S. R. Vigna. “Identification of different forms of bombesin-like immunoreactivity in mammalian gut.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 13, no. SUPPL. 49 (January 1, 1978).


Vigna, S. R., and A. Gorbman. “Effects of cholecystokinin, gastrin, and related peptides on coho salmon gallbladder contraction in vitro..” The American Journal of Physiology 232, no. 5 (May 1977): E485–91.

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Vigna, S. “The effects of cholecystokinin, gastrin, and related peptides on coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) gallbladder contraction in vitro.” Gastroenterology 72, no. 4 II (January 1, 1977).


Shively, J., J. R. Reeve, V. E. Eysselein, C. Ben-Avram, S. R. Vigna, and J. H. Walsh. “CCK-5: Sequence analysis of a small cholecystokinin from canine brain and intestine.” American Journal of Physiology  Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 252, no. 2 (June 12, 1987).