Robert T. Jensen, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Gastrointestinal Cell Biology Section, Digestive Disease Branch


Building 10, Room 9C103
10 Center Dr
Bethesda, MD 20814

+1 301 496 4201

Research Topics

The ultimate goal of our research is to understand the role of digestive hormones in health and disease and to allow better treatment of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Current Research

The Gastrointestinal Cell Biology Section is involved in research studying the cellular basis of action of gastrointestinal (GI) hormones (primarily bombesin-related peptides, gastrin-releasing peptide, neuromedin B, CCK-related peptides, and VIP secretin-related peptides) and clinical and laboratory studies on human gastric acid hypersecretory states such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

The studies on GI hormones involve intracellular signaling cascades, especially tyrosine phosphorylation (primarily CCK, bombesin), molecular pharmacology of their receptors (especially bombesin-related peptides), and structure-function studies of various receptor ligands to develop selective agonists and antagonists. In addition, we are conducting studies on characterizing the bombesin-related receptor, BRS-3, as well as developing ligands to deliver receptor-specific chemotherapy to tumors ectopically expressing these receptors.

Studies of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome involve clinical studies of the diagnosis, localization, and treatment of the gastrinoma and of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, which occurs in a portion of the patients. Laboratory studies involve the characterization of the molecular pathogenesis of gastrinomas and identification of useful prognostic factors.

Applying our Research

These studies will lead to insights that will help in the treatment of patients with GI disorders or with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.


  • M.D., University of Chicago, 1964
  • B.S., Washington State University, 1960

Selected Publications

  1. Moody TW, Ramos-Alvarez I, Jensen RT. Neuropeptide G Protein-Coupled Receptors as Oncotargets. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018;9:345.

  2. Norton JA, Krampitz GW, Poultsides GA, Visser BC, Fraker DL, Alexander HR, Jensen RT. Prospective Evaluation of Results of Reoperation in Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Ann Surg. 2018;267(4):782-788.

  3. Moreno P, Mantey SA, Lee SH, Ramos-Álvarez I, Moody TW, Jensen RT. A possible new target in lung-cancer cells: The orphan receptor, bombesin receptor subtype-3. Peptides. 2018;101:213-226.

  4. Ramos-Alvarez I, Jensen RT. P21-activated kinase 4 in pancreatic acinar cells is activated by numerous gastrointestinal hormones/neurotransmitters and growth factors by novel signaling, and its activation stimulates secretory/growth cascades. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2018;315(2):G302-G317.

  5. Nakamura T, Ramos-Álvarez I, Iordanskaia T, Moreno P, Mantey SA, Jensen RT. Molecular basis for high affinity and selectivity of peptide antagonist, Bantag-1, for the orphan BB3 receptor. Biochem Pharmacol. 2016;115:64-76.

This page was last updated on June 3rd, 2021