Wendy Henderson

Visiting Professor



Research Interests

As a principal investigator on multiple funded studies, my science focuses on Brain-Gut-Liver Microbiota Axis and chronic effects of stress on intestinal health across the lifespan.

My current focuses are on immunogenetic mechanisms in gastrointestinal symptom distress, Stool Tool (validation of personal pathogen detection in diarrhea), Brain-Gut Natural History Study, Evaluation and treatment of digestive disorders (behavioral, dietary, lifestyle as well as standard of care personalized approaches).

I recently joined the University of Connecticut, School of Nursing and was appointed as the Director of the Center of Nursing Scholarship and Innovation in September of 2019. Previously, I worked in the intramural program of the NIH for 12 years. I was the Chief of the Digestive Disorders Unit, Biobehavioral Branch within NINR’s Division of Intramural Research. I am a certified registered nurse practitioner with a subspecialty in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition since 1999. My interest in symptomatology in patients with gastrointestinal and liver disorders stems from her clinical and research experience at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Gastroenterology Department.

I completed a Patient Safety Fellowship, through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In 2007, I received my PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was also a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Fellow. The same year, I joined the Intramural Program of NIH as a Staff Scientist. After completing two years of postdoctoral training at NIH, I was appointed as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in 2009 and then joined the NINR faculty in the NIH Division of Intramural Research in 2011. I founded a Clinical and Translational Postdoctoral Program in the Intramural Program of NIH. I served as a member of the NIH Women Scientist Advisors Committee and on the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. Among other awards, NINR Director’s Awards for Innovation, Leadership, and commitment to Diversity. I am a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. My work is nationally and internationally recognized and I am an inventor on multiple patents and licensed technologies.


PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
MSN, University of Pittsburgh, 1999

Recent Publications

1. Henderson WA, Xiang L, Fourie NH, et al. Simple Lateral Flow Assays for Microbial Detection in Stool. Analytical Methods. 2018.

2. Robinson JM, Henderson WA. Modelling the structure of a ceRNA-theoretical, bipartite microRNA-mRNA interaction network regulating intestinal epithelial cellular pathways using R programming. BMC Res Notes. 2018;11(1):19.

3. Joseph PV, Abey SK, Wang D, et al. Henderson WA. Colon Epithelial MicroRNA Network in Fatty Liver. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018;2018:8246103.

4. Joseph PV, Davidson HR, Boulineaux CM, et al. Henderson WA. Eating Behavior, Stress, and Adiposity: Discordance Between Perception and Physiology. Biol Res Nurs. 2018;20(5):531-540.

5. Joseph PV, Wang Y, Fourie NH, Henderson WA. A computational framework for predicting obesity risk based on optimizing and integrating genetic risk score and gene expression profiles. PLoS One. 2018;13(5):e0197843.

6. Weaver KR, Melkus GD, Fletcher J, Henderson WA. Perceived Stress, Its Physiological Correlates, and Quality of Life in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Biol Res Nurs. 2018;20(3):312-320.

7. Henderson WA, Rahim-Williams B, Kim KH, et al. The Gastrointestinal Pain Pointer: A Valid and Innovative Method to Assess Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2017;40(5):357-363.

8. Abey SK, Yuana Y, Joseph PV, et al. Henderson WA. Lysozyme association with circulating RNA, extracellular vesicles, and chronic stress. BBA Clin. 2017;7:23-35.

9. Sherwin LB, Ozoji OM, Boulineaux CM, et al. Henderson WA. Gender and Weight Influence Quality of Life in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. J Clin Med. 2017;6(11).

10. Cong X, Xu W, Janton S, et al. Gut Microbiome Developmental Patterns in Early Life of Preterm Infants: Impacts of Feeding and Gender. PLoS One. 2016;11(4):e0152751.

11. Weaver KR, Sherwin LB, Walitt B, Melkus GD, Henderson WA. Neuroimaging the brain-gut axis in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2016;7(2):320-333.

12. Fourie NH, Wang D, Abey SK, et al. Henderson WA. The microbiome of the oral mucosa in irritable bowel syndrome. Gut Microbes. 2016;7(4):286-301.

13. Fourie NH, Peace RM, Abey SK, et al. Henderson WA. Elevated circulating miR-150 and miR-342-3p in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Exp Mol Pathol. 2014;96(3):422-425.

14. Del Valle-Pinero AY, Van Deventer HE, Fourie NH, et al. Henderson WA. Gastrointestinal permeability in patients with irritable bowel syndrome assessed using a four probe permeability solution. Clin Chim Acta. 2013;418:97-101.

15. Henderson WA, Martino AC, Kitamura N, Kim KH, Erlen JA. Symptom Status Predicts Patient Outcomes in Persons with HIV and Comorbid Liver Disease. AIDS Res Treat. 2012;2012:169645.

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-2633
Mailing Address306 Storrs Hall 231 Glenbrook Road, Unit 4026 Storrs, CT 06269 United States