Research in Pediatric Gastroenterology

Funded gastroenterology research spans a wide range of important areas in both basic science and clinical investigation. Hepatology, both basic and clinical, comprises the most active area of investigation.

  • Andrew Feranchak, M.D., is recognized internationally for his innovative approaches to elucidating the basic mechanisms regulating biliary secretion and mechanisms of bile formation using in vitro models employing well characterized hepatocyte and cholangiocyte cell lines. More specifically, his laboratory is investigating the regulatory role of purinergic signaling in biliary secretion and bile formation. Dr. Feranchak’s research is pivotal, since it is very likely that therapeutic interventions for cholestatic liver disease await a basic understanding of the basic mechanisms of bile flow.
  • Norberto Rodriguez-Baez, M.D., is the principal investigator at our site for a national, multi-center, NIH-supported study examining the causes for fulminant hepatic failure in children. Dr. Rodriguez-Baez’s second group of studies involves treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C.

The second general area of active clinical research involves inflammation in the GI tract.

  • Ashish Patel, M.D., is a leader of nutritional management algorithm development for the Trailblazer Collaborative for pediatric inflammatory bowel eisease.
  • John Andersen, M.D., is investigating new treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis.
  • Edaire Cheng, M.D., is dedicated to investigating the mechanisms underlying eosinophilis esophagitis (EoE) and improving the care of patients with this disease. The Cheng laboratory employs cutting-edge science such as immortalized human esophageal cell lines and integrative organotypic models to study pathophysiological roles of Th2 cytokines, esophageal epithelial cells, and fibroblasts in EoE pathogenesis, and to identify potential molecular targets to prevent complications in EoE. Dr. Cheng is a team leader of the Esophageal Diseases Center that is devoted to conducting innovative, translational research in a multidisciplinary setting in order to advance understanding of esophageal diseases.

Learn more about the research interests for our Division faculty and current fellows.