Basic Research

Basic science research in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases focuses on inflammation and injury, metabolism, and cancer biology. See faculty profiles for further detail.

Dr. Ezra Burstein

Ezra Burstein, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: COMMD proteins: We study the regulation of endosomal protein sorting and immune function by members of this protein family. Genetics of inflammatory disorders: Our lab investigates the genetic basis of disorders of immune function, particularly affecting the GI tract Mucosal immunity and immune-tumor interactions in the GI tract.
Burstein Research Lab

Dr. Jeffrey Browning

Jeffrey D. Browning, M.D.
Research Interests:Pathogenesis of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Dr. Luke Engelking

Luke Engelking, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: Cholesterol and Fat Metabolism, Enteroendocrine Cell Biology, SREBP, Scap and Insig Proteins
Engelking Research Lab

Dr. Jay Horton

Jay Horton, M.D.
Research Interests: Hepatic steatosis, Lipid metabolism

Dr. Yujin Hoshida

Yujin Hoshida, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: Liver cancer, Liver cirrhosis, Molecular classification, Precision medicine, Prognostic prediction
Liver Tumor Translational Research Program

Dr. Rodney Infante

Rodney Infante, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: Cachexia, Cytokine-Associated Adipocyte Lipolysis, Lipid Metabolism, Obesity
Infante Research Lab

Dr. Xiao-Fei Kong

Xiao-Fei Kong, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, inborn errors of immunity, and rare liver diseases.
Kong Research Lab

Dr. Ravi Maddipati

Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D.
Research Interests: Cancer Genetics, Cancer Metastasis, High Risk and Hereditary Cancer Screening, Pancreatic Cancer, Pancreatitis
Maddipati Research Lab

Dr. Ayaz Najafov

Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Anti-tumor immunity, Cancer, Immunogenic cell death, Immunotherapy, Necroptosis signaling
Najafov Research Lab

Dr. Josephine Ni

Josephine Ni, M.D.
Research Interests: Our goal is to predictably engineer the microbiota to treat intestinal diseases using a pipeline based on next-generation sequencing of patient-derived samples coupled with bacterial genetics.
Ni Research Lab

Dr. Suraj Patel

Suraj Patel, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: The Patel laboratory asks fundamental questions about how the liver works, and by doing so we hope to gain new insights into the metabolic causes and consequences of liver disease with the ultimate goal of developing new clinical therapies. Our laboratory has a particular interest in hepatic metabolism and its regulation by the immune system. We utilize genetic, epigenetic and proteomic approaches, combined with detailed physiological studies, to understand the complex mechanisms that causally link inflammation to metabolic dysfunction in obesity and fatty liver disease.
Patel Research Lab

Dr. Venuprasad Poojary

Venuprasad Poojary, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Colon Cancer, Gut Microbiota, Inflammasome, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs), Th17/Treg Differentiation
Poojary Research Lab

Dr. Christian Reinecker

Hans-Christian Reinecker, M.D.
Research Interests: Control of adaptive host-defenses by Schlafen family proteins. Controlling innate and adaptive immune responses by Sensor Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING). Developing strategies to induce anti-tumor immunity for cancer immunotherapy. Targeting intracellular microtubule based microbial pattern recognition to control disease mechanisms of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Reinecker Research Lab

Dr. Emre Turer

Emre Turer, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Interests: Apoptotic and Inflammatory Signaling, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Intestinal Epithelial Cell Biology, Mucosal Immunology
Turer Research Lab