Esophageal Diseases Center – Research Opportunities

Positions are available for highly qualified applicants, please Ms. Candi Booker with a letter of interest, current CV, and three professional references.

Funding Sources

  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • UTSW Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center


Thaker AI, Melo DM, Samandi LZ, Huang R, Park JY, Cheng E. Esophageal Fibrosis in Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2021 Mar 1;72(3):392-397.

Medina AL, Troendle DM, Park JY, Thaker AI, Dunbar KB, Cheng E. Eosinophilic esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus and esophageal neoplasms in the pediatric patient: a narrative review. Transl Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Jul 25;6:32

Zhang W, Bhagwath AS, Ramzan Z, Williams TA, Subramaniyan I, Edpuganti V, Kallem RR, Dunbar KB, Ding P, Gong K, Geurkink SA, Beg MS, Kim J, Zhang Q, Habib AA, Choi S, Lapsiwala R, Bhagwath G, Dowell JE, Melton SD, Jie C, Putnam WC, Pham TH, Wang DH. Itraconazole Exerts Its Antitumor Effect in Esophageal Cancer By Suppressing the HER2/AKT Signaling Pathway Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Oct;20(10):1904-1915.

Zhang W, Williams TA, Bhagwath AS, Hiermann JS, Peacock CD, Watkins DN, Ding P, Park JY, Montgomery EA, Forastiere AA, Jie C, Cantarel BL, Pham TH, Wang DH. GEAMP, a novel gastroesophageal junction carcinoma cell line derived from a malignant pleural effusion. Lab Invest. 2020 Jan;100(1):16-26

Huo X, Dunbar KB, Zhang X, Zhang Q, Spechler SJ, Souza RF. In Barrett's epithelial cells, weakly acidic bile salt solutions cause oxidative DNA damage with response and repair mediated by p38. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2020 Mar 1;318(3):G464-G478.

Spechler SJ, Hunter JG, Jones KM, Lee R, Smith BR, Mashimo H, Sanchez VM, Dunbar KB, Pham TH, Murthy UK, Kim T, Jackson CS, Wallen SM, von Rosenvinge EC, Pearl JP, Laine L, Kim AW, Kaz AM, Tatum RP, Gellad ZF, Lagoo-Deenadayalan S, Rubenstein JH, Ghaferi AA, Lo W, Fernando RS, Chan BS, Paski SC, Provenzale D, Castell DO, Lieberman D, Souza RF, Chey WD, Warren SR, Davis-Karim A, Melton SD, Genta RM, Serpi T, Biswas K, Huang GD. Randomized Trial of Medical versus Surgical Treatment for Refractory Heartburn N Engl J Med. 2019 Oct 17;381(16):1513-1523.

Pham TH, Melton S, El Mokdad A, Huerta S, Wang DH, Perry KA, Hardaker H, Dolan J.  Laparoscopic ischemic conditioning of the stomach increases neovascularization of the gastric conduit in patients undergoing esophagectomy for cancerJournal of Surgical Oncology 2017.

Huo X, Zhang X, Yu C, Cheng E, Zhang Q, Dunbar KB, Pham TH, Lynch JP, Wang DH, Bresalier RS, Spechler SJ, Souza RF. Aspirin Prevents NF-κB Activation and CDX2 Expression Stimulated by Acid and Bile Salts in Oesophageal Squamous Cells of Barrett’s Oesophagus Patients. Gut 2017 .

Huo X, Agoston AT, Dunbar KB, Cipher DJ, Zhang X, Yu C, Cheng E, Zhang Q, Pham TH, Tambar UK, Bruick RK, Wang DH, Odze RD, Spechler SJ, Souza RF. Hypoxia-inducible factor-2α plays a role in mediating oesophagitis in GORD.  Gut 2016 Sep 30.

Cheng E, Zhang X, Wilson KS, Wang DH, Park JY, Huo X, Yu C, Zhang Q, Spechler SJ, Souza RF.  JAK-STAT6 pathway inhibitors block eotaxin-3 secretion by epithelial cells and fibroblasts from esophageal eosinophilia patients: Promising agents to improve inflammation and prevent fibrosis in EoEPLOS One 2016, 11(6):e0157376.

Dunbar KB, Agoston AT, Odze RD, Huo X, Pham TH, Cipher DJ, Castell DO, Genta RM, Souza RF, Spechler SJ. Association of Acute Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease With Esophageal Histologic Changes. JAMA. 2016 May 17;315(19):2104-12.

Davies KD, Farooqi MS, Fruidl M, Hill CE, Hirschhorn JW, Jones H, Jones KL, Magliocco A, Mitui M, O’Rourke R, Patel NM, Qin D, Ramos E, Rossi MR, Schneider TM, Smith GH, Zhang L, Park JY,* Aisner DL*. Multi-institutional FASTQ file exchange as a means of proficiency testing for next-generation sequencing bioinformatics and variant interpretation. J Mol Diagn. 2016 Jul;18(4):572-9.

Wang DH, Park JY. Precision medicine in gastrointestinal pathology. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016 May; 140(5):449-60.

Park JY, Dunbar KB, Vemulapalli R, Wang DH, Zhang PJ. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 testing in gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas: the role of the gastroenterologist. Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Apr;81(4):972-982.

Wang DH, Tiwari A, Kim ME, Clemons NJ, Regmi NL, Hodges WA, Berman DM, Montgomery EA, Watkins DN, Zhang X, Zhang Q, Jie C, Spechler SJ, Souza RF.  Hedgehog signaling regulates Foxa2 in esophageal embryogenesis and Barrett’s metaplasiaJ Clin Invest. 2014, 124(9):3767-80.

Pham TH, Genta RM, Spechler SJ, Souza RF, Wang DH.  Development and characterization of a surgical mouse model of reflux esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagusJ Gastrointest Surg. 2014, 18(2): 234-40.

Cheng E, Zhang X, Huo X, Yu C, Zhang Q, Wang DH, Spechler SJ, Souza RF.  Omeprazole blocks Eotaxin-3 expression by oesophageal squamous cells from patients with eosinophilic oesophagitis and GORDGut. 2013 Jun;62(6):824-32.