Research

Steven R. Abo, MD

Dr. Abo’s research interests include clinical research studies pertaining to the pathogenesis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. He also directs the Division’s Center for Women’s GI Health.

 

Steven R. Abo, MD

Kathryn M. Albers, PhD

The research interests of the Albers Lab are focused on tissue-derived neurotrophic growth factors that regulate sensory neuron development, their functional properties, and changes in excitability that occur following nerve injury and disease. Dr. Albers has an additional project examining the function of the transcription factor Sox11, which plays a critical role in embryonic neuron specification, growth and survival, and adult peripheral nerve regeneration. 

 

Kathryn M. Albers, PhD

George L. Arnold, MD

Dr. Arnold has been involved in previous clinical research in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. He has supervised studies in these areas, presented at national meetings, and published clinical studies.

 

George L. Arnold, MD

Gavin E. Arteel, PhD

Dr. Arteel’s research focuses on the interaction between hepatotoxicants (e.g., arsenic) and lifestyle choices (e.g., obesity and alcohol) in the initiation and progression of chronic liver diseases. His current research foci are based on the understanding that transitional changes to the ECM proteome (i.e., “matrisome”) play an underappreciated role in the initiation and progression of liver disease. He is developing computational tools to attempt to predict mechanism(s) and to develop biomarkers (or surrogate biomarkers) for use in the clinics.

Gavin E. Arteel, PhD

Arthur M. Barrie, III, MD, PhD

Dr. Barrie’s research interest is focused on IBD patient outcomes and optimizing IBD treatment.

 

Arthur M. Barrie, III, MD, PhD

Ramon Bataller, MD, PhD

As the Chief of Hepatology, Dr. Bataller’s research interests include liver fibrosis and the mechanisms and determinants of mortality of alcoholic liver disease. He has performed translational studies, including human samples and experimental models of liver disease primarily. One of his more recent research interests is his exploration of the global public health aspects of alcoholic liver disease. He is the PI for an NIH-funded consortium (InTeam) for translational research of alcoholic hepatitis. InTeam’s main goals include the identification of molecular subtypes and the identification of novel targets for therapy.

Ramon Bataller, MD, PhD

Jaideep Behari, MD, PhD

Dr. Behari’s investigates the role of intracellular signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of liver diseases. He is also interested in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.

 

Jaideep Behari, MD, PhD

Juliane I. Beier, PhD

Dr. Beier’s research focus is on environmental vinyl chloride exposure in the context of existing underlying liver disease. Clearly high occupational exposure to vinyl chloride is directly hepatotoxic; what is less well clear is the impact of lower environmental exposure on exacerbating existing liver disease. Given the fact that a significant portion of the population has risk factors for liver disease (most commonly, obesity), and that 30% of the US population has elevated indices of liver damage, any potential impact of low environmental exposure could be dramatic. Our findings indicate that vinyl chloride will exacerbate liver damage caused by another factor. This work shifts the paradigm of current risk assessment for not only this compound, but for any other environmental agent that may potentially damage the liver.

 

Juliane I. Beier, PhD

David G. Binion, MD

Dr. Binion’s research focuses on defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying human chronic gut inflammation and the translation of this knowledge into improved care for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Current work has centered on Big Data analytics and the development and transformation of the UPMC IBD Registry, a prospective, multi-year, longitudinal natural history registry database of >3,000 consented IBD patients into a metadata platform for scientific discovery. Working in collaboration with computer scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science, this relational database continuously curates and transforms observational clinical information from the electronic medical record (EMR) and maintains >10,000 person-years of associated metadata in a secure data warehouse. Areas of active investigation include:

  • Developing prognostic biomarkers of IBD severity.
  • Characterizing the impact of diet and nutrition on IBD natural history.
  • Identification of biomarker patterns to predict development of dysplasia/cancer in IBD.
  • Identification of predictive biomarkers to guide therapeutic selection in IBD.
  • Comparative effectiveness studies in IBD maintenance therapy.
  • Defining the impact of surgical anastomotic technique on long-term clinical outcomes in Crohn’s disease.
  • Use of healthcare charge data as a comprehensive phenotype.
  • Defining the impact of Clostridium difficile infection on IBD natural history.
  • Characterizing extra-intestinal manifestations including anemia and autonomic dysfunction on the natural history of IBD.
  • Developing clinical decision support tools to optimize IBD care and implement precision medicine.

 

David G. Binion, MD

Randall E. Brand, MD

Dr. Brand is a physician-scientist with an extensive background in pancreatic diseases who focuses mainly on the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and cystic lesions of the pancreas. He also has research interests involving familial pancreatic cancer and other hereditary GI disorders. He is leader of the University of Pittsburgh’s Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Gene-Environment Registry (PAGER). This biospecimen repository, which was developed as part of the PAGER study, is nationally recognized and serves as an excellent resource for multiple NIH/NCI funded projects along with national and international collaborations with outside researchers. Dr. Brand is a key contributor to the Early Detection Research Network, especially in research related to pancreatic cancer and cystic neoplasms. He is currently funded in the network as a principal investigator to lead both a multi-center Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Validation Center and Biomarker Developmental Laboratory.

 

Randall E. Brand, MD

Rhonda M. Brand, PhD

Dr. Brand engages in mucosal research related to dermatology and gastroenterology.

 

Rhonda M. Brand, PhD

Jennifer S. Chennat, MD

Dr. Chennat’s research investigates such conditions as Barrett’s esophagus neoplasia, endotherapies for pancreatitis, novel imaging techniques such as confocal endomicroscopy, and endoscopic devices and product designs related to guided visualization and targeted tissue ablation.

 

Jennifer S. Chennat, MD

Kapil B. Chopra, MD

Dr. Chopra’s research interests focus on the cholestatic liver diseases primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. He has been involved in collaborative research projects with the Starzl Transplant Institute and the Liver Cancer Center, and has served as co-investigator on a number of multicenter trials investigating novel therapies and approaches to the management of viral hepatitis. His research work has culminated in 50 scientific presentations at national and international conferences.

 

Kapil B. Chopra, MD

Rohit Das, MD

Dr. Das’s research interests are related to pancreaticobiliary endoscopy. He is particularly interested in endoscopic treatment modalities for recurrent and chronic pancreatitis.

 

Rohit Das, MD

Brian M. Davis, PhD

Dr. Davis’s research focuses on the role of growth factor interaction with sensory fibers that may be responsible for regulating neurogenic inflammation in pancreatic disease. He also investigates the role of the peripheral nervous system in pancreatic cancer pain and metastasis.

 

Brian M. Davis, PhD

Howard Dubner, MD

Dr. Dubner is interested in general gastroenterology research and participates in collaborative studies when opportunities arise.

 

Howard Dubner, MD

Richard H. Duerr, MD

Dr. Duerr has been involved in research related to inflammatory bowel disease throughout his career. He leads one of six genetic research centers that comprise the NIH/NIDDK Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium. His research program has had uninterrupted funding from the NIH, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and other foundations since 1995. He was recently appointed Associate Chief Scientist, Translational Research on the Leadership Team of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Plexus research and information exchange platform, which will engage academic and industry researchers, IBD patients, and clinicians and other healthcare providers in a partnership to accelerate the science of IBD.

 

Richard H. Duerr, MD

Michael A. Dunn, MD

Dr. Dunn leads a UPMC hospital-funded initiative to improve the fitness and activity of liver transplant candidates—the project’s objective is to produce a 20% decrease in waitlist hospital days and waitlist mortality. He conducts this work in collaboration with colleagues of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Wearable personal activity monitoring and quantitation of muscle mass with imaging segmentation analysis are being explored as enabling technologies. Dr. Dunn formed and now leads the FLEXIT (Fitness, Life Enhancement and Exercise in Transplantation) Consortium of investigators at the University of California San Francisco, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, University of Alberta, and University of Pittsburgh. Consortium members are engaged in multi-center collaborations to define, prevent and reverse physical decline in cirrhosis. Additionally, Dr. Dunn helped Dr. David Binion design a Department of Defense- supported searchable prospective electronic clinical registry for our inflammatory bowel disease team. It has enabled significant advances in disease modeling with over 20 major publications in the last three years. He also serves as the site Principal Investigator of an industry-sponsored FDA registration trial of obeticholic acid therapy for primary sclerosing cholangitis.

 

Michael A. Dunn, MD

Kenneth E. Fasanella, MD

Dr. Fasanella’s research focuses on surveillance of pancreatic cystic lesions, biomarkers of risk in Barrett’s esophagus, and outcomes of endoscopic treatment of high-risk Barrett’s esophagus and Barrett’s-related neoplasia.

 

Kenneth E. Fasanella, MD

Alison Jazwinski Faust, MD, MHS

Dr. Faust’s research involves viral hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease.

 

Alison Jazwinski Faust, MD, MHS

Fadi Francis, MD

Dr. Francis focuses on Hepatitis C treatment and pre- and post-liver transplantation.

 

Fadi Francis, MD

Swaytha R. Ganesh, MD

Dr. Francis focuses on Hepatitis C treatment and pre- and post-liver transplantation.

 

Swaytha R. Ganesh, MD

Michael S. Gold, PhD

Dr. Gold’s research is focused on the clinical features of a number of pain syndromes. These observations include the following: 1) many pain syndromes are unique to a particular part of the body, such as the head in migraine, the temporomandibular joint in temporomandibular disorder (TMD), or the colon in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); 2) many pain syndromes such as migraine, TMD, and IBD occur with a greater prevalence, severity, and/or duration in women than in men; 3) many pain syndromes are associated with changes in the excitability of primary afferent neurons; 4) there are time dependent changes in the mechanisms underlying pain syndromes; and 5) different types of injuries (i.e., inflammation or nerve injury) are differentially sensitive to therapeutic interventions. These observations led to specific hypotheses that are tested in ongoing studies in the Gold laboratory. These include 1) characterizing the mechanisms underlying inflammation-induced changes in the evoked Ca2+ transients in sensory neurons, 2) characterizing the mechanisms underlying the inflammatory mediator-induced sensitization of dural afferents, 3) characterizing the influence of estrogen on the excitability of spinal and trigeminal ganglion neurons, 4) characterizing the mechanisms underlying the link between stress and migraine, 5) characterizing the role of changes in inhibitory receptors and, in particular, GABA, in injury-induced increases in sensitivity, and 6) identification of ways to maximize the therapeutic utility of local anesthetics. The ultimate goal of these studies is to identify novel targets for the development of therapeutic interventions for the treatment of pain.

 

Michael S. Gold, PhD

Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH

Dr. Greer’s research focuses on cancer epidemiology related to colon and pancreatic cancer, acute and chronic pancreatitis, nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease risk factors and case management, bioinformatics, and medical education in digestion and nutrition.

 

Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH

Christine L. Gulati, MD

As a clinical instructor of medicine and internal medicine physician, Dr. Gulati is interested in general gastroenterology research and participates in collaborative studies when opportunities arise.

 

Christine L. Gulati, MD

Jana G. Al Hashash, MD, MSc

Dr. Al Hashash is interested in IBD research, especially as it relates to oncologic and mucosal factors and implications.

 

Jana G. Al Hashash, MD, MSc

Janet R. Harrison, MD

Dr. Harrison’s research interests include inflammatory bowel disease and women’s health.

 

Janet R. Harrison, MD

Elyse R. Johnston, MD

Dr. Johnston’s investigates enhanced methodology for quality healthcare performance and patient safety.

 

Elyse R. Johnston, MD

Naudia N. Jonassaint, MD, MHS

Dr. Jonassaint’s researches specific biologic markers involved in the development and progression of liver disease in both the pre- and post- transplant populations, with a focus on disparities in liver transplant outcomes. This research program also explores why some patients experience rapid fibrosis progression or accelerated graft loss post-transplant.

 

Naudia N. Jonassaint, MD, MHS

Asif Khalid, MD

Dr. Khalid’s research involves pancreatic tumors and cysts, EUS, ERCP, pancreatitis, molecular diagnoses, and early cancer detection.

 

Asif Khalid, MD

Michael Kingsley, MD

Dr. Kingsley is interested in GI motility clinical trials and translational functional bowel studies.

 

Michael Kingsley, MD

David Levinthal, MD, PhD

Dr. Levinthal’s lab uses both neuroanatomical tracing and neurophysiological techniques to explore the neural basis for central nervous system influences over autonomic regulation in both health and disease. His research focuses on the neural mechanisms by which the cerebral cortex influences GI tract function. Initial studies have uncovered the surprising finding that a visceromotor map of sympathetic function is embedded within the classic cortical somatotopic map of motor function. Further work is aimed at understanding the cortical regions that influence vagal function. The goal of this effort is to use the visceral maps to guide brain stimulation as a means to influence GI tract function. This line of work will lead to the development of brain-based therapies for those with forms of severe GI dysfunction refractory to standard treatments.

 

David Levinthal, MD, PhD

Yang Liu, PhD

The laboratory of Dr. Yang Liu focuses on developing personalized approaches to improve early cancer detection. Current clinical practice relies on a one-size-fits-all-approach, which screens the entire at-risk population to identify a small percentage of truly high-risk patients, as with colonoscopy and mammography. Frequent, invasive surveillance of patients at risk for developing cancer carries financial, physical, and emotional burdens and can do more harm than good to the patients. Given that nuclear architecture is one of the hallmarks in cancer diagnostics, our premise is based on nanoscale nuclear architecture mapping to identify earlier and more accurate markers and to understand the characteristic alteration of nanoscale (i.e., less than 100 nm) nuclear architecture in cancer initiation and progression. Current tools to visualize nuclear architecture are mostly limited to microscale. This multi-disciplinary team integrates optics, physics, engineering, bioinformatics, chemistry, biology and clinical medicine, and develops imaging technologies to address this highly unmet clinical need. Our current projects include: (1) Development of high-throughput, low-cost super-resolution fluorescence microscopy (e.g., STORM) system for nanoscale imaging of chromatin organization at various epigenomic states, (2) Understanding the disruption of nanoscale chromatin organization in cancer initiation and progression, (3) Clinical translation of nanoscale nuclear architecture mapping to predict risk for progression to malignancy in various pre-malignant conditions such as adenoma, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic cyst, prostate lesions and Barrett’s esophagus. Our technical expertise includes optical instrument development, high-speed image reconstruction algorithm development, image processing methods, single-molecule localization microscopy, quantitative phase imaging, optical coherence microscopy and light-sheet microscopy.

 

Yang Liu, PhD

Shahid M. Malik, MD

Dr. Malik’s research focuses on outcomes in patients with end stage liver disease/cirrhosis and post-liver transplant.

 

Shahid M. Malik, MD

James B. McGee, MD

Dr. McGee’s researches the effectiveness of technology-based education with a focus on simulation and web-based learning. This research applies virtual patient simulation, technical standards and education analytics (big data) to improve clinical decision-making and educational outcomes.

 

James B. McGee, MD

Kevin McGrath, MD

Dr. McGrath’s research focuses on endotherapy for the management of Barrett’s esophagus and superficial esophageal cancer, evaluation of pancreatic cystic lesions and cyst aspirate analysis, and EUS-guided tissue acquisition.

 

Kevin McGrath, MD

S. Paul Monga, MD

Dr. Monga ‘s current research projects are aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver pathophysiology. His lab is interested in understanding the process of liver regeneration. Using genetic knockout mice (inducible, conditional), his lab is in the process of determining the cell-molecule circuitry of the Wnt signaling during liver regeneration process. Similarly, the lab studies the regulation of the process of metabolic zonation where hepatocytes in different zones of the hepatic lobule are bestowed with different functional capacities owing to the differential gene expression. The pericentral gene expression is under the control of Wnt signaling, and the periportal gene signature has been suggested to be under the control of Yap signaling. This process of dynamic interactions between the two signaling pathways is also under investigation. Since hepatic repair after various injuries is dictated by the kind of injury and type of cell affected, several studies have shown the potential of hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells to transdifferentiate into one another. We are examining the models and the molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes so as to exploit them for regulating repair process. A major sequela of multiple chronic liver diseases is in fact development of hepatic fibrosis. This involves in large part activation of hepatic stellate cells to form activated myofibroblasts, which are the source of collagen and scarring in the liver with the eventual development of cirrhosis. We are examining molecular signals that are relevant in stellate cell activation and biology, which can be targeted for development of anti-fibrotic therapies. Similarly, we are interested in role of macrophages in hepatic injury and repair process and their crosstalk with stellate cells. A common form of hepatic injury is cholestatic, where there is an impairment of bile flow in the liver causing retention of bile acids and injury to hepatic parenchyma as well as breach of blood bile barrier that results in bilirubin and bile acid leaking into systemic circulation. Using animal models, we are looking at novel ways to modulate bile acid metabolism to counteract cholestatic liver injury and repair. Similarly, we are investigating novel mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of various cholestatic liver diseases. We have identified the important role of adherens junctions, tight junctions, and desmosomes in maintenance of blood bile barrier through unique mechanisms and crosstalk. We have generated animal models to address such mechanisms and using innovative imaging methodologies like intravital microscopy, we have identified peculiar underpinnings of disorders such as PFIC. We hope to devise novel therapeutic interventions based on new findings. Lastly, we are interested in another relevant sequela of many chronic liver diseases. Liver tumors—especially hepatocellular cancer—develops mostly in the backdrop of chronic liver injury. We are interested in identifying patient-relevant molecular aberrations, and using a reductionist approach, we generate animal models to address biology and therapies. We use sleeping beauty transposon/transposase and hydrodynamic tail vein injections to deliver the plasmids into 1-5% of hepatocytes in a mouse to examine tumorigenesis. Using high throughput analysis of tumors (gene array), we are addressing gene expression changes, which are then correlated with existing human HCC databases, such as TCGA, to address the similarity of the animal model to the human disease. Such validation allows us to more confidently use this model as a representative of a subset of human HCC. Such approaches have also yielded novel information about other liver tumors like hepatoblastomas.

 

S. Paul Monga, MD

Alex Myint, MD

Dr. Myint’s research interests are liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver transplantation.

 

Alex Myint, MD

Sudhir K. Narla, MD

Dr. Narla is interested in general gastroenterology research and participates in collaborative studies when opportunities arise.

 

Sudhir K. Narla, MD

Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc

Dr. O’Keefe performs translational research into the physiological and pathophysiological responses to feeding and nutritional deprivation. He has received NIH R01 grant support for his studies on the physiological effects of feeding on pancreatic enzyme synthesis in humans with and without disease, the optimal feeding in patients with severe acute pancreatitis, and, most recently, the role of diet, the microbiome and its metabolites in determining colon cancer risk in extreme risk Alaska Native People, high-risk African Americans (AA), and minimal risk rural South Africans (NA).  His pivotal study in Nature Communications in 2015 showed that switching the diets of AA and NA (i.e., Americans were given a traditional African diet high in fiber, low in meat and fat, while Africans were given a westernized diet high in meant and fat, and low in fiber) led to profound changes in the colonic microbiome and its metabolome, associated with reciprocal changes in colonic mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk within two weeks.  This supports the hypothesis that diet drives colon cancer risk and that it is largely preventable by a high fiber diet.  Studies are underway in Alaska to determine whether fiber supplementation will annul the health disparity and extreme rates of colon cancer risk and mortality in Alaska Natives. Finally, Dr. O’Keefe is partnering with the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa to develop the African Microbiome Institute, which he directs, with the goal of studying the ecology of the microbiome through the Faculties of Medicine, Agrisciences, and Plant Biology, with the overarching aim of improving the health of all Africans.

 

Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc

Georgios I. Papachristou, MD, PhD

Dr. Papachristou’s research interests center on acute pancreatitis, and he leads a number of institutional studies and multi-center collaborations.  He is the principal investigator in the Post-Acute Pancreatitis Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency (PAPPEI) trial, a prospective, multicenter study, which evaluates the incidence of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and long-term quality of life in subjects after an attack of acute pancreatitis. Dr. Papachristou is also the site principal investigator for a multicenter randomized trial titled Stent versus Indomethacin (SVI), which compares different preventive treatments for post-ERCP acute pancreatitis. He also leads APPRENTICE (Acute Pancreatitis Patient Registry to Examine Novel Therapies in Clinical Experiences), an international consortium for acute pancreatitis care involving 22 centers throughout the world. Additionally, Dr. Papachristou directs a translational research laboratory focusing on the genetic basis, immunology, and inflammatory responses in acute pancreatitis. His current research funding is from the National Institute of Health, industry, and private donors. Dr. Papachristou has authored more than 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

 

Georgios I. Papachristou, MD, PhD

Siobhan Proksell, MD

Dr. Proksell’s research interests include inflammatory bowel disease and patient safety research.

 

Siobhan Proksell, MD

Mordechai Rabinovitz, MD

Dr. Rabinovitz studies the assessment and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis, focusing on combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C patients. Additional research efforts focus on developing new therapies for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD), biological agents for patients with low platelet count undergoing invasive procedures, and new therapies for patients with hepatic encephalopathy.

 

Mordechai Rabinovitz, MD

Vikrant Rachakonda, MD

Dr. Rachakonda’s research is focused on malnutrition and dysregulation of lipid metabolism in chronic liver disease and the role of muscarinic receptors in the regulation of acute and chronic liver injury.

 

Vikrant Rachakonda, MD

Shari S. Rogal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rogal brings her extensive collaborative experience with Transplant Surgery and the VA Healthcare System to the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Dr. Rogal studies liver transplant outcomes with particular interests in addiction and pain with chronic liver disease patients. She is also interested in the implementation of science to combat health disparities.

 

Shari S. Rogal, MD, MPH

Savreet Sarkaria, MD

Dr. Sarkaria’s research focuses on screening, early detection, and endoscopic therapies for gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreas, bile ducts, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach, and colon, as well as benign pancreaticobiliary diseases and pancreatic cysts.

 

Savreet Sarkaria, MD

Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH

Dr. Schoen’s research interests center on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC). He is a principal investigator in the PLCO cancer screening trial, a randomized trial of over 154,000 individuals which evaluated flexible sigmoidoscopy. He has used PLCO data to study surveillance colonoscopy utilization and yield, interval cancers (cancers detected shortly after endoscopic procedures), and the risk of colorectal cancer among subjects with a family history of cancer. Dr Schoen is the principal investigator, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, of a multicenter randomized immunotherapy trial, evaluating a vaccine for prevention of recurrent adenomatous polyps. He is a principal investigator for the Early Detection Research Network and collaborates with scientists nationally and internationally to identify biomarkers, including circulating tumor DNA and tissue-based markers, to detect and monitor cancer. He is an investigator in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, which is studying genetic and environmental risk factors for CRC, including genome-wide association studies and molecular pathologic epidemiology research as well as the modeling of CRC risk using genetic and environmental risk factors. Dr. Schoen is a co-investigator in a study evaluating colonoscopy quality and is helping to develop a natural language processing tool to evaluate and report on colonoscopy quality in a more efficient manner. In conjunction with that project, Dr. Schoen is developing a database of colonoscopy reports from the last 20 years at UPMC hospitals for research studies on colonoscopy.

 

Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH

Marc B. Schwartz, MD

Dr. Schwartz’s researches the cost and utilization of IBD care as well as colon cancer in IBD patients.

 

Marc B. Schwartz, MD

Obaid S. Shaikh, MD

Dr. Shaikh researches the progression of end-stage liver disease, treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatocarcinogenesis and genomic profiling of liver tumors, and allocation models for liver transplantation.

 

Obaid S. Shaikh, MD

Adam Slivka, MD, PhD

Dr. Slivka’s research interests include non-invasive diagnosis of pancreaticobiliary cancer, development and testing of new drugs and devices used during ERCP, and the development of new strategies to treat pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

 

Adam Slivka, MD, PhD

Helen B. Sysko, PhD

Dr. Sysko is interested in the psychosocial factors which affect the quality of life and treatment plans for IBD and IBS patients.

 

Helen B. Sysko, PhD

Lee Weinberg, MD

Dr. Weinberg is interested in general gastroenterology research and participates in collaborative studies when opportunities arise.

 

Lee Weinberg, MD

David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD

Dr. Whitcomb’s research program involves a pancreatic disease focus for modeling complex, multistep gene-environment interactive disorders requiring a precision medicine approach. His multicenter, genotype-phenotyping hereditary pancreatitis study and North American Pancreatitis Study II (NAPS2) programs, plus acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer studies using reverse engineering and predictive modeling approaches serve as a foundation and pathway for diseases in multiple organ systems. He leads the Genomic Resource to Enhance Available Therapy (GREAT) study to initiate the delivery of precision medicine for complex chronic disorders and their complications. Dr Whitcomb also studies the pathophysiology of severe acute pancreatitis and pain genetics.

 

David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD

Kirk Works, MD

Dr. Works is interested in general gastroenterology research and participates in collaborative studies when opportunities arise.

 

Kirk Works, MD

Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH

Dr. Yadav studies the epidemiology of pancreatic diseases. He has used local, state and national level data as well as collaborative studies to define various aspects of the epidemiology of pancreatitis. His major contributions to the scientific literature include the role of alcohol and tobacco; incidence, prevalence and hospitalizations; risk and burden of readmissions; and the natural history of pancreatitis. Data generated from his studies are often used by national agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, to set research priorities. Dr. Yadav is a member of the NIDDK-funded NAPS consortium, which has prospectively ascertained the largest prospective cohort of patients with recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis in the United States to conduct collaborative studies. He is the Contact-PI for the NIDDK/NCI-funded Pittsburgh Clinical Center, which is part of the Consortium to study Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer (CPDPC). He co-chairs the adult chronic pancreatitis working group for CPDPC, and serves as the Co-PI of the longitudinal cohort study of chronic pancreatitis (The PROCEED Study). Dr. Yadav is also the Co-PI of an NIDDK-funded UO1 consortium conducting a multicenter randomized clinical of minor papilla sphincterotomy in patients with acute recurrent pancreatitis with pancreas divisum (The SHARP Trial).

 

Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH

Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases


Kathryn Albers, PhD
Randall E. Brand, MD
Jennifer S. Chennat, MD    
Rohit Das, MD
Brian M. Davis, PhD
Mohannad Dugum, MD
Kenneth E. Fasanella, MD
Asif Khalid, MD
Kevin M. McGrath, MD
Georgios I. Papachristou, MD, PhD
Anna Evans Phillips, MD
Harkirat Singh, MD
Adam Slivka, MD, PhD
David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD
Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH


Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Jana G. Al Hashash, MD, MSc
Arthur M. Barrie III, MD, PhD
David G. Binion, MD
Richard H. Duerr, MD
Janet R. Harrison, MD
Elyse R. Johnston, MD
Siobhan Proksell, MD
Marc B. Schwartz, MD
Helen B. Sysko, PhD
Eva M Szigethy, MD, PhD


Liver Diseases


Gavin E. Arteel, PhD, FAASLD
Ramon Bataller, MD, PhD
Jaideep Behari, MD, PhD
Juliane I. Beier, PhD
Kapil B. Chopra, MD
Michael A. Dunn, MD, FACP
Alison Jazwinski Faust, MD, MHS
Fadi Francis, MD
Swaytha R. Ganesh, MD
Naudia N. Jonassaint, MD, MHS
Shahid M. Malik, MD
Satdarshan (Paul) Singh Monga, MD
Alex H. Myint, MD
Mordechai Rabinovitz, MD
Vikrant Rachakonda, MD
Shari S. Rogal, MD, MPH
Obaid S. Shaikh, MD


Neurogastroenterology and Motility


Steven R. Abo, MD
Kathryn M. Albers, PhD
George Arnold, MD
Brian M. Davis, PhD
Michael Kingsley, MD
David Levinthal, MD, PhD


Visceral Pain and Inflammation


David G. Binion, MD
Michael S Gold, PhD
Helen B. Sysko, PhD
Eva M. Szigethy, MD, PhD


Intestinal Health and Nutrition


Rhonda M. Brand, PhD      
Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc


GI Tract Cancers


Randall E. Brand, MD
Jennifer S. Chennat, MD
Kenneth E. Fasanella, MD
Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH
Yang Liu, PhD
James B. McGee, MD
Kevin McGrath, MD
Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc
Savreet Sarkaria, MD
Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH
Adam Slivka, MD, PhD


General Gastroenterology


Steven R. Abo, MD
Howard Dubner, MD
Christine Lee Gulati, MD
James B. McGee, MD
David Mulock, MD
Sudhir Narla, MD
Joseph Pusateri, MD
Daniel Trellis, MD
Lee Weinberg, MD
John Wood, MD
Kirk Works, MD

In the News

Colder Weather and Fewer Sunlight Hours Increas Alcohol Consumption and Alcoholic Cirrhosis Worldwide – Hepatology. 2018 Oct.

Association of Colonoscopy Adenoma Findings with Long-term Colorectal Cancer Incidence – JAMA. 2018 May;319(19):2012-31.

Mind is Matter: Part II.  PittMed Magazine, Spring 2017.

Mind is Matter: The Circuitry of the Mind-Body Connection. Part I.  PittMed Magazine, Fall 2016.

Trying on Personalized Medicine – Pitt Med Magazine, Summer 2014

What is Personalized Medicine and What Should it Replace? – Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepato. 2012 May 22; 9(7): 418-24. Published online 2012 May 2

A Memorial Day to Remember – Pitt Med Magazine, January 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

Division of Gastroenterology,
Hepatology and Nutrition

Mezzanine Level, C-Wing, PUH
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-864-7091  |  Email

UPMC Digestive Disorders Center

1-866-4GASTRO (442-7876)

Center for Liver Diseases

1-800-447-1651

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