Gastroenterology Fellowship
Research

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Faculty Research

The Gastroenterology and Hepatology faculty are locally and nationally recognized for their research, which focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases. The Gastroenterology and Hepatology research program has had consistent NIH/NIDDK and corporate funding for over 15 years, and continues to grow in breadth and funding. The clinical and translational programs are led by Drs. Karen Murray, Ghassan Wahbeh, Dennis Christie, Evelyn Hsu, and Simon Horslen, while the bench research program by Dr. Jiang Zheng. The main areas of focus include: 1) the pathogenesis, progression, and treatment of pediatric genetic cholestatic liver diseases including biliary atresia, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, alpha-1-anti trypsin deficiency, and bile acid deficiency; 2) the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B and C; 3) The pathogenesis and treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; 4) the epidemiology and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and 5) the hepatocellular mechanisms and molecular toxicology behind the hepatotoxicity of many widely-used medicinal herbs.

The clinical research activities include:

National Institute of Health/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH/NIDDK) pediatric liver disease research networks:

  1. Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN)
    • Longitudinal study of genetic causes if intrahepatic cholestasis
    • Prospective biliary atresia epidemiology study
    • Biliary atresia in infants and children study
    • A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of corticosteroid therapy following portoenterostomy in infants with biliary atresia.
  2. Hepatitis B Clinical Research Network (HBV CRN)
    • Hepatitis B Cohort Study
    • Study for the treatment of Immunotolerant Hepatitis B in Children
  3. Pediatric HCV Research Network (PEDS-C)
    • Pegylated Interferon +/- ribavirin for the treatment of children with hepatitis C: long-term follow-up study.
  4. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Clinical Research Network
    • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in children- database 2 study
  5. Study of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT)
  6. Pediatric Acute Liver Failure Study Group (PALF)
  7. Genome-Wide Association (GWA) Identified Predictors of Response to Anti-TNFa Therapy in Pediatric IBD
  8. The Western Regional Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Collaborative Group.
    • Epidemiology of Pediatric IBD in Western Region of North America.

Corporate sponsorship allows the research team to participate in large non-NIH sponsored clinical trials:

  1. "A Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind Evaluation of the Antiviral Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Versus Placebo in Adolescents with Chronic Hepatitis B Infection." Gilead Sciences Inc.
  2. "A phase IIIb parallel group, open-label study of Pegylated interferon alfa-2 monotherapy (PEG-IFN, Ro 25-8310) compared to untreated control in children with HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B." F. Hoffmann-La Roche LTD
  3. "A multicenter, prospective, long-term, observational registry of pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease." Centocor
  4. "A phase 2, open-label, multicneter study to assess the safety and efficacy of certolizumab pegol in children and adolescents with active Crohn's disease (NURTURE Study)." UCB