Current Members

Seema S. Aceves, MD, PhD
Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Aceves conducts clinical and translational investigations on the impact and mechanisms of tissue remodeling in eosinophilic esophagitis, a disease of increasing worldwide prevalence. She uses primary human esophageal cells as in vitro model systems to understand the mechanisms of epithelial, fibroblast and smooth muscle changes in the disease.

Janelle Ayres, PhD
Associate Professor, Helen McCloraine Developmental Chair
Institution: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Research Interests: Dr. Janelle Ayres has been exploring the complex multi-directional interactions that occur between different body functions and resident microbes in the intestinal tract and other organs. She is particularly focusing on metabolic dysregulation that occurs during intestinal infection and inflammation and how this can be manipulated to impact host defenses.

​Kim Barrett, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD
kbarrett@ucsd.edu

Research Interests:  Dr. Barrett is elucidating basic mechanisms that underlie digestive disease states such as inflammatory bowel diseases, infectious diarrhea, and peptic ulcer disease. Her current research centers on a dissection of the pathophysiological correlates of diarrheal symptoms in a novel mouse model of salmonellosis, with a particular focus on the roles played by altered expression and/or localization of specific ion transport proteins as well as epithelial immaturity that is driven by infection. Her group is also studying the bases for therapeutic efficacy of probiotics as well as basic signaling mechanisms that regulate the transport and barrier functions of the intestinal epithelium.

​Lars Bode, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Neonatology & Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD
lbode@ucsd.edu

Research Interests: Dr. Bode’s research is on Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) and comparative glycobiology that is relevant to the understanding of the differences between human and bovine milk. His studies have shown that HMO play an important role in the control of inflammation in the gut.

Brigid Boland, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD
bboland@ucsd.edu

Research Interests:  Dr. Boland is a translational researcher in the field of inflammatory bowel disease. She is developing methodologies for mechanism-of-action studies and early proof-of-concept trials in inflammatory bowel disease. With her clinical and basic science research experience, she is uniquely positioned to develop appropriately designed and powered translational studies to address both clinical and basic science questions in inflammatory bowel diseases.  

David Brenner, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. 
Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Brenner’s laboratory investigates the molecular pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and new strategies for therapy, using a range of in vivo and in vitro models of hepatic fibrosis and collagen expression that are relevant to human liver disease.

​John Chang, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD
 jtc007@ucsd.edu
 
Research Interests: Dr. Chang is investigating the control of helper T cell differentiation and its importance in the regulating intestinal inflammation.

Hilde Cheroutre, PhD
Professor and Division Head, Developmental Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology; Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSD
Institution: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Research Interests: Dr. Cheroutre focuses on T cell development and selection, effector and memory T cell differentiation, and protective immunity versus immune regulation. She explores the functional repertoire of CD4+ T cells and their potential contributions in beneficial or pathogenic immune processes and inflammation at intestinal surfaces and systemic sites.

Hiutung Chu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Chu investigates how polymorphisms in host genes such as ATGL16L1 and NOD2 promote inflammation through defects in sensing protective signals from the microbiome, defining a potentially critical gene-environment etiology for inflammatory bowel diseases.

Sheila E. Crowe, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine; Director of Research, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Crowe has a primary research focus on the interactions of luminal contents, including microbes, with the gastrointestinal mucosa that can lead to inflammatory disease and associated epithelial diseases. She is particularly interested in the redox-mediated control of gene transcription and DNA integrity in the context of gastrointestinal inflammation and the pathogenesis of gastric infections with Helicobacter pylori.

​Soumita Das, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Das focuses on the crosstalk between gastrointestinal epithelial cells, immune cells and pathogenic microbes such as Helicobacter pylori and Vibrio cholera. She examines gut barrier dysfunction induced by microbes, toxins, and other microbial products, which can result in intestinal inflammation and chronic disease.

​Peter B. Ernst, DVM, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology. Co-Director, UC Veterinary Medical Center, Director, Center for Veterinary Sciences and Comparative Medicine, Head, Division of Comparative Pathology and Medicine
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Ernst is a mucosal immunologist who has studied immune/epithelial interactions in the digestive tract for over 30 years. In particular, he has investigated the mechanisms controlling host responses to gastroenteric bacteria including Helicobacter pylori and several food- and water-borne pathogens, and the functions of adenosine receptors in T cell differentiation and intestinal inflammation.

Ronald Evans, PhD
Professor, March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Institution: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Research Interests: Dr. Evans is known for establishing the first molecular blueprint of steroid receptors, the isolation of the first orphan receptors and proposing the existence of a supergene family of nuclear receptors. He has worked extensively on orphan ligand identification and linked nuclear receptors to the regulation of fatty acid, cholesterol, glucose and xenobiotic metabolism.

Ariel Feldstein, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Feldstein focuses on dissecting the biochemical pathways of cell death triggered by over-accumulation of fatty acids and other lipids in NAFLD and NASH. He is also interested in hepatocyte-adipocyte crosstalk, their role in metabolic syndrome and NASH, and identification of novel diagnostics for these conditions.

Pradipta Ghosh, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Ghosh's laboratory studies the cell biology of signal transduction with a special emphasis on identification and characterization of novel modulators of heterotrimeric G proteins. Over the years, her group has systematically pursued in depth the mechanism and biological implications of an intracellular heterotrimeric G protein system, and revealed along the way how G protein signaling via guanine exchange modulator (GEM) is fundamentally distinct from the conventional G protein signaling from the cell surface by G protein-coupled receptors.

Samir Gupta, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Samir Gupta’s research focuses on the prevention and screening of colorectal cancer and polyps. He has led randomized clinical trials as well as numerous observational studies of the clinical and molecular epidemiology of digestive system cancers and neoplasia, including colorectal, hepatocellular, and pancreatic cancer.

​Michael Karin, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Departments of Pharmacology and Pathology, Cancer Center
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Karin has spent his career investigating stress and inflammation signaling covering the entire gamut of research approaches from basic biochemistry through molecular cell biology to animal pathophysiology. Many of his recent and current studies have focused on epithelial proliferation and transformation in the colon and liver in response to chemical and inflammatory insults.

Randal Kaufman, PhD
Professor and Director, Degenerative Disease Research Program
Institution: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute rkaufman@sbpdiscovery.org

Research Interests: Dr. Kaufman’s laboratory investigates the mechanisms of protein folding under normal and stress conditions and its effects on cell death and inflammation, particularly in the liver, which is the major site of protein synthesis in the body.

Tatiana Kisseleva, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Kisseleva examines the cellular origin of cells contributing to fibrosis in the liver. In addition, she has been exploring the role of IL-17 signaling, and the effect of therapeutic inhibition of IL-17-producing Th17 in chronic liver diseases, NASH and hepatocellular carcinoma.

​Rob Knight, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering; 
Director, Center for Microbiome Innovation
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Knight is a leader in studies of mammalian microbiomes, including the gastrointestinal tract and liver. He developed software for interpreting and understanding the vast flood of DNA sequence data that comprises our comprehension of the human microbiome, for understanding how the human microbiome develops over the course of one’s lifetime, and for placing the human microbiome in context of other microbial communities in the overall environment.

​Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD
President & Chief Scientific Officer, La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology; 
Professor of Biology and Dean for Immunology, UCSD
Institution: La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology

Research Interests: Dr. Kronenberg’s laboratory studies the functions of T cells in intestinal inflammation and defense including models of IBD. He has explored the T cell receptor (TCR) diversity of donor-derived T cells in the intestine of inflammation-prone SCID recipients by immunoscope (CDR3 length) analysis and sequencing of TCR beta chains.

Vipin Kumar, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Kumar focuses on NKT cells and their immune regulatory role in inflammation. He initiated both preclinical and clinical studies related to understanding the role of different NKT cell subsets (type I NKT and type II NKT)-based innate and adaptive mechanisms involved in alcoholic steatohepatitis and NASH.

Rohit Loomba, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine; Vice Chief and Director of Hepatology, 
Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Loomba’s research focuses on all aspects of NAFLD including aging, epidemiology, genetic and environmental predisposition, natural history and treatment of NASH. He utilizes diverse epidemiologic and outcomes research methodologies to answer clinically relevant questions. Examples of the research conducted include patient-oriented clinical research based upon patients seen in NAFLD clinic, clinical trials, population-based cohort studies, twin studies and clinical decision making by utilizing meta-analytic approaches. He is also undertaking multi-omics approaches to tease out the genetic and environmental determinants of NAFLD and hepatic fibrosis.

Ravinder Mittal, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Mittal’s laboratory investigates the sensory and motor functions of the esophagus. These studies include basic research in cell culture and animal models, as well as investigations of motility in humans with varying degrees of upper gastrointestinal inflammation.

Jorge Moscat, PhD
Director, Metabolism Initiatives; Professor and Director, Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program
Institution: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute jmoscat@sbpdiscovery.org

Research Interests: Dr. Moscat’s laboratory investigates mechanisms involved in the control of cancer development, and the pathways and signaling molecules that drive liver steatosis into cirrhosis, with a particular emphasis on inflammation and obesity.

David Pride, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology. Director of Molecular Microbiology, Associate Director of Microbiology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Pride’s laboratory has been pioneering work on the human virome in the oral cavity and intestine. He investigates how viral communities, particularly bacteriophages, alter human bacterial communities by either killing their bacterial hosts or providing them with potentially beneficial gene functions. He is deciphering the role of the vast viral communities in altering inflammation in gastrointestinal disease in humans.

​Manuela Raffatellu, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Institution:  UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Raffatellu investigates the complex interplay between gut pathogens, mucosal immunity and inflammation, and the gut microbiota, with the long-term goal of discovering therapeutic targets for controlling infection. She has a long-standing interest in the host response to mucosal pathogens such as Salmonella.

Eyal Raz, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Inflammation
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Raz investigates the interaction of innate immunity with microbial agents. In particular, he studies the role of microbial products in the activation and inhibition of mucosal inflammation. He has characterized the immune profiles induced by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, such as LPS, lipopeptides or bacterial DNA at mucosal sites and analyzed the impact of these ligands on experimental colitis.

Jesus Rivera-Nieves, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Rivera-Nieves’ laboratory investigates pathogenic pathways in spontaneous, chronic mouse models (e.g. SAMP1/Yit, TNFΔARE) of Crohn’s-like ileitis that closely recapitulate the human disease. This work has been instrumental for developing novel concepts about leukocyte trafficking and the role of cytokines in the initiation and perpetuation of IBD.

William Sandborn, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine; Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Sandborn conducts clinical and translational research and clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease.

Aleem Siddiqui, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: The research in Dr. Siddiqui’s laboratory is concerned with the pathogenesis of liver disease caused by infections with hepatitis viruses (HBV, HCV). In particular, he is interested in how infection alters cellular metabolism.

Claude Sirlin, MD
Professor, Department of Radiology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Sirlin is investigating the use of non-invasive imaging for the diagnosis, characterization, and monitoring of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, other diffuse liver diseases, and liver cancer.

​Mamata Sivagnanam, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Sivagnanam’s research program focuses on how mutations in Epithelial cellular adhesion molecule (EpCAM) lead to intestinal epithelial cell dysfunction and thus, clinical manifestations of congenital tufting enteropathy (CTE). Her studies have relevance, not only to this disease, but also to gain further understanding of epithelial homeostasis, intestinal failure and diarrheal diseases.

​Niels Vande Casteele, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD
nvandecasteele@ucsd.edu

Research Interests: Dr.  Vande Casteele is a clinical pharmacologist in the field of chronic inflammatory diseases and drug development, therapeutic drug and immunogenicity monitoring of biologics, including bioanalytical method development, population pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacometrics, and disease-specific outcome measures and biomarkers. He has a strong interest in precision medicine and trial design for inflammatory bowel disease. 

Amir Zarrinpar, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Institution: UCSD

Research Interests: Dr. Zarrinpar investigates the role of diet and metabolism on the microbiota and inflammation. His laboratory has designed engineered bacteria to explore the functional role of the gut microbiota on host physiology, obesity, NAFLD and NASH.