From:                              UCSD Pediatrics <>

Sent:                               Tuesday, April 7, 2020 2:19 PM

To:                                   UCSD Pediatrics

Subject:                          NEWS FLASH & Special Announcement


Importance:                   High


Department of Pediatrics


Special Announcement













We are very pleased to announce that Brent Polk, MD will soon be joining UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital as Division Chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Executive Vice Chair in the Department of Pediatrics. 

Dr. Polk comes to us from ​the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he is Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and has served as Vice Dean for Child Health, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of The Saban Research Institute.  

Dr. Polk is a renowned physician scientist and a ​thought leader in the field of gastrointestinal immunity and inflammation. His laboratory has made seminal discoveries in the mechanisms connecting specific molecular pathways and disease pathogenesis. Specifically, his work has pioneered the understanding of how the EGF pathway ​does not only stimulate epithelial development, proliferation, and repair, but also interacts with the innate and acquired immune gastrointestinal immune systems. These interactions play clear roles in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases and intestinal metaplasia/cancer.

 Dr. Polk has an exceptional track record as a collaborative physician leader. He is internationally recognized for both his scientific work and his ability to develop impactful, innovative clinical programs. He is Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and Chair of the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology initial review group at the NIH. He is a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association, Association of American Physicians, Royal College of Physicians - Edinburgh, and American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the Schwachman Award from North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Dr. Polk previously served as Chief of the D. Brent Polk Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Director of the NIH-funded Digestive Diseases Research Center and Dean’s Chair and Professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University. He was also a Fellow of the Council of Deans of the AAMC.

At USC/CHLA, Dr. Polk developed new centers of excellence that brought together investigators, clinicians, and fresh approaches from complementary disciplines. In addition, Dr. Polk has a very impressive list of successful investigators and leaders that have flourished under his mentorship. We anticipate that Dr. Polk will build novel programs across the UCSD campus that will serve as foci for multidisciplinary work in the areas of inflammatory bowel disease, microbiome innovation, systems biology, and therapeutic discoveries.

The Department acknowledges Dr. Hayat Mousa for her support and contributions as interim Division Chief for the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Department of Pediatrics Communications:  Debbie Taheri