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Gastroenterology Labs

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  • Ahmet Gurakar Lab

    The Ahmet Gurakar Lab is interested in bioartificial liver dialysis systems and the application of total plasma exchange in the treatment of liver disorders.

    Research Areas: transplants, viral hepatitis, liver diseases, plasma exchange

    Principal Investigator

    Ahmet Gurakar, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Alyssa Parian Lab

    The Alyssa Parian Lab works to identify early markers of dysplasia. We also study inflammatory bowel disease-associated cancers, conduct IBD clinical trials and examine IBD extraintestinal manifestations.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, displaysia

    Principal Investigator

    Alyssa Parian, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Anthony N. Kalloo Lab

    Research interests in the Anthony N. Kalloo Lab include therapeutic endoscopy, pancreatitis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction and abdominal pain.

    Research Areas: sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, endoscopy, abdominal pain, pancreatitis

    Principal Investigator

    Anthony Kalloo, M.B.B.S., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Ashish Nimgoankar Lab

    The Ashish Nimgoankar Lab is interested in translational technology development and image-guided therapies.

    Research Areas: translational technology, imaging

    Principal Investigator

    Ashish Nimgaonkar, M.B.B.S., M.D., M.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Brindusa Truta Lab

    The Brindusa Truta Lab studies inflammatory bowel diseases, specifically Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Recent studies defined factors associated with the development of Crohn's disease after ileal pouch anal anastomosis; determined the value of histology in identifying Lynch syndrome in early-onset of colorectal cancer patients; and compared the phenotype and genotype in adenomatous polyposis patients with and without a family history.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis

    Principal Investigator

    Brindusa Truta, M.A.S., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Ellen Stein Lab

    Research interests in the Ellen Stein Lab include motility disorders and esophageal diseases such as reflux disease, achalasia, Barrett's esophagus and eosinophilic esophagitis.

    Research Areas: reflux disease, esophageal disease, achalasia, eosinophilic esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, motility disorders

    Principal Investigator

    Ellen Stein, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Eun Ji Shin Lab

    Research interests in the Eun Ji Shin Lab include clinical research on obesity and the effect on GI neoplasia/malignancy.

    Research Areas: gastroenterology, neoplasms, obesity

    Principal Investigator

    Eun Shin, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Florin Selaru Lab

    Research interests in the Florin Selaru Lab comprise the molecular changes associated with the transition from inflammatory states in the GI tract (colon, stomach, biliary tree) to frank cancers. In addition, our current research—funded by the AGA, FAMRI and the Broad Foundation—works to further the understanding of cancer development and progression in the gastrointestinal tract.

    Research Areas: gastroenterology, cancer, inflammation, molecular biology

    Principal Investigator

    Florin Selaru, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Fluorescence Imaging Core

    The goal of the Fluorescence Imaging Core is to provide state-of-art light microscopy technology to the members of the Hopkins Basic Research Digestive Disease Development Center and to the whole Hopkins scientific community. Services include advanced cell and tissue multicolor imaging using Zeiss LSM-510 META, including XYZT, FREP and FRET; live cell and tissue imaging using an Olympus FV1000 MP with ratiometric ionic probes; and measurements of intracellular pH (potentially other ions) on cell populations using PTI’s RatioMaster and QuantMaster spectrofluorometic systems equipped with temperature controlled perfusion chambers.

    Research Areas: imaging, light microscopy, digestive diseases

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Olga Kovbasnjuk

    Department

    Medicine

  • Francis Giardiello Lab

    Research in the Francis Giardiello Lab focuses on the study of cancer and cancer chemoprevention in the gastrointestinal tract. This has included the investigation of the genetic basis of familial colorectal cancer and the use of genetic testing in the hereditary forms of colorectal cancer. We have a continuing interest in the study of the genotypic-phenotypic correlations in polyposis syndromes, which include familial adenomatous polyposis, juvenile polyposis and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, colorectal cancer, cancer, genomics, polyposis syndromes

    Principal Investigator

    Francis Giardiello, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Gerard E. Mullin Lab

    The Gerard E. Mullin Lab studies nutrition and the way that diet affects weight loss. In particular, we study how having an imbalanced gut microbiome may prevent weight loss in certain people.

    Research Areas: gut bacteria, nutrition, obesity, weight loss

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Gerard Mullin, M.D., M.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • GI Biomarkers Laboratory

    The GI Biomarkers Laboratory studies gastrointestinal cancer and pre-cancer biogenesis and biomarkers. The lab is led by Dr. Stephen Meltzer, who is known for his research in the molecular pathobiology of gastrointestinal malignancy and premalignancy. Research in the lab has led to several groundbreaking genomic, epigenomic and bioinformatic studies of esophageal and colonic neoplasms, shifting the gastrointestinal research paradaigm toward genome-wide approaches.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, biomarkers, cancer, epigenetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biogenesis

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Stephen Meltzer, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • IBD and Autoimmune Liver Diseases Laboratory

    Investigators in the IBD and Autoimmune Liver Diseases Laboratory conduct basic and translational research in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune liver diseases. One area of focus is discovering and developing biomarkers for diagnosing and prognosticating IBD and other autoimmune liver diseases (AILDs). We also are exploring the molecular pathogenesis of—and developing novel therapies for—IBD. In addition, we are working to understand the molecular reason why many IBD patients fail to respond to mainstay drug therapies—and to develop diagnostic assays that can predict non-responders before starting them on those therapies. These biomarker studies have led to our application for four U.S. and international patents.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal system, colitis, autoimmune diseases, pathogenesis, celiac disease, liver diseases

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Xu Li, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Irritable Bowel Disease Genetic Research Laboratory

    Research in the Irritable Bowel Disease Genetic Research Laboratory focuses on the genetic variation in etiopathogenesis, disease manifestations and disease course in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We focus on familial IBD as well as IBD in the African-American and Ashkenazi Jewish populations. Our lab uses gene and genome-wide association mapping studies and whole genome sequencing to identify and characterize susceptibility genes for IBD in those populations. Additional studies examine how infectious diseases can possibly trigger Crohn’s disease and investigate the role of vitamin D and genetic modifiers of vitamin D in causing Crohn’s disease.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, colitis, vitamin D, genomics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Steven Brant

    Department

    Medicine

  • James Hamilton Lab

    The main research interests of the James Hamilton Lab are the molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma and the development of molecular markers to help diagnose and manage cancer of the liver. In addition, we are investigating biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis and response to various treatment modalities. Results of this study will provide a molecular classification of HCC and allow us to identify targets for chemoprevention and treatment. Specifically, we extract genomic DNA and total RNA from liver tissues and use this genetic material for methylation-specific PCR (MSP), cDNA microarray, microRNA microarray and genomic DNA methylation array experiments.

    Research Areas: cancer, molecular genetics, genomics, pathogenesis, liver diseases, hepatocellular carcinoma

    Principal Investigator

    James Hamilton, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • James Potter Lab

    The James Potter Lab studies the effect of ethanol and its metabolites on the a2(I) and a1(I) collagen promoters; the role of leptin on fibrogenesis; the role of Kupffer cells, cytokines, retinoic acid and leptin in stellate cell tansdifferentiation and collagen production; hormonal regulation of rat class I alcohol dehydrogenase; and transcriptional regulation of rat class I alcohol dehydrogenase promotor.

    Research Areas: collagen, gastroenterology, cytokines, ethanol, fibrogenesis

    Principal Investigator

    James Potter

    Department

    Medicine

  • Joanna Peloquin Lab

    The Joanna Peloquin Lab focuses on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We're working on individualized care for IBD patients through functional genomic studies, specifically those related to diet, host and microbiota interactions.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenterology, nutrition, microbiota, genomics

    Principal Investigator

    Joanna Melia, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • John M. Abraham Lab

    Researchers in the John M. Abraham Lab aim to develop new small-molecule cancer therapeutics. Recently, we worked on identifying novel decapeptides that can transfer 32P radioisotope—a tumor-ablating agent—to colon and esophageal adenocarcinoma cells. Our previous work involved using siRNA knockdown techniques and microarray technology to classify downstream genetic targets of regulator genes.

    Research Areas: cancer, 32P radioisotope, adenocarcinoma cells, molecular biology

    Principal Investigator

    John Abraham

    Department

    Medicine

  • Kirti Shetty Lab

    Research in the Kirti Shetty Lab seeks to understand the development of hepatocarcinogenesis in cirrhosis. Our ongoing translational research projects examine biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma and chemoprevention in cirrhosis patients.

    Research Areas: chemoprevention, cancer, cirrhosis, liver diseases, hepatocarcinogenesis

    Principal Investigator

    Kirti Shetty

    Department

    Medicine

  • Linda Lee Lab

    The Linda Lee Lab studies care of complex cancer patients who had liver or gastrointestinal issues. Our previous work includes studying the function of a cancer protein called Myc in liver cancer.

    Research Areas: cancer, gastrointestinal

    Principal Investigator

    Linda Lee, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Liudmila Cebotaru Lab

    Research in the Liudmila Cebotaru Lab studies cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutants. We also investigate corrector molecules that are currently in clinical trials to get a better understanding of their mechanism of action. A major focus of our research is on developing more efficient gene therapy vectors with the ultimate goal of developing a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, gene therapy, corrector molecules

    Principal Investigator

    Liudmila Cebotaru, J.D., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Marcia Canto Lab

    Research interests in the Marcia Canto Lab include pancreatic neoplasms, Barrett’s esophagus and endomicroscopy. We are also interested in the use of endoscopic ultrasound to identify early-stage pancreatic cancer and its precursors.

    Research Areas: endomicroscopy, pancreatic cancer, endoscopy, Barrett's esophagus

    Principal Investigator

    Marcia Canto, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Mark Donowitz Lab

    Research in the Mark Donowitz Lab is primarily focused on the development of drug therapy for diarrheal disorders, intestinal salt absorption and the proteins involved including their regulation, and the use of human enteroids to understand intestinal physiology and pathophysiology. We study two gene families initially recognized by this laboratory: mammalian Na/H exchangers and the subgroup of PDZ domain containing proteins present in the brush border of epithelial cells called NHERF family. A major finding is that NHE3 exists simultaneously in different sized complexes in the brush border, which change separately as part of signal transduction initiated by mimics of the digestive process. Relevance to the human intestine is being pursued using mini-human intestine made from Lgr5+ stems cells made from intestinal biopsies and measuring function via two-photon microscopy.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, gastroenterology, pathophysiology, diarrhea, drugs, physiology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Mark Donowitz, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Nicholas Zachos Lab

    Researchers in the Nicholas Zachos Lab work to understand variations in protein trafficking that occur during pathophysiological conditions that cause ion and water transport that result in diarrhea. We recently identified a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway responsible for elevated intracellular calcium-mediated inhibition of NHE3 activity in intestinal epithelial cells. We use advanced imaging techniques, including confocal and multi-photon microscopy, to characterize protein trafficking of intestinal transporters. We also perform functional assays using fluorescent probes (ratiometric and non-ratiometric) to measure ion transport in cell culture models, intact intestinal tissues and human small intestinal enteroids.

    Research Areas: imaging, protein trafficking, diarrhea, bioinformatics, molecular biology

    Principal Investigator

    Nicholas Zachos, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Pankaj Jay Pasricha Lab

    Researchers in the Pankaj Jay Pasricha Lab are interested in the molecular mechanisms of visceral pain and restoration of enteric neural function with novel strategies, including neural stem cell transplants. Recent research has focused on the enteric nervous system and gut-brain axis, and the complexity of pain in chronic pancreatitis. Another recent study indicates that patients with underlying small intestinal bacterial overgrowth have significant delays in small bowel transit time as compared to those without, while another explored the safety and efficacy of carbon dioxide cryotherapy for treatment of neoplastic Barrett's esophagus.

    Research Areas: gastroenterology, stem cells, neurogastroenterology, pancreatitis, pain, Barrett's esophagus, motility disorders

    Principal Investigator

    Jay Pasricha, M.B.B.S., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Patrick Okolo Lab

    Research interests in the Patrick Okolo Lab include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoluminal stenting, interventional and innovative endoscopy, outcomes and decision analyses in gastroenterology, and clinical epidemiology. We recently took part in a multicenter study that determined that the through-the-scope balloon catheter system is a safe and effective way to perform deep enteroscopy by using a conventional colonoscope without the need for an overtube. This is the largest reported study using this novel technology to diagnose and treat small-bowel disease. Other recent research concentrated on endoscopic reversal of gastric bypass as well as the management of staple line leaks after sleeve gastrectomies.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, gastroenterology, enteroscopy, endoluminal stenting, endoscopy, gastric bypass, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), fistulas

    Principal Investigator

    Patrick Okolo

    Department

    Medicine

  • Qian Li Lab

    The Qian Li Lab's primary area of statistical expertise is the development and application of statistical methods for: (1) handling the truncation of information on underlying or unobservable outcomes (e.g., disability) as a result of screening, (2) missing data, including outcome (e.g., frailty) censoring by a competing risk (e.g., mortality) and (3) trajectory analysis of multivariate outcomes. Other areas of methodologic research interests include multivariate, latent variable models.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, outcomes, biostatistics

    Principal Investigator

    Qian Li, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Saleh Alqahtani Lab

    The Saleh Alqahtani Lab has conducted clinical research on the management of fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis, including novel therapies. We’ve also been involved in various clinical trials related to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and outcomes of liver transplant patients.

    Research Areas: fatty liver disease, Hepatitis, liver transplants, cirrhosis, liver diseases, liver cancer

    Principal Investigator

    Saleh Alqahtani, M.B.Ch.B., M.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Sharon Dudley Brown Lab

    Research in the Sharon Dudley Brown Lab focuses on gastroenterology and hepatology, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenterology, hepatology, ulcerative colitis

    Principal Investigator

    Sharon Dudley-Brown, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Shukti Chakravarti Lab

    The Shukti Chakravarti Lab studies the regulation of cellular functions and tissue homeostasis by the extracellular matrix (ECM). We investigate functions of collagen-associated extracellular matrix proteins and proteoglycans, lumican, fibromodulin and biglycan in maintaining connective tissue architecture and cellular functions. Lumican regulates collagen fibril structure such that gene-targeted mice that are deficient in lumican manifest Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome-like skin fragility, tendon weaknesses and corneal opacity. Our investigation of the ECM centers on two barrier tissues, the cornea of the eye and the intestinal mucosa and submucosa.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, extracellular matrix, biochemistry, cell biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Shukti Chakravarti

    Department

    Medicine

  • Susan Hutfless Lab

    The Susan Hutfless Lab uses administrative data to investigate epidemiologic questions about the causes of and treatments for chronic diseases, with a focus on gastrointestinal disorders. Our team has provided epidemiologic expertise to help design and analyze large-dataset studies of cervical cancer, colorectal cancer and mortality related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We also have conducted research on infection-related triggers of Crohn’s disease in susceptible military personnel as well as prenatal and childhood predictors of pediatric-onset IBD.

    Research Areas: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, epidemiology, data analysis, maternal health, chronic disease, gastrointestinal

    Principal Investigator

    Susan Hutfless, Ph.D., S.M.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Zhiping Li Lab

    The Zhiping Li Lab focuses on the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and immune-mediated liver injury. Our active research focuses on the dietary modulation of gut bacteria, liver innate immune system and their regulation on tissue injury and repair. Clinical research from the lab focuses on cirrhotic ascites, liver transplant, hepatocellular carcinoma and immune-mediated liver diseases as well as endoscopic techniques and interventions.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, gut bacteria, nutrition, obesity, pathogenesis, liver diseases

    Principal Investigator

    Zhiping Li

    Department

    Medicine

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