Gastroenterology Research

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have taken on multiple challenges in gastroenterology disorders. Pancreatitis, liver disease, biliary atresia, and inflammatory bowel disease are just a few of the many areas of focus.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Children’s gastroenterology laboratories are leaders in: understanding the physiology of lipases – enzymes that digest fats – and, more specifically, the roles these proteins play in digestion and disease; characterizing the function and regulation of intestinal transporters for water and bile acids; and the pathophysiology and treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, the most common genetic disease of the liver in childhood.

Children’s gastroenterologists also head multiple clinical studies. Liver disease is under assault from Children’s pediatric gastroenterologists working to advance potential therapies that range from increasing our understanding of biliary atresia and acute liver failure, liver diseases often treated with liver transplantation, to transplanting hepatocytes as a possible cure for many childhood liver diseases. Clinical studies in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease are also a focus of Children’s gastroenterology researchers. These studies include participation in local and national registries to gather data about outcome and treatment of children with inflammatory bowel disease and an innovative and novel study to define the role of behavioral therapy in treating children with inflammatory bowel disease.

Children’s gastroenterology research is both local and international in scope, as the hospital has taken a leadership role in establishment of multicenter studies allowing collaboration and information sharing among experts throughout North America and beyond.


Clinical Studies

Mark Lowe, MD, PhD

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Feras Alissa, MD

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David Keljo, MD, PhD

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David Perlmutter, MD

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Robert Squires, MD

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Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD

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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Study – Phase II

A Preliminary Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Carbamazepine in Severe Liver Disease Due to Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency Read more

Colon Cleansing with Prepopik Before Colonoscopy – Phases I & II

Study Comparing the Safety and Efficacy of Prepopik versus Polyethylene Glycol Preparation in Children Read more

Constipation Treatment with Lubiprostone – Phase III

Study of Lubiprostone in Pediatric Patients with Functional Constipation Read more

Crohn’s Disease - Risk and Microbial Marker Study

Risk Stratification and Identification of Immunogenetic and Microbial Markers of Rapid Disease Progression in Children with Crohn’s Disease Read more

Crohn’s Disease and Sleep Disturbance Study – Phase IV

Treating Disrupted Sleep in Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Novel Adjunctive Therapy for Chronic Inflammatory Illness Read more

Crohn's Disease Treatment using Blood Stem Cells – Phase I/II

Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation with CD34 Selected Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC) in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients with Severe Crohn's Disease Read more

ICARE Research Registry

Intestinal Care and Rehabilitation Center Database Read more

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Biopsychosocial Effects

Understanding the Biopsychosocial Underpinnings of Abdominal Pain in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Read more

Pancreatitis INSPPIRE Registry

A Study of Acute Recurrent and Chronic Pancreatitis in Children by the International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis In Search of a Cure (INSPPIRE) Read more

Pediatric IBD Registry

Understanding the Biopsychosocial Underpinnings of Abdominal Pain in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Read more

TPN-Related Cholestasis Treatment with Omegaven - Phase II

Compassionate Use of Omegaven in the Treatment of Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Hepatic Injury Read more

Ulcerative Colitis PROTECT Study – Phase IV

Predicting Response to Standardized Pediatric Colitis Therapy: The PROTECT Study Read more