Department of Pediatrics
Clinical Assistant Professor
Pediatric Gastroenterology; Pediatrics; Vitamins and Trace Nutrient
As a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University at Buffalo and an attending physician in the Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Center, the focus of my clinical work is to prevent, diagnose and treat gastrointestinal, nutritional, hepatic and pancreatic disease in children from birth through young adulthood. I provide care both on the inpatient and consultative service and in the outpatient clinic at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. I am an expert at diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, including, but not limited to upper endoscopies, colonoscopies, liver biopsies and gastrostomy tube placements, motility studies, pH probes interpretation and control of bleeding.
I have a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and is comprised of two major phenotypes: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The pathogenesis of IBD is believed to be multifactorial, including genetic predisposition, immune dysregulation, dysbiosis and barrier dysfunction.
During my training in pediatric gastroenterology, I distinguished myself by publishing several important studies on IBD. I received the 2012 Young Faculty Investigator Award from the North American Society for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) – given to only one laboratory scientist each year − for my study titled “Paraoxonase Gene Expression in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” I studied the effect of IBD and steroids (used in the treatment of IBD) on the expression of the paraoxonase genes in the human normal and inflamed intestine. The paraoxonase gene family consists of PON 1, 2 and 3; all possess antioxidant properties, are located on chromosome 7 and are expressed in the human intestinal tissue. They might be a novel target for the management of IBD, something we are exploring. I have also published on IBD and the role vitamins play in the disease. In addition, I focus on identifying the important nutritional vitamin and mineral deficiencies in children with IBD. These include vitamin E, vitamin A, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and zinc. We are studying ways to effectively treat these deficiencies.
I teach in the medical school and in the graduate medical education program, and I mentor medical students, residents and fellows. I am dedicated to educating fellows on clinical aspects of their work such as teaching them how to perform procedures. I also mentor fellows on their research projects.