Gastroenterology and Hepatology

The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology conducts research in several important areas of digestive diseases ranging in focus from basic science to clinical outcome studies.

Funding support for these efforts has come from university, industry and NIH sources with both primary funding to the division members as well as funding from other areas. Our collaborative research projects are often multidisciplinary studies involving other departments and sites, such as UConn Health Molecular Oncology, UConn Storrs, and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.

Our division’s research projects often include fellows and residents with structured teaching elements.

Current faculty projects include:

John W. Birk, M.D.

  • Microbial-epithelial cross-talk modulates UC phenotype via DNA methylation of colon stem cells (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Microbiota, metabolites and colon neoplasia (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Determining the role of peanut consumption on dietary habits, gut microbiome, and colon biomarkers in a healthy population (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Mechanisms for early onset colorectal cancer (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Endoluminal therapy of obesity using gastric balloons
  • Pancreatic cyst fluid MMP-3 + MMP-9 levels as a novel diagnostic marker to differentiate malignant from benign cysts

Joel B. Levine, M.D.

  • Computational models of serrated pathway in colon cancer (in collaboration with Pramod Srivastava, Ph.D., M.D., and Marmar Moussa, Ph.D.)
  • Longitudinal patterns of quantitative FIT with regard to prediction of risk for colon cancer precursors
  • Role of vitamin D deficiency in colon cancer risk
  • 3D holographic imaging of the surface of the colon to study alterations in mucosal permeability

Houman Rezaizadeh, M.D.

  • A Phase 3, Multicenter, Multinational, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Induction and Maintenance Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of CC-93538 in Adult and Adolescent Subjects with Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • A Versatile Soft Robotic Framework for Studying Human Swallowing

Haleh Vaziri, M.D.

  • Microbial-epithelial cross-talk modulates UC phenotype via DNA methylation of colon stem cells (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Microbiota, metabolites and colon neoplasia (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)
  • Determining the role of peanut consumption on dietary habits, gut microbiome, and colon biomarkers in a healthy population (in collaboration with Daniel W. Rosenberg, Ph.D.)

George Y. Wu, M.D., Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus), and Catherine H. Wu, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus)

  • Hepatocellular Investigation Laboratory