Our Research

The faculty members in gastroenterology and hepatology have a broad array of research programs, many of which are funded from a variety of extramural sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The research facilities at both Stanford University Medical Center and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System expose the trainees to state-of-the-art research techniques. The division also has an active NIH-funded training grant since 1960.

The division includes many nationally recognized leaders in gastroenterology and hepatology. This includes presidencies of national societies and editorial positions of leading gastroenterology journals. To review the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and their research interests, go to the Division Faculty page. Furthermore, to review further collaborative, multi-disciplinary research programs, see below:

Jeffrey Glenn, MD

Glenn Lab: Stanford University--The primary focus of the Glenn lab  is molecular virology, with a strong emphasis on translating this knowledge into novel antiviral therapies. Current projects aim to better understand the role of prenylation in the life cycles of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and other viruses-both as a mechanism of intracellular trafficking and trigger of virus assembly, and as a target for a promising antiviral treatment.The function and cell biology of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) non-structural proteins are also being studied. Here the focus is on identifying key determinants of pathogenesis and designing novel antiviral strategies.

U19 Center for Excellence for Translational Research-There is a huge unmet need for novel antiviral strategies. The current paradigm for treating viral infections focuses on targeting viral enzymatic functions. As such, it provides a limited “one bug-one drug” approach and is often limited by a rapid emergence of viral resistance. Importantly, this approach is associated with inefficient use of resources required to address each individual threat. The overall objective of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Translational Research is to develop new classes of host-targeting antiviral drugs that are capable of treating multiple important viral diseases, when used alone or in combination with other available agents.

W.Ray Kim, MD

I have several federally funded research programs, all in liver disease. My major projects (R01) are in end-stage liver disease – the current focus is to study the pathophysiology and genetic epidemiology of renal complications in end stage liver disease and liver transplant patients. My program is best known for the development, validation and refinement of the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD). Related to that work, I co-lead the Liver Team for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipient. I am also part of the Hepatitis B Research Network (U01) which is a cooperative network to study hepatitis B in the US. Finally, I hold a K-24 award which helps me mentor fellows and junior faculty. Over the years, I have had the privilege and joy of working with, mentoring and, sometime being mentored by more than 20 residents, fellows, and junior faculty members.

Anson Lowe, MD

Lowe Lab- Our laboratory is focused on adenocarcinomas, which account for the majority of human solid tumors that result in death. Active projects include pancreatic, esophageal, colon, and lung adenocarcinomas. We have a particular interest in the regulation of signal transduction with respect to wound healing and cancer development. Active projects not only include cancer pathogenesis, but also the development of new diagnostic assays and drugs.

Harry Greenberg, MD

Dr. Greenberg’s laboratory focuses on viruses that infect the gastrointestinal tract, lungs and liver, with a recent interest in rotaviruses, influenza and viral pathogenesis and immunity.  Studies have focused on viruses associated with substantial morbidity and/or mortality in both developed and less developed countries and have ranged from basic studies of innate and acquired immunity and viral pathogenesis in cell culture and animal models to more translational investigations of vaccine efficacy and antiviral immunity in humans.  In recent years the lab concentrated efforts on better defining the role of innate and acquired immune mechanisms in rotavirus pathogenesis, host range restriction and protection.  Additional recent studies have focused on using novel assays and technology to study B cell and mucosal epithelial cell transcriptional and protein responses to rotavirus infection, at the single cell level in vitro and in the whole animal. Dr. Greenberg is also the Director of the Stanford NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Award Center called Spectrum and the Senior Associate Dean of Research at Stanford University School of Medicine

Aida Habtezion, MD

Our lab is interested in studying mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment in inflammatory diseases affecting the digestive organs. Our lab focuses in the areas of mucosal immunology, particularly T cell trafficking in inflammatory bowel disease, and on the role of hemeoxygenase-1 and its downstream effectors in pancreatitis.

Mindie Nguyen, MD, MAS

My research interests focus on the epidemiology, clinical outcomes, health economics, translational studies, and treatment trials of chronic hepatitis C, hepatitis B, hepatocellular carcinoma, and related diseases leading to hepatocellular carcinoma such as cirrhosis and NASH. We currently have over 20 active IRB-approved protocols of studies ranging from observational risk factor, natural history, and treatment outcome studies of our multi-center Bay area patient cohorts to outcomes studies using public databases such as SEERS and NHANES, to multi-center foundation and federally funded collaborative studies, and to industry-sponsored therapeutic clinical trials of various phases. Our research lab includes trainees both from Stanford and other institutions around the country. Currently, we have several undergraduate students, medical students, Master's in Epidemiology/Advanced Studies in Clinical Research candidates, interns/residents, and fellows in our group.