Stanford Children's Pancreas Program

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Chief, Peds GI
Director, Endoscopy
Associate Director, Endoscopy

Our Research

We have an unparalleled group of researchers focused on advancing our knowledge on pancreatitis and exocrine and endocrine interactions and the gastrointestinal, hepatic and pancreatic complications of cystic fibrosis.  We are also actively engaged in teaching the next generation of pediatric pancreatologists and therapeutic endoscopists.  We welcome inquiries from those interested in collaborative research, research fellowships, and/or clinical training opportunities in pediatric pancreatology/therapeutic endoscopy.

Research Highlights

Causes and Natural History of Pediatric Pancreatitis

We are an active research site in INSPPIRE2, a NIH-funded international research consortium on acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis in children.  Additionally, Dr. Sellers leads efforts using large datasets to better understand the epidemiology of pediatric pancreatitis and its associations with other diseases.

  1. Nationwide Trends in Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis Among Privately-Insured Children and Non-Elderly Adults in the United States, 2007-2014.  Gastroenterology. 2018 Aug;155(2):469-47. PMID: 29660323.

Mechanisms of Injury and Repair Caused by Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition that if not repaired leads to exocrine and/or exocrine insufficiency.  Dr. Husain is an internationally-recognized expert in the cellular mechanisms of injury in pancreatitis.  His research group is actively investigating the how pancreatitis occurs and is repaired in ERCP-induced pancreatitis and Asparaginase-induced pancreatitis.  Dr. Sellers’ lab is investigating pancreas-intestine interactions and the effect of pancreatitis on intestinal function.

  1. Protective Effects of Calcineurin on Pancreatitis in Mice Depend on Cellular Source.  Gastroenterology. 2020 May 20 Online ahead of print.  PMID: 32445858.

Therapeutic Endoscopy Trials in Children

There is little evidence on the efficacy of therapeutic interventions on pancreatic disease in children.  Led by Drs. Gugig and Barakat, Stanford is paving the way to undertake clinical trials in therapeutic endoscopic interventions in children.  Likewise, we are involved in national committees that guide gastroenterologists on best practices for therapeutic endoscopy in children.

  1. The Roles of EUS and ERCP in the Evaluation and Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis in Children: A Position Paper from the NSPGHAN Pancreas Committee. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2020 Jun; 70(6):741-750.

Ion transport Defects in Cystic Fibrosis and Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics

Dr. Sellers is an expert in mechanisms of chloride and bicarbonate ion transport in cystic fibrosis epithelia.  His lab is studying how cystic fibrosis affects ion transport in epithelial tissues and using this knowledge to develop new diagnostic tests for cystic fibrosis and identify new therapeutic targets to circumvent ion transport defects. Dr. Sellers and Dr. Milla are working to expand the use of minimally invasive nasal cultures to better diagnose and characterize CF and enhance drug screening.

MCHRI Seminar Series: Cystic Fibrosis as a Paradigm for Precision Medicine

Advanced Imaging to Diagnose and Monitor Cystic Fibrosis-Associated Liver Disease

Cystic fibrosis-associated liver disease is the 3rd leading cause of mortality of cystic fibrosis, yet traditional imaging modalities have failed to identify early liver fibrosis, thereby impeding diagnosis, monitoring of disease, and therapeutic interventions.  Together with radiologists at Stanford, Dr. Sellers has investigated the use of advanced imaging techniques to identify early liver disease in cystic fibrosis.  Dr. Sellers is also a leader in the use of non-invasive labs and fibrosis indices to identify CF-associated liver disease in children and adolescents.

  1. New Algorithm for the Integration of Ultrasound into Cystic Fibrosis Liver Disease Screening. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 Oct;69(4):404-410. PMID: 31181020.

Ex-Vivo Genetic Editing for the Cure of Cystic Fibrosis

New drugs for are transforming the health of individuals with cystic fibrosis, however, cystic fibrosis remains incurable.  At Stanford we have brought together multiple laboratories led by international CRISPR/Cas9 expert Dr. Porteus to tackle the difficult problem of gene therapy in cystic fibrosis.

  1. High efficiency, selection-free gene repair in airway stem cells of cystic fibrosis patients rescues CFTR function in differentiated epithelia. Cell Stem Cell. 2020, Feb 6:26(2):161-171. PMID: 31839569.