Basic Science Research


The Stanford Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has several world renowned physician scientists conducting cutting edge basic science research in GI and liver diseases.

The focus of our research programs include viral hepatitis, fatty liver diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, neurogastroenterology, liver fibrosis and cancers involving the liver and GI tract.



Dr. Glenn's primary interest is in molecular virology, with a strong emphasis on translating this knowledge into novel antiviral therapies. Other interests include exploitation of hepatic stem cells, development of small animal models, non alcoholic steatohepatitis, liver cancer, and engineered human liver tissues.



Dr. Torok's resarch is focused on alcoholic and non alcoholic steatohepatitis, which are both major causes of end stage liver disease. Her research lab is studying the pathomechanism of liver fibrosis and is focusing on discovering novel therapies and translating them to clinical care.



Dr. Lowe's research is focused on pancreatic and esophageal inflammation and cancer. His lab uses genomic data from human esophageal and pancreatic cancer to develop new diagnostic assays for cancer and for the identification of genes that participate in disease pathogenesis.


Assistant Professor

Dr. Becker's research focuses on neurogastroenterology motility disorders like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. His lab explores the interplay between immune cells and the enteric nervous system, and evaluates the impact of this interaction during aging on gastrointestinal neuromuscular function.


Assistant Professor

Dr. Dhanasekaran's primary research goal is to explore the molecular biology of liver cancer in order to identify novel biomarkers and molecular-targeted therapies. She conducts basic and translational research to understand the molecular mechanisms of liver cancer metastasis and dormancy using mouse models of liver cance, genomic data from human cancer and patient derived xenografts.



Dr. Cheng designs and uses complex defined microbial communities to study and treat gastrointestinal disease. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop synthetic gut microbiomes that will supplant and surpass fecal transplant therapy for conditions such as recurrent Clostridium difficile colitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.