Professional Education

  • Residency, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Internal Medicine (2017)
  • M.D., Harvard Medical School, Medicine (2014)
  • B.S., Michigan Tech, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2010)


All Publications

  • Cathelicidin Mediates a Protective Role of Vitamin D in Ulcerative Colitis and Human Colonic Epithelial Cells. Inflammatory bowel diseases Gubatan, J., Mehigan, G. A., Villegas, F., Mitsuhashi, S., Longhi, M. S., Malvar, G., Csizmadia, E., Robson, S., Moss, A. C. 2020


    Vitamin D plays a protective role in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients through unclear mechanisms. Cathelicidin is an antimicrobial peptide induced by 1,25(OH)D2. Our goal was to evaluate the link between cathelicidin and vitamin D-associated clinical outcomes in UC patients, explore vitamin D induction of cathelicidin in human colon cells, and evaluate the effects of intrarectal human cathelicidin on a murine model of colitis.Serum and colonic cathelicidin levels were measured in UC patients and correlated with clinical and histologic outcomes. Human colon cells were treated with 1,25(OH)2D and production of cathelicidin and cytokines were quantified. Antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli from cell culture supernatants was measured. Mice were treated with intrarectal cathelicidin, and its effects on DSS colitis and intestinal microbiota were evaluated.In UC patients, serum 25(OH)D positively correlated with serum and colonic cathelicidin. Higher serum cathelicidin is associated with decreased risk of histologic inflammation and clinical relapse but not independent of 25(OH)D or baseline inflammation. The 1,25(OH)2D treatment of colon cells induced cathelicidin and IL-10, repressed TNF-α, and suppressed Escherichia coli growth. This antimicrobial effect was attenuated with siRNA-cathelicidin transfection. Intrarectal cathelicidin reduced the severity of DSS colitis but did not mitigate the impact of colitis on microbial composition.Cathelicidin plays a protective role in 25(OH)D-associated UC histologic outcomes and murine colitis. Cathelicidin is induced by vitamin D in human colonic epithelial cells and promotes antimicrobial activity against E. coli. Our study provides insights into the vitamin D-cathelicidin pathway as a potential therapeutic target.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ibd/izz330

    View details for PubMedID 31955203

  • Novel use of endoscopic morcellator to clear large obscuring clot in patient with upper-GI bleed. VideoGIE : an official video journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Gubatan, J., Kwo, P., Hwang, J. H. 2020; 5 (2): 58–60

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.vgie.2019.10.006

    View details for PubMedID 32051910

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7003128

  • Systematic review with meta-analysis: association of vitamin D status with clinical outcomes in adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics Gubatan, J., Chou, N. D., Nielsen, O. H., Moss, A. C. 2019


    Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent among patients with IBD, however, data on its association with clinical outcomes are conflicting.To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the association of low vitamin D status with clinical outcomes in patients with IBD.We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus and Web of Science from inception to February 2018 for observational studies evaluating the association of low 25(OH)D status on IBD disease activity, mucosal inflammation, clinical relapse and quality of life. Odds ratios (ORs) were pooled and analysed using a random effects model.Twenty-seven studies were eligible for inclusion comprising 8316 IBD patients (3115 ulcerative colitis, 5201 Crohn's disease). Among IBD patients, low 25(OH)D status was associated with increased odds of disease activity (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.32-1.77, I2  = 0%), mucosal inflammation (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.06-1.47, I2  = 0%), low quality of life (QOL) scores (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.06-1.60, I2  = 0%) and future clinical relapse (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.03-1.47, I2  = 0%). In subgroup analysis, low vitamin D status was associated with Crohn's disease activity (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.36-2.03, I2  = 0%), mucosal inflammation (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.03-1.85, I2  = 0%), clinical relapse (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.14-1.59, I2  = 0%), and low QOL scores (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.04-1.50, I2  = 0%) and ulcerative colitis disease activity (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03-2.09, I2  = 0%) and clinical relapse (OR 1.20, 95% 1.01-1.43, I2  = 0%).Low 25(OH)D status is a biomarker for disease activity and predictor of poor clinical outcomes in IBD patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/apt.15506

    View details for PubMedID 31647134

  • Double Threat: Interplay of Celiac Disease with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Digestive diseases and sciences Gubatan, J., Triadafilopoulos, G., Fernandez-Becker, N. Q. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-019-05994-9

    View details for PubMedID 31828460

  • Managing vitamin D deficiency in inflammatory bowel disease. Frontline gastroenterology Nielsen, O. H., Hansen, T. I., Gubatan, J. M., Jensen, K. B., Rejnmark, L. 2019; 10 (4): 394–400


    Management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, is generally cumbersome for patients and is a massive health-economic burden. In recent years, the immunomodulating effects of vitamin D have gained a huge interest in its possible pathogenic influence on the pathophysiology of IBD. Vitamin D deficiency is frequent among patients with IBD. Several clinical studies have pointed to a critical role for vitamin D in ameliorating disease outcomes. Although causation versus correlation unfortunately remains an overwhelming issue in the illusive chicken versus egg debate regarding vitamin D and IBD, here we summarise the latest knowledge of the immunological effects of vitamin D in IBD and recommend from available evidence that physicians regularly monitor serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with IBD. Moreover, we propose an algorithm for optimising vitamin D status in patients with IBD in clinical practice. Awaiting well-powered controlled clinical trials, we consider vitamin D supplementation to be an affordable and widely accessible therapeutic strategy to ameliorate IBD clinical outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/flgastro-2018-101055

    View details for PubMedID 31656565

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6788352

  • Higher serum vitamin D levels are associated with protective serum cytokine profiles in patients with ulcerative colitis. Cytokine Gubatan, J., Mitsuhashi, S., Longhi, M. S., Zenlea, T., Rosenberg, L., Robson, S., Moss, A. C. 2018; 103: 38–45


    Vitamin D has immune modulating effects on cytokines. Serum vitamin D levels are associated with the risk of relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), through unknown mechanisms. We tested the hypothesis that this beneficial role of vitamin D on UC is mediated through anti-inflammatory serum cytokine profiles.Serum samples from a prospective cohort of seventy UC patients in clinical remission were collected and baseline histological and endoscopic scores were recorded at enrollment. Clinical relapse events were recorded over the 12-month follow-up period. Serum vitamin D and cytokines levels (IL-6, IL-8, IL-17A, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10) were quantified using ELISA. Linear regression was used to determine correlation between vitamin D and cytokine profiles. Logistic regression models were used to determine the association between serum cytokine profiles and baseline histologic mucosal healing and clinical relapse.Higher serum vitamin D levels positively correlated with higher ratios of IL-4 + IL-10/IL-17A + TNF-α (r = 0.37, P < .01), and IL-4 + IL-10/IL-6 + TNF-α (r = 0.32, P < .01). In multivariate analysis, IL-4 + IL-10/IL-17A + TNF-α ratios at baseline were associated with the presence of histologic mucosal healing (O.R. 1.29, 95% CI 1.02-1.62, P = .03). A higher ratio of serum IL-4 + IL-10 to IL-6 + TNF-α was associated with a reduced risk of clinical relapse (O.R. 0.72, 95% CI 0.58-0.89, P = .003), and longer time to relapse (p = .03), over the 12-month follow-up period. This ratio during remission had an AUC of 0.7 in predicting later clinical relapse.Vitamin D is associated with anti-inflammatory serum cytokine profiles. Anti-inflammatory cytokine patterns may mediate the protective effects of higher serum vitamin D levels in patients with ulcerative colitis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cyto.2017.12.023

    View details for PubMedID 29324259

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5808893

  • Vitamin D in inflammatory bowel disease: more than just a supplement. Current opinion in gastroenterology Gubatan, J., Moss, A. C. 2018; 34 (4): 217–25


    The aim of this review is to explore the protective role of vitamin D on the gastrointestinal tract, summarize the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and highlight recent studies examining the impact of low vitamin D and vitamin D supplementation on IBD clinical outcomes.Vitamin D protects the gut barrier by regulating tight junction proteins and inhibiting intestinal apoptosis. Vitamin D enhances innate immunity by inducing antimicrobial peptides and regulates adaptive immunity by promoting anti-inflammatory T cells and cytokines. Vitamin D may also alter the gut microbiota. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in IBD is 30-40%. Predictors of vitamin D deficiency in IBD include non-white ethnicity, IBD-related surgery, BMI more than 30, female sex, and pregnancy. Low vitamin D is associated with increased disease activity, inflammation, and clinical relapse. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on IBD clinical outcomes is inconclusive.Vitamin D plays a protective role on gut health. Vitamin D deficiency in IBD is prevalent and associated with poor outcomes. The benefits of vitamin D supplementation in IBD is unclear. Measuring novel vitamin D metabolites and vitamin D absorption in IBD patients may help guide future studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000449

    View details for PubMedID 29762159

  • Reply. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology Gubatan, J. M., Moss, A. C. 2017

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.03.037

    View details for PubMedID 28377073

  • Low Serum Vitamin D During Remission Increases Risk of Clinical Relapse in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology Gubatan, J., Mitsuhashi, S., Zenlea, T., Rosenberg, L., Robson, S., Moss, A. C. 2017; 15 (2): 240-246 e1


    Vitamin D levels have been associated with disease activity in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), but it is unclear whether they affect the risk of disease relapse. We sought to determine the association between baseline vitamin D levels during a period of clinical remission and risk of subsequent UC relapse.We performed a physician-blinded prospective study of 70 patients with UC in clinical remission followed up after a surveillance colonoscopy at a tertiary academic medical center. Serum samples were collected at the time of colonoscopy and baseline endoscopic and histologic activity were determined. Levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The primary outcome was rate of clinical relapse, determined over 12 months.The mean baseline vitamin D level was lower among patients with relapse (29.5 ng/mL) than without (50.3 ng/mL) (P = .001). Remission vitamin D level (≤35 ng/mL) was associated with a risk of clinical relapse (odds ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.56; P = .044) over 12 months, independent of endoscopic or histologic grade at enrollment. A receiver operating characteristic curve of vitamin D levels for the outcome of relapse had an area under the curve of 0.72; and a serum level of 35 ng/mL or less had a sensitivity of 70% (95% CI, 46%-88%) and a specificity of 74% (95% CI 57%-83%) for predicting risk of clinical relapse.Serum levels of vitamin D of 35 ng/mL or less during periods of clinical remission increase the risk of UC relapse. Clinical trials to obtain vitamin D levels higher than this threshold should be considered.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cgh.2016.05.035

    View details for PubMedID 27266980

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5136522

  • Cannabis Abuse Is Increasing and Associated with Increased Emergency Department Utilization in Gastroenterology Patients DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES Gubatan, J., Staller, K., Barshop, K., Kuo, B. 2016; 61 (7): 1844-1852


    The role of cannabinoids in gastrointestinal diseases is controversial and of great interest, yet their use in patients has not been critically examined.To determine the prevalence and effects of cannabis abuse on healthcare utilization, as measured by emergency department (ED) visits, in a large, tertiary gastroenterology practice.All patients seen in the gastroenterology clinic at a tertiary care center during a 27-year period (1986-2013) were included in our study to determine the overall prevalence of cannabis abuse. We matched cannabis abusers 1:2 with non-abusing controls to determine the effect of cannabis on ED utilization, our primary outcome. We used multivariate linear regression to adjust for confounders and define the independent effect of cannabis abuse on ED utilization.Our prevalence study cohort included 190,303 GI clinic patients with an overall cannabis abuse prevalence of 0.80 % (1520 patients). From 1986 to 2012, the prevalence of cannabis abuse in this clinic increased by 0.73 % (0.03 %/year) (p < 0.0001). From the 1520 cannabis abusers identified, 467 patients were randomly selected as cases and were matched to 934 controls. From this retrospective cohort, the median ED visits/year for cannabis abusers was 1.88 versus 0.89 for non-abusers (p < 0.0001). After multivariate adjustment, cannabis abuse was associated with a 1.47-fold increase (95 % CI 1.23-1.76, p < 0.0001) in median ED visits/year.Reported cannabis abuse in GI clinic patients is less prevalent than in the adult US population, but is increasing. Cannabis abuse among gastroenterology patients is associated with increased ED visits.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-016-4090-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000379013300013

    View details for PubMedID 26935430

  • Hypercalcemia associated with isolated bone marrow sarcoidosis in a patient with underlying monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance: case report and review of literature. Biomarker research Gubatan, J., Wang, X., Louissaint, A., Mahindra, A., Vanderpool, J. 2016; 4: 18-?


    Bone marrow sarcoidosis is extremely rare. The association between sarcoidosis and lymphoproliferative disorders has been previously speculated, although the diagnosis of sarcoidosis often precedes any hematological derangements.Here, we report for the first time, a case of a 57-year-old Caucasian woman with a previous diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) developing hypercalcemia and renal failure with workup notable for isolated bone marrow sarcoidosis and not multiple myeloma as expected. The patient was successfully managed with prednisone taper therapy with resolution of her hypercalcemia and repeat bone marrow biopsies demonstrating resolving granulomas.Our case illustrates the diagnostic challenges associated with bone marrow sarcoidosis and suggest that chronic immune stimulation in the bone marrow in the setting of MGUS may be associated with the development of localized sarcoidosis. The long term consequences of steroid therapy targeting sarcoidosis in this patient with underlying MGUS remain unknown. Greater surveillance and closer followup is planned in light of the increased risk of malignant transformation of MGUS into multiple myeloma in the setting of bone marrow sarcoidosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s40364-016-0072-5

    View details for PubMedID 27651903

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5024499

  • Hemorrhage from Extra-Antral Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia in a Patient with Duodenal Heterotopic Gastric Mucosa. Case reports in gastrointestinal medicine Gubatan, J., Raines, N., Khosravi, H., Challies, T. L., Berzin, T. M. 2016; 2016: 4325302-?


    Gastric antral vascular ectasias (GAVE) have been increasingly recognized as an uncommon cause of chronic gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia, although their underlying pathogenesis is not completely well understood. Heterotopic gastric mucosa (HGM) has been reported to occur at various sites along the gastrointestinal tract and although relatively common, it is often asymptomatic. We report a case of a 60-year-old woman with a prior history of GAVE who developed melena and symptomatic anemia during her hospitalization following cardiac catheterization. Initial EGD demonstrated nonbleeding antral GAVE and a newly discovered duodenal mass. Duodenal mass biopsies were ultimately notable for HGM along with histologic features of extra-antral GAVE. The patient required blood transfusions and consequently had a small bowel endoscopy notable for fresh blood in the proximal small bowel. The patient underwent a small bowel push enteroscopy which demonstrated active bleeding of the duodenal mass and overlying oozing GAVE, which was cauterized with Argon-Plasma Coagulation with adequate hemostasis. We present for the first time a novel association between GAVE and HGM. Our case illustrates that extra-antral GAVE may occur with HGM in the duodenum. We explore potential mechanisms by which HGM may be involved in the pathogenesis of GAVE.

    View details for PubMedID 27830096

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5088272

  • Multistrain influenza protection induced by a nanoparticulate mucosal immunotherapeutic MUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY Tai, W., Roberts, L., Seryshev, A., Gubatan, J. M., Bland, C. S., Zabriskie, R., Kulkarni, S., Soong, L., Mbawuike, I., Gilbert, B., Kheradmand, F., Corry, D. B. 2011; 4 (2): 197-207


    All commercial influenza vaccines elicit antibody responses that protect against seasonal infection, but this approach is limited by the need for annual vaccine reformulation that precludes efficient responses against epidemic and pandemic disease. In this study we describe a novel vaccination approach in which a nanoparticulate, liposome-based agent containing short, highly conserved influenza-derived peptides is delivered to the respiratory tract to elicit potent innate and selective T cell-based adaptive immune responses. Prepared without virus-specific peptides, mucosal immunostimulatory therapeutic (MIT) provided robust, but short-lived, protection against multiple, highly lethal strains of influenza in mice of diverse genetic backgrounds. MIT prepared with three highly conserved epitopes that elicited virus-specific memory T-cell responses but not neutralizing antibodies, termed MITpep, provided equivalent, but more durable, protection relative to MIT. Alveolar macrophages were more important than dendritic cells in determining the protective efficacy of MIT, which induced both canonical and non-canonical antiviral immune pathways. Through activation of airway mucosal innate and highly specific T-cell responses, MIT and MITpep represent novel approaches to antiviral protection that offer the possibility of universal protection against epidemic and pandemic influenza.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mi.2010.50

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287302700009

    View details for PubMedID 20736998

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