Welcome to the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition advances the treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal and liver disorders through the coordinated efforts of its patient care, research and educational activities. Internationally recognized for its expertise in transplantation, gastroenterology and nutrition, the division’s clinical program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford cares for more than 10,000 patients each year, making it one of the largest programs in the country. As part of an academic medical center, researchers and clinicians continually work together to advance the standard of care. Exploring the molecular and genetic origins of conditions ranging from GI infections to transplant rejection, they transform their findings into the most advanced diagnostics, drug therapies and procedures available today.
To heal children with digestive disease through innovation
We provide comprehensive GI care to children throughout our region. We lead global destination programs that deliver highly specialized care and train the next generation of pediatric gastroenterologists. We inspire hope through innovation. Our high quality, collaborative care is driven by cutting-edge research and active partnerships between doctors, nurses, and staff at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, scientists at Stanford University, and patient families. Together, we are changing the lives of children today and shaping care for tomorrow.
A New High-Impact Scientific Paper from the Husain Lab!
The paper is the first to implicate the unexpected finding of a beneficial role for the micronutrient Vitamin A, found in carrots, in preventing the life-threatening, painful inflammatory disorder of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Almost half a million Americans develop pancreatitis each year, and one in ten of them are children. The study originates from the research laboratory of Dr. Sohail Husain, MD, who serves as the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Stanford Medicine Children’s Hospital and the Chambers-Okamura Endowed Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Stanford University. Dr. Husain’s team found that in children who developed acute pancreatitis as an adverse event due to the crucial anti-leukemia drug called asparaginase, several lines of evidence led the researchers to discover that children with asparaginase-associated pancreatitis who serendipitously took Vitamin A as a medicine were protected against pancreatitis. The studies included screening millions of sets of large data from the FDA and patient electronic health records and utilizing two independent patient cancer registries. Laboratory studies using pancreas cells and other related models of the disease confirmed that Vitamin A was lower with asparaginase exposure and, therefore, indicated a benefit to supplementation. Further clinical trials are needed to evaluate whether dietary Vitamin A or supplementation is ideal, the regimen to give, and the mechanism of benefit for pancreatitis prevention, and whether the results are generalizable, as the researchers’ data suggest, to a broad host of pancreatitis causes or other inflammatory conditions that are similar to pancreatitis. However, this is the first set of studies to link the potential nutritional intervention of Vitamin A to pancreas health and disease prevention.
The studies were performed in a highly collaborative manner. Along with Dr. Husain on the study is co-senior author Dr. Anil Jegga from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The first author of the study is a senior scientist at Stanford in the Husain Lab, Dr. Olivia Tsai. The additional co-authors are collaborators from other institutions, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Rutgers University, CHU Sainte-Justine (in Montreal), University of Pittsburg, and Columbia University.
This newsletter focuses on our research, education, and clinical care. We have much to celebrate as we accomplished many things in 2021. We are excited to share these accomplishments with you!
We are excited to share the launch of our Center for Pediatric IBD & Celiac Disease made possible by a $70 million dollar donation. Click here to learn more!
Save The Date
Please check back for upcoming events!
Clinical Care in the News
Read about Maya, a patient who underwent a liver transplant for biliary atresia. Dr. Leina Alrabadi is quoted.
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital continues to be named in the Top 10 Children's hospitals in the nation and the only one in Northern California, to be named on the 2022 - 2023 U.S. News and World Report 'Best Children's Hospitals' Honor roll.
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatolgy & Nutrition at Stanford was named #13 in the nation. We are proud of this acheivement!
We would like to welcome a few new faculty members who have joined or will be joining our division soon!
Dr. Rachel Herdes has recently started with us as a Clinical Assistant Professor in December of 2023. Dr. Herdes has completed her Advanced Nutrition fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 2023.
Dr. Babajide Ojo has recently transitioned from a Postdoc at Stanford and is now an Instructor within our division! Dr. Ojo has spent the last decade understanding the impact of diet of gut biology and subsequent systemic implications in models of metabolic diseases.
We are excited that you both have chosen to join us in these exciting roles!