Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition


Contact Information
Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
Joel E. Lavine, MD, PhD
(212) 342-2962
Lubna Shamsi, MPH
(212) 305-5831
(212) 342-5756
  • Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program for Pediatric Obesity Education and Research, New York State Department of Health/NYP. Project Director: M. Rosenbaum; Co-Director: Joel Lavine, MD. Direct support: $1,260,332 (total for two years). (2015-18)
  • STOPNASH National Clinical Research Conference, NIDDK R13 DK107243-01. Direct support funds: $25,000. Joel Lavine, MD (2015) 
  • Contribution of Organ Size to Adaptive Thermogenesis during Caloric Restriction. Wei Shen, MD (NIH grant 1R01 1AG045761-01)
  • Prevalence of Pediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in NYC: Fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the pediatric population and is closely linked to the rise in obesity. Unfortunately, the diagnosis and staging of the NAFLD can only be made with liver biopsy, so it has been difficult to determine its true prevalence. This study will be using autopsy data from pediatric patients who succumbed to an accidental death to determine the prevalence of fatty liver disease in the New York City area. The project is funded by the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center. Ali Mencin, MD (NY Obesity Nutrition Research Center - SLRHC CU11-0598)
  • Applying Non-invasive Technologies to Diagnose Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. The goals of this project are to examine the validity of non-diagnostic testing to detect and stage pediatric NAFLD. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: PI/Scholar, RWJF #74252 Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program). 2017-2020
  • Conducting Research to Promote Healthy Weight Gain from Gestation to Age 2, Particularly Among Disproportionately Burdened Populations. The proposed research will result in messages to promote reduction of childhood obesity risk factors during pregnancy and infancy among NYPH-WIC participants. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: PI / New Connections Scholar, RWJF Grant # 74198, Healthy Eating Research). 2016-2018
  • Accelerating Point-of-Care Testing to Diagnose Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. The overall goals of this research are to accelerate the application of non-invasive methods to detect hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in children and adolescents. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: PI/KL2 Scholar, Columbia CTSA KL2 TR000081, KL2 TR001874). 2015-2017
  • Advancing Non-invasive Testing for Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
    The goal of this project is to collect pilot data on the ability of non-invasive ultrasound and magnetic resonance methods to quantify hepatic steatosis in children age 4-18 years and to create a bio-repository of blood and stool samples for future analysis of mechanisms that link adiposity, NAFLD, and adverse cardio-metabolic outcomes in. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: PI, New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, Pilot/Feasibility Program). 2015-2017
  • ECRIP to Prevent and Treat Pediatric Overweight and Obesity. This project emphasizes training in clinical and research aspects of translational medicine to prevent and treat childhood obesity. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: Scholar, Empire State Clinical Research Investigator Program). 2015-2017
  • Early Life Risk Factors for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
    The goal of this research is to study risk factors for pediatric NAFLD. Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH (Role: Scholar APA and NIDDK RAPID initiative R25DK096944). 2014-2015
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Acute Neuroprotection via Mitochondria.
    This program delineates the roles of n-3 fatty acids in maintaining mitochondrial function after hypoxic/ischemic injury. Richard J Deckelbaum, MD (Role: PI NIH RO1 NS088197). 2015-2020
  • Characterization and effects of an MCT-Fish Oil intravenous lipid emulsion in rodent models. Richard J Deckelbaum, MD (Role: PI Beijing Sciecure Pharma, Inc.). 2016-2018
  • Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Training Program in Nutrition and Population Health.
    This grant received a top level priority score and funds interdisciplinary postdoctoral training in the Institute of Human Nutrition (basic laboratory science) and the Department of Epidemiology. Richard J Deckelbaum, MD (Role: Co-PI NIH T32 DK091227A). 2011-2017
  • Infant gastrointestinal tract microbiome dysbiosis and its impact on CD8+T cell gene transcription regulation. This project provides funding to initiate studies comparing the transcription of genes from T cells isolated from infant mice with and without intestinal dysbiosis following in vivo virus infection. Lamousé-Smith, MD, PhD (Role: PI Columbia University Provost’s Grants Program for Junior Faculty who Contribute to the Diversity Goals of the University)
  • The impact of antibiotic induced alterations on the intestinal flora and on adaptive immune function in infant mice. This project is devoted to understanding the extent to which systemic adaptive immune system responses require the presence of a normal microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract. Lamousé-Smith, MD, PhD (Role: PI, Harold Amos Faculty Development Award 2012-2016)
  • Developing Innovative GastroEnterologic Specialty Training (DIGEST), Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. DIGEST is a selective training program for physicians interested in developing expertise in gastrointestinal disorders in patients with cystic fibrosis. Sarah Shrager Lusman, MD 2014-2017
  • A Long-Term Non-Interventional Registry to Assess Safety and Effectiveness of Humira® (Adalimumab) in Pediatric Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Crohn's Disease. Amy DeFelice, MD (Role: Site PI. Industry Sponsored- Abbvie)
  • A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel Group, Safety and Efficacy Study of a Range of Linaclotide Doses Administered Orally to Children, Ages 6 to 17 Years, Who Fulfill Modified Rome III Criteria For Child/Adolescent Functional Constipation (FC). Julie Khlevner, MD (Role: Site PI-Industry Sponsored- Allergan)
  • A Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group, Safety and Efficacy Study of a Range of Linaclotide Doses Administered Orally to Children, aged 7 to 17 years, who fulfill Rome III Criteria for Child/Adolescent Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have symptoms of constipation (IBS-C). Julie Khlevner, MD (Role: Site PI-Industry Sponsored-Allergan)
  • A Multicenter, Prospective, Long-term, Observational Registry of Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease -DEVELOP™ Registry C0168Z02. Joel Lavine, MD. PhD (Role: Site PI. Industry Sponsored-Janessen)
  • A Phase 4, Multicenter, Open-label Study of Serum Infliximab Concentrations and Efficacy and Safety of Dose Escalation in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease – ADAPT. Joseph Picoraro, MD (Role: Site PI. Industry Sponsored-Janessen)
  • A Safety and Efficacy Study of a Bowel Cleansing Preparation (BLI800) in Pediatric Subjects Undergoing Colonoscopy. Ali Mencin, MD (Role: site PI. Industry Sponsored-Braintree)
  • A Phase 3, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind Study to Determine the Safety and Efficacy of MMX Mesalamine/Mesalazine in Pediatric Subjects with Mild to Moderate Ulcerative Colitis, in both Acute andMaintenance Phases – PACE. Ali Mencin, MD (Role: Site PI. Industry sponsored-Shire/Premier).
  • A Long-Term Prospective Observational Safety Study of the Incidence of and Risk Factors for Fibrosing Colonopathy in US Patients with Cystic Fibrosis Treated with Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy: A Harmonized Protocol Across Sponsors. Sarah Shrager Lusman, MD (Role: Site PI)

Awards, Honors, Publications and Grants by Previous Fellows



  • Joseph Picoraro, MD – Nominee, Resident Teaching Award 2014
  • Dana Goldner, MD – Oberfield Prize in Basic Science, Pediatric Fellows Poster Day 2015
  • Joseph Picoraro, MD – Selected Participant, Columbia Summer Research Institute 2015
  • Sarah Fleet, MD – Winner, Resident Teaching Award 2015
  • Svetlana Sabel, MD – Oberfield Prize in Basic Science, Pediatric Fellows Poster Day 2016
  • Sarah Fleet, MD - Oberfield Prize in Basic Science, Pediatric Fellows Poster Day 2017
  • Arunjot Singh, MD - Oberfield Prize in Translational Science, Pediatric Fellows Poster Day 2017


Singh A, Middlesworth W, Khlevner J. Surveillance in Patients with Esophageal Atresia / Tracheoesophageal Fistula. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017 Jan;19(1):4.                                        

Picoraro J, Winberry G, Siegel CA, El-Matary W, Moses J, Grossman A, Park KT. Premedication Use Before Infliximab Administration: A Cross-sectional Analysis. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2017 Jan;23(1):174-180.

Suneja U, Flores E, Dabbagh B, Mendez M, Waseem M, Kinberg S. Fulminant hepatic failure requiring liver transplantation due to accidental alcohol ingestion in a 7-month-old baby. Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Dec;34(12):2466.e1-2466.e2.

Picoraro JA, Ovchinsky N, Martinez M, Lobritto SJ, Satwani P, Ramphal R, Cairo MS, Kato T. First Attempt of Sequential Living Donor Liver and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in a Child With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Case Report. Transplant Proc. 2016 Nov;48(9):3174-3177.

Glasser CL, Picoraro JA, Jain P, Kinberg S, Rustia E, Gross Margolis K, Anyane-Yeboa K, Iglesias AD, Green NS. Phenotypic Heterogeneity of Neutropenia and Gastrointestinal Illness Associated with G6PC3 Founder Mutation. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2016 Oct;38(7):e243-7.

Taylor SA, Vittorio JM, Martinez M, Fester KA, Lagana SM, Lobritto SJ, Ovchinsky N. Anakinra-Induced Acute Liver Failure in an Adolescent Patient with Still's Disease. Pharmacotherapy. 2016 Jan;36(1):e1-4.

Picoraro JA, Pierog A, Reilly NR, Mencin AA. Gastrojejunal tube placement through an established gastrostomy via an endoscopic transgastric approach in a pediatric population. Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Dec;82(6):1025-30.

Damseh N, Simonin A, Jalas C, Picoraro JA, Shaag A, Cho MT, Yaacov B, Neidich J, Al-Ashhab M, Juusola J, Bale S, Telegrafi A, Retterer K, Pappas JG, Moran E, Cappell J, Anyane Yeboa K, Abu-Libdeh B, Hediger MA, Chung WK, Elpeleg O, Edvardson S. Mutations in SLC1A4, encoding the brain serine transporter, are associated with developmental delay, microcephaly and hypomyelination. J Med Genet. 2015 Aug;52(8):541-7.

Goldner D, Margolis KG. Association of Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism (5HTTLPR) with Microscopic Colitis and Ulcerative Colitis: Time to Be AsSERTive? Dig Dis Sci. 2015 Apr;60(4):819-21.

Seimon TA, Olson SH, Lee KJ, Rosen G, Ondzie A, Cameron K, Reed P, Anthony SJ, Joly DO, Karesh WB, McAloose D, Lipkin WI. Adenovirus and herpesvirus diversity in free-ranging great apes in the Sangha region of the Republic Of Congo. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 17;10(3).

Pierog A, Martinez M, Mencin A. Outpatient endoscopic closure of persistent gastrocutaneous fistula with hemoclips in pediatric patients. Gastrointest Endosc. 2014 Dec;80(6):1190-3.

Pierog A, Aspelund G, Farkouh-Karoleski C, Wu M, Kriger J, Wynn J, Krishnan U, Mencin A. Predictors of low weight and tube feedings in children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia at 1 year of age. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Oct;59(4):527-30.

Pierog A, Mencin A, Reilly NR. Fecal microbiota transplantation in children with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Nov;33(11):1198-200.

Pierog AA, Mencin AA. A childhood case of eosinophilic gastritis and protein-losing enteropathy. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Mar;53(3):289-92.

National Presentations

Borlack R, Singh A, Green P, Reilly NR. “Persistent Villous Atrophy is Common in Children with Treated Celiac Disease” Digestive Disease Week – to be presented June 2017

Sabel S, Rastelli D, Russell J, Kumar S, Gershon M, and Rao M. "Ret receptor tyrosine kinase regulation of gastrointestinal motility.” World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Montreal, QC, October 7, 2016.

Singh A, Do C, Bhagat G, Green P, Lavine J, Tycko B. “A Combined Genetic-Epigenetic Strategy for Identifying Celiac Disease Susceptibility Loci.” Poster presented at World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition - October 2016 **Received Poster of Distinction

Feinstein L, Khlevner J. “Achalasia in a Pediatric Patient with Eosinophilic Esophagitis." World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Montreal, QC. 2016

Sabel S, Rastelli D, Russell J, Kumar S, Gershon M, and Rao M. “RET receptor tyrosine kinase plays a sexually dimorphic role in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility and is expressed by distinct subsets of enteric neurons important for peristalsis.” Poster presented at Digestive Disease Week, April 2016 in San Diego, CA.

Singh A, Picoraro J, Jain P, Demirdag Y, Martinez M, Khlevner J. “Spectrum of Immunodeficiency in Gastrointestinal Atresia and TTC7a Mutation.” Poster presented at North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Conference. 2015

Picoraro J, Myers R, Kahn J, Chaudhary SY, Weiner M, Khlevner J. “Anaplastic large cell lymphoma mimicking inflammatory bowel disease in an adolescent." Poster presented at North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA. 2014

National Awards and Grants

  • Dana Goldner, MD – Pediatric Scientist Development Award
  • Sarah Fleet, MD – Pediatric Scientist Development Award
  • Svetlana Sabel, MD - World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Travel Grant. August 2016.
  • Svetlana Sabel, MD - Young Investigator Poster Judging Program at Digestive Disease Week 2016
  • Arunjot Singh, MD – Research Poster of Distinction, World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition 2016
  • Sivan Kinberg, MD– Best Poster at the National Library of Medicine Training Conference 2014
  • Arunjot Singh, MD - Sanofi Innovations 2017 Award (Co-Investigator; Private Grant) - January 2017
  • Arunjot Singh, MD - Travel Award Recipient to attend NASPGHAN Nutrition University – 3/31/17-4/1/17