A photo of Maisam Abu-El-Haija.

Medical Director, Pancreas Care Center

Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


My Biography & Research


Their research is essential to study pediatric pancreatitis etiologies, epidemiology, management protocols and outcomes. This disease was thought to be rare in the pediatric population; however, recent studies have reported increased incidence to be as close as pancreatitis incidence in the adult patient population. Dr. Abu-El-Haija has the knowledge and motivation necessary to complete the proposed research successfully. Her knowledge in pancreatic disease stemmed from a major interest and then was nourished by her expertise in working with pancreatic disease in a cystic fibrosis (CF) pig model. This was a basic science lab work.

During Dr. Abu-El-Haija's fellowship training, she dedicated all her research time to conduct research in this novel cystic fibrosis model to look at the pathways involved in pancreatic destruction. She worked with a great group of collaborators in the world of pancreatic disease, CF and pathology, and this gave her a great deal of knowledge on how to be able to generate novel data in science. She was successful in getting grants that funded her research in the past. Their work has resulted in publications in peer-reviewed journals and hopefully will help advance the care of their patients.

Additional Languages


Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Gastroenterology GI, Gastroenterology, Pancreas Care, Global Health

My Locations

My Education

MBBS: Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Jordan, 1997.

Residency: Pediatrics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, 2009.

Fellowship: Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, 2012.

My Publications

Abu-El-Haija M, Stasheff S, Atkins DL, Bishop WP. Rheumatic fever in a patient receiving Infliximab therapy for Crohn disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 Mar;52(3):360-1.

Abu-El-Haija M, Sinkora M, Meyerholz DK, Welsh MJ, McCray PB Jr, Butler J, Uc A. An Activated Immune and Inflammatory Response Targets the Pancreas of Newborn Pigs with Cystic Fibrosis. Pancreatology. 2011 Nov 1;11(5):506-515.

Sánchez-Vargas FM, Abu-El-Haija MA, Gómez-Duarte OG. Salmonella Infections: An Update on Epidemiology, Management, and Prevention. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;9(6):263-77.

Griffin M*, Abu-El-Haija M*, Abu-El-Haija M, Rokhlina T, Uc, A. A Simplified and Versatile Method for Obtaining High Quality RNA From Pancreas. Biotechniques. 2012 May;52(5):332-4. (* contributed equally)

Abu-El-Haija Maisam, Ramachandran Shyam, Meyerholz David, Abu-El-Haija Marwa, Griffin Michelle, Giriyappa Rhadhamma, Welsh Micheal, McCray Paul, Uc Aliye. Pancreatic Damage in a Cystic Fibrosis Pig Model Involves the Activation of Proinflammatory Pathways. Am J Pathol. 2012 Aug;181(2):499-507. 

Abu-El-Haija Maisam, Rahhal Riad, Ebach Dawn. Esophageal Squamous Papilloma in a Pediatric Patient. J Gastroint Dig Syst. 2012;2:3.

Aliye Uc, Radhamma Giriyappa, David K. Meyerholz, Michelle Griffin, Marwa Abu-El-Haija, David A. Stoltz, Paula Ludwig, Alejandro Pezzulo, Maisam Abu-El-Haija, Peter Taft, Michael J. Welsh. Pancreatic and Biliary Secretions Differ in Cystic Fibrosis and Wild Type Pigs. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Oct;303(8):G961-8.

Abu-El-Haija Maisam, Ebach Dawn. NASPGHAN pediatric gastroenterology board review, sections: Stomach: anatomy, physiology, pathology. October 2010.

Abu-El-Haija, Maisam, Ebach, Dawn. NASPGHAN pediatric gastroenterology board review, sections Food poisoning and enteric infections. October 2010.