A photo of Lee A. Denson.

Director, Schubert-Martin Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

513-636-7575

Board Certified

My Biography & Research

Biography

I am a gastroenterologist who specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) clinical care and research. In addition to serving as director of the Schubert-Martin Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cincinnati Children’s, I hold the M. Susan Moyer Chair in pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases.

My research interests include the pathogenesis and treatment of IBD, with a focus on microbial targeted therapies. Our lab aims to improve healing and length of remission for patients with IBD — and ultimately provide a cure.

For example, using both murine and patient-based approaches, we’re working to define mechanisms that link neutralizing GM-CSF autoantibodies to neutrophil dysfunction and more severe small bowel Crohn’s disease. Our goal is to develop diagnostic biomarkers that may lead to novel targeted treatments.

We’ve also sought to determine the molecular basis for alterations in growth hormone signaling in IBD. Normal growth and development are dependent upon the ability of growth hormone to regulate IGF-1 expression. Evidence from studies in children with IBD, and mouse models of colitis, indicates that inflammatory cytokines, which are up regulated in this setting, may cause an acquired resistance to growth hormone. Consequences may include growth failure, altered body composition and impaired mucosal healing.

We’ve used complementary experimental and patient-based approaches to investigate regulation of growth hormone signaling in mouse models of colitis and in children with Crohn's disease. This includes down-regulation of the growth hormone receptor and up-regulation of a family of post-receptor inhibitory proteins, the Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS). These studies should lead to the development of more effective therapies for children with IBD and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

I’ve received numerous awards and appointments throughout my career. These include the Sherman Prize and a Cincinnati Children’s Faculty Mentor Award.

Clinical Interests

Inflammatory bowel disease; growth failure; celiac disease

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Gastroenterology GI, Colorectal Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD, Autoimmune Liver Disease

Research Divisions

Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition



Blog Posts

Our 2019 Research Annual Report

Genomics and Development

Our 2019 Research Annual Report

Lee A. Denson, MD, John Hogenesch, PhD ...2/4/2020

A Promising Early Research Study for IBD Treatment

BlogRare and Complex Conditions

A Promising Early Research Study for IBD Treatment

By Lee A. Denson, MD4/28/2016

My Locations

My Education

MD: Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, 1993.

Residency: Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, 1993-96.

Certification: Pediatrics, 1996 and 2002.

Fellowship: Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 1996-99.

My Publications

Effect of a Practice-wide Anti-TNF Proactive Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Program on Outcomes in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Lyles, JL; Mulgund, AA; Bauman, LE; Su, W; Fei, L; Chona, DL; Sharma, P; Etter, RK; Hellmann, J; Denson, LA; et al. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2021; 27:482-492.

Whole-genome sequencing of African Americans implicates differential genetic architecture in inflammatory bowel disease. Somineni, HK; Nagpal, S; Venkateswaran, S; Cutler, DJ; Okou, DT; Haritunians, T; Simpson, CL; Begum, F; Datta, LW; Quiros, AJ; et al. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2021; 108:431-445.

DUOX2 variants associate with preclinical disturbances in microbiota-immune homeostasis and increased inflammatory bowel disease risk. Grasberger, H; Magis, AT; Sheng, E; Conomos, MP; Zhang, M; Garzotto, LS; Hou, G; Bishu, S; Nagao-Kitamoto, H; El-Zataari, M; et al. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2021.

Mucosal Inflammatory and Wound Healing Gene Programs Reveal Targets for Stricturing Behavior in Pediatric Crohn's Disease. Haberman, Y; Minar, P; Karns, R; Dexheimer, PJ; Ghandikota, S; Tegge, S; Shapiro, D; Shuler, B; Venkateswaran, S; Braun, T; et al. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis. 2021.

Altered Intestinal ACE2 Levels Are Associated With Inflammation, Severe Disease, and Response to Anti-Cytokine Therapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Potdar, AA; Dube, S; Naito, T; Li, K; Botwin, G; Haritunians, T; Li, D; Casero, D; Yang, S; Bilsborough, J; et al. Gastroenterology. 2021; 160:809-822.e7.

MICROBIAL SHIFTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH PATIENT-REPORTED SYMPTOMS IRRESPECTIVE OF MUCOSAL INFLAMMATION IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS WITH INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE. Hellmann, J; Ta, A; Haslam, D; Lake, K; Bezold, R; Jackson, K; Bonkowski, E; Andersen, H; Dirksing, K; Ollberding, N; et al. Gastroenterology. 2021; 160:s55-s56.

Mucosal Genomics Implicate Lymphocyte Activation and Lipid Metabolism in Refractory Environmental Enteric Dysfunction. Haberman, Y; Iqbal, NT; Ghandikota, S; Mallawaarachchi, I; Tzipi Braun, ; Dexheimer, PJ; Rahman, N; Hadar, R; Sadiq, K; Ahmad, Z; et al. Gastroenterology. 2021.

MICROBIAL SHIFTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH PATIENT-REPORTED SYMPTOMS IRRESPECTIVE OF MUCOSAL INFLAMMATION IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS WITH INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE. Hellmann, J; Ta, A; Haslam, D; Lake, K; Bezold, R; Jackson, K; Bonkowski, E; Andersen, H; Dirksing, K; Ollberding, N; et al. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2021; 27:s40-s41.

Transition to Adult IBD Care: A Pilot Multi-Site, Telehealth Hybrid Intervention. Gray, WN; Wagoner, ST; Schaefer, MR; Reed, B; Morgan, P; Holbrook, E; Yacyshyn, B; MacKner, L; Young, M; Maddux, M; et al. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2021; 46:1-11.

Association of Baseline Luminal Narrowing With Ileal Microbial Shifts and Gene Expression Programs and Subsequent Transmural Healing in Pediatric Crohn Disease. Ta, AD; Ollberding, NJ; Karns, R; Haberman, Y; Alazraki, AL; Hercules, D; Baldassano, R; Markowitz, J; Heyman, MB; Kim, S; et al. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2021.