A photo of Michael Helmrath.

Surgical Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

Director of Surgical Research
Associate Director of Clinical Translation, CuSTOM
Director, Center for Bariatric Research and Innovation
Pediatric Surgeon

Professor, UC Department of Surgery


Board Certified

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My Biography & Research


As a pediatric surgeon-scientist, I’m dedicated to helping patients with intestinal diseases and obesity. I always wanted to be a physician — caring for children and conducting research focused on strategies to improve the outcomes of those with intestinal failure.

My clinical interests are bariatric surgery and surgery to correct intestinal failure. I am the surgical director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program. My clinical work allows me to translate gastrointestinal conditions into the laboratory, where we are working to develop highly innovative approaches for treating intestinal diseases.

In my research lab, I’ve established a multidisciplinary team dedicated to translational, clinical and basic science research focused on intestinal diseases. We are characterizing intestinal stem cells during adaptation and are working to develop intestinal regenerative strategies.

I believe that understanding the biology of intestinal stem cells is key to unraveling the mechanisms involved during the disease process. In my lab, we’ve developed in vitro culture techniques to maintain and expand individual human intestinal stem cells derived from human tissue samples, pluripotent stem cells and surgical animal models.

I am the director of Surgical Research and the director of the Center for Bariatric Research and Innovation. In addition, I’m an associate director of the Center for Stem Cell & Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM). I am board certified in General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides funding for our lab. I am also part of the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium (ISCC).

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Surgery

Clinical Divisions

Surgery - General and Thoracic, Intestinal Disorders, Surgical Weight Loss

Research Divisions

General and Thoracic Surgery

Blog Posts

Scientists Add Nerves to Intestinal Organoids


Scientists Add Nerves to Intestinal Organoids

Michael A. Helmrath, MD, MS, James M. Wells, PhD6/30/2019

Overcoming Natures Complexity to Help Patients with Intestinal Disease

BlogResearch and Discoveries

Overcoming Nature’s Complexity to Help Patients with Intestinal Disease

By Michael Helmrath, MD10/20/2014

My Locations

My Education

BA: Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1987.

MD: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1993.

MS: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1989.

Certification: Board-certified General Surgery; board-certified, Pediatric Surgery.

My Publications

Prospective quality of life outcomes in pediatric fecal incontinence following bowel management. Lim, II P; Cushing, CC; Jenkins, T; Troutt, M; Zeller, MH; Hossain, M; Rymeski, B; Helmrath, M; Frischer, JS. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2021.

Patient personalized translational tools in cystic fibrosis to transform data from bench to bed-side and back. Arora, K; Yang, F; Brewington, J; McPhail, G; Cortez, AR; Sundaram, N; Ramananda, Y; Ogden, H; Helmrath, M; Clancy, JP; et al. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2021; 320:G1123-G1130.

PKM2-dependent metabolic skewing of hepatic Th17 cells regulates pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Moreno-Fernandez, ME; Giles, DA; Oates, JR; Chan, CC; Damen, MS M A; Doll, JR; Stankiewicz, TE; Chen, X; Chetal, K; Karns, R; et al. Cell Metabolism. 2021; 33:1187-1204.e9.

Thoracoscopic versus open lobectomy in infants with congenital lung malformations: A multi-institutional propensity score analysis. Weller, JH; Peter, SD S; Fallat, ME; Saito, JM; Burns, CR; Deans, KJ; Fraser, JD; Gadepalli, SK; Helmrath, MA; Hirschl, RB; et al. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2021.

Pleuropulmonary Blastoma in Pediatric Lung Lesions. Kunisaki, SM; Lal, DR; Saito, JM; Fallat, ME; St. Peter, SD; Fox, ZD; Heider, A; Chan, SS; Boyd, KP; Burns, RC; et al. Pediatrics. 2021; 147.

Clinical outcomes following implementation of a management bundle for esophageal atresia with distal tracheoesophageal fistula. Bence, CM; Rymeski, B; Gadepalli, S; Sato, TT; Minneci, PC; Downard, C; Hirschl, RB; Amin, RA; Burns, RC; Cherney-Stafford, L; et al. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2021; 56:47-54.

Delay in achieving enteral autonomy and growth outcomes in very low birth weight infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis. McNelis, K; Goddard, G; Jenkins, T; Poindexter, A; Wessel, J; Helmrath, M; Poindexter, B. Journal of Perinatology. 2021; 41:150-156.

Does Use of a Feeding Protocol Change Outcomes in Gastroschisis? A Report from the Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium. Dekonenko, C; Fraser, JD; Deans, K; Fallat, ME; Helmrath, M; Kabre, R; Leys, CM; Burns, RC; Corkum, K; Dillon, PA; et al. European Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2021.

Enteroendocrine cells couple nutrient sensing to nutrient absorption by regulating ion transport. McCauley, HA; Matthis, AL; Enriquez, JR; Nichol, JT; Sanchez, JG; Stone, WJ; Sundaram, N; Helmrath, MA; Montrose, MH; Aihara, E; et al. Nature Communications. 2020; 11.

Fetal Risk Stratification and Outcomes in Children with Prenatally Diagnosed Lung Malformations: Results from a Multi-Institutional Research Collaborative. Kunisaki, SM; Saito, JM; Fallat, ME; St Peter, SD; Lal, DR; Karmakar, M; Deans, KJ; Gadepalli, SK; Hirschl, RB; Minneci, PC; et al. Annals of Surgery. 2020.