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


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

Type I interferon sensing unlocks dormant adipocyte inflammatory potential. Chan, CC; Damen, MS M A; Moreno-Fernandez, ME; Stankiewicz, TE; Cappelletti, M; Alarcon, PC; Oates, JR; Doll, JR; Mukherjee, R; Chen, X; et al. Nature Communications. 2020; 11.

Weight Loss and Health Status 5 Years After Adjustable Gastric Banding in Adolescents. Dewberry, LC; Jalivand, A; Gupta, R; Jenkins, TM; Beamish, A; Inge, TH; Courcoulas, A; Helmrath, M; Brandt, ML; Harmon, CM; et al. Obesity Surgery. 2020; 30:2388-2394.

Nutritional Risks in Adolescents After Bariatric Surgery. Xanthakos, SA; Khoury, JC; Inge, TH; Jenkins, TM; Modi, AC; Michalsky, MP; Chen, MK; Courcoulas, AP; Harmon, CM; Brandt, ML; et al. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020; 18:1070-1081.e5.

Marked Variation Exists Among Surgeons and Hospitals in the Use of Secondary Cleft Lip Surgery. Sitzman, TJ; Carle, AC; Lundberg, JN; Heaton, PC; Helmrath, MA; Trotman, C; Britto, MT. The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. 2020; 57:198-207.

Complications of bariatric surgery in adolescents. Lamoshi, A; Chernoguz, A; Harmon, CM; Helmrath, M. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2020; 29:150888-150888.

Metabolic outcomes of surgery in youth with type 2 diabetes. Shah, AS; Nadeau, KJ; Helmrath, MA; Inge, TH; Xanthakos, SA; Kelsey, MM. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2020; 29:150893-150893.

Changing the Paradigm for Management of Pediatric Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax: A Simple Aspiration Test Predicts Need for Operation. Leys, CM; Hirschl, RB; Kohler, JE; Cherney-Stafford, L; Marka, N; Fallat, ME; Gadepalli, SK; Fraser, JD; Grabowski, J; Burns, RC; et al. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2020; 55:169-175.

Tissue Responses to Shiga Toxin in Human Intestinal Organoids. Pradhan, S; Karve, SS; Weiss, AA; Hawkins, J; Poling, HM; Helmrath, MA; Wells, JM; McCauley, HA. CMGH Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020; 10:171-190.

Musculoskeletal pain, physical function, and quality of life after bariatric surgery. Bout-Tabaku, S; Gupta, R; Jenkins, TM; Ryder, JR; Baughcum, AE; Jackson, RD; Inge, TH; Dixon, JB; Helmrath, MA; Courcoulas, AP; et al. Pediatrics. 2019; 144:e20191399-e20191399.

IL-13–induced intestinal secretory epithelial cell antigen passages are required for IgE-mediated food-induced anaphylaxis. Noah, TK; Knoop, KA; McDonald, KG; Gustafsson, JK; Waggoner, L; Vanoni, S; Batie, M; Arora, K; Naren, AP; Wang, Y; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2019; 144:1058-1073.e3.