I found my passion of caring for children during the clinical service rotations of my general surgery residency. Faculty role models with a love for teaching, the resiliency and refreshing honesty of children, and the gratitude of parents, inspired my medical and research career. I strive to provide care filled with compassion, commitment, competence and meticulousness.
I specialize in treating children with pancreatic and hepatobiliary diseases as well as in liver, kidney and intestinal transplantation. In 2013, I helped start the Pancreas Care Center (PCC) at Cincinnati Children’s, in collaboration with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the Division of Endocrinology. The center provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for children with pancreatic diseases.
As Surgical Director of the Pancreas Care Center, I established the total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) program for children with debilitating pain and impaired quality of life from acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis.
I am thankful for the many mentors and teachers who influenced my career in medicine and research. I became interested in diseases of the foregut during medical school at Yale. I worked in the surgical laboratory of Dr. Dana K. Andersen — studying abnormalities in chronic pancreatitis in rodents — to learn more about insulin insensitivity in that disease process.
Dr. Andersen encouraged my interest in surgery, as did Dr. Robert Touloukian, who showed me that the variety of surgical experiences I enjoyed in general surgery could also be found in caring for children. During my general surgery residency training at Duke University, I completed a two-year surgical research fellowship in the laboratory of gastrointestinal endocrinology. I worked with Dr. Rodger A. Liddle, who deepened my interest in pancreatic disease.
After my general surgery residency, I completed a two-year pediatric surgery fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s. Then, I completed a two-year abdominal transplantation fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. During that fellowship, I focused my clinical interest in pediatric liver disease as well as liver, kidney and intestinal transplantation. I joined the pediatric surgery faculty at Cincinnati Children’s in 2009.
My prior research experiences in pancreatitis and inflammation have provided an invaluable framework for the development of scientific studies in hepatopancreatobiliary diseases and transplantation. My ongoing research focuses on the surgical management of pancreatic diseases in children. I collaborate with INSPPIRE (International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure). I also serve as a co-investigator on the R01-funded multi-center prospective observational cohort study of TPIAT (POST Study). I partner with other investigators to address research gaps and develop future studies about the surgical approach to, and timing of, TPIAT.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my kids. We like skiing in the winter and going to the beach in the summer.
Hepatobiliary and pancreatic disease; liver, kidney, and intestinal transplantation; pediatric surgical oncology; neonatal surgery; minimally invasive surgery
Associate Professor, UC Department of SurgeryUC Department of Pediatrics
Colorectal Disorders, Surgery - General and Thoracic, Liver Care, Kidney Transplant, End-Stage Renal Disease, Liver Tumor, Intestinal Disorders, Pancreas Care, Liver Transplant, Autoimmune Liver Disease, General and Thoracic Surgery