As a pediatric surgeon, my primary clinical and research focus has been on pediatric intestinal failure (short bowel syndrome, intestinal rehabilitation and nutrition). I have a collaborative approach to work and enjoy close relationships with my medical colleagues, patients and families, and research partners.
My high school biology teacher inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. I was drawn to surgery and pediatrics as a career so pediatric surgery was the perfect way to marry my two interests. I have been blessed to have had excellent mentors during my training to whom I will always be grateful.
My interest in short bowel syndrome and intestinal failure began early in my pediatric surgery fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. I remember operating in the early morning hours on a premature baby girl with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) who required a significant amount of her bowel to be removed. I knew she was going to face many challenges. I also realized there was so much we did not know about managing this condition and these babies suffered significant morbidity and mortality.
I believed there was a better way to deliver care to children with this condition and was committed to developing a multidisciplinary program to improve outcomes for these complex patients. I directed the intestinal rehabilitation program at The Hospital for Sick Children from its inception in 2002 until my arrival in Cincinnati in 2021. It has been intensely rewarding to witness the transformational change in patient outcomes over the last many years.
I believe a multidisciplinary approach facilitates care that is coordinated, comprehensive and provides continuity. This combination is vitally important for patients who experience complex, chronic medical conditions. The goals are to provide world-class clinical care for children with intestinal failure and create new knowledge through clinical and basic science research to impact children globally.
In 2016, I was awarded the Stanley Dudrick Research Scholar Award from the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) given to a mid-career researcher who has contributed to nutrition research. In 2021, I was designated a Fellow of ASPEN (FASPEN) for my contribution to nutrition science. Both honors are meaningful as they represent recognition from my professional peers.
In 2006 and 2014, I was awarded the Teaching Award for the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children. The graduating fellows choose the recipient so it was an honor and very humbling for me to be recognized by our trainees who represent the future of our profession.
My research program has two components. My translational research focuses on mechanisms to promote intestinal adaptation, specifically involving trophic gut peptides such as glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) and manipulating the microbiome. I also study intravenous lipid emulsions and their impact on intestinal failure-associated liver disease. My clinical research centers on assessing the effects of novel medical and surgical therapies used in intestinal rehabilitation, management of comorbidities, quality of life and health economics.
I am a proud Canadian and hockey fan. I like to travel and play the drums and guitar. My wife and I are blessed with four fantastic children.
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Intestinal Disorders, Surgery - General and Thoracic