High Quality of Research Brings Funding for Digestive Health Center

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has a strong tradition of research discoveries and development of treatments for children with digestive disease. In recognition of its contribution to scientific progress and ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health, our division became the home of a Digestive Disease Research Core Center, also known as the Digestive Health Center, which receives funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to provide state-of-the-art core services to facilitate research on pediatric digestive disease at Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati.

Investigators from our division have established research programs in several fields. In pediatric liver disease, investigators study the causes and new treatments for biliary and inflammatory diseases, genetic abnormalities and metabolic disorders. Diagnostic tests have been developed, and there are ongoing trials for children with cholestasis, inflammatory and viral diseases of the liver. In pediatric intestinal diseases, investigators study pathogenesis, genetics, and novel treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, eosinophilic esophagitis and preventable diarrheal diseases. Investigators also study the patterns and therapies for motility disorders. Research is also being done to address the causes of liver and intestinal failure, with laboratory studies exploring ways to improve cell survival or the use of new treatments to improve the function of the organ. For children requiring liver or intestinal transplantation, scientists are seeking new biomarkers to guide the optimal level of immunosuppression of transplanted patients and developing clinical protocols to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life.