Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Medicine

Division Chief's Message

The faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is proud to be ranked 13th in the country by US News & World report.  Our diverse faculty hold research interests that include esophageal disease, swallowing disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic/biliary disease, liver disease, liver transplantation, colorectal cancer screening, high-risk colon cancer prevention, including gastrointestinal genetic disorders, irritable bowel syndrome – including related health psychology services, and nutrition/intestinal absorption disorders.

The Esophageal Center at Northwestern was founded by Dr. Peter Kahrilas and is the top referral center in the country for difficult esophageal cases. Additionally, the esophageal motility lab within the Center has also been recognized as a top training program and has had visiting scholars from all over the world. There is also a nationally recognized program within the Esophageal Center focused on eosinophilic disorders of the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Ikuo Hirano and Dr. Nirmala Gonsalves are nationally recognized investigators and have studied novel treatment approaches that range from new biologics to diet therapy.

Another unique aspect of the division focuses on the Behavioral Medicine program led by Dr. Laurie Keefer.  Dr. Laurie Keefer has built a behavioral medicine program which aims to incorporate behavioral interventions in chronic gastrointestinal disorders.  She is nationally recognized as an expert in the role of cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis in gastrointestinal diseases and has been funded by the NIH to study these techniques in esophageal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Darren Brenner is also a key member of the Functional Bowel program and has an expertise in complicated motility problems of the small bowel, colon and anal-rectal junction.

We are national leaders in transplant hepatology and the management of complicated liver diseases. The Transplant Hepatology team is composed of six faculty, led by Dr. Steven Flamm. Other areas of clinical research include Nonalcoholic SteatoHepatosis (NASH) and a hepatocellular carcinoma program.  Drs. Rich Green and Ann Henkel have active laboratories focused on the study of liver and biliary pathophysiology.

Recently, we were able to recruit Dr. Stephen Hanauer, a world renowned expert in inflammatory bowel disease to lead our efforts to develop an integrated Digestive Health Center and world class Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.  He immediately recruited Dr. Leonard Baidoo from the University of Pittsburgh to direct the clinical program and Dr. Adam Stein to develop a program focused on complicated small bowel disease and nutrition.

The Digestive Health Center will also be supported by one of the largest volume Endoscopy Centers in the country.  This lab houses state-of-the-art equipment that is supported by our talented advanced endoscopy team led by Dr. Sri Komanduri.  Along with Drs. Raj Keswani, Aziz Adam and David Shapiro, the endoscopy lab is equipped to handle complicated endoscopic procedures, such as ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic mucosal/submucosal resection, as well as endoscopic bariatric and antireflux procedures.

In addition to receiving excellent clinical training from our specialty centers and our top-tier general gastroenterology team, trainees have an opportunity to work within the division’s laboratories, which include collaborations with investigators in the school’s basic science departments and in clinical departments such as Surgery, Pathology and Pediatrics.  In addition to our general gastroenterology fellowship, we offer a 4th year liver transplant fellowship that capitalizes on our relationship with the Division of Organ Transplantation in the Department of Surgery.  We have been awarded a newly-funded T32 training grant that encourages collaboration between Gastroenterology/Hepatology, the division of Allergy/Immunology, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, the Center for Healthcare Studies, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering.  Furthermore, faculty members within the division maintain research collaborations and professional relationships across the world with key investigators in their areas of interest.

We believe that this is an exciting time for the division as we have developed one of the best academic programs in the country and continue to add to grow and expand our services both regionally and nationally.

John Pandolfino, MD
Chief, Division of Medicine-Gastroenterology and Hepatology

John Pandolfino, MD

John Pandolfino, MD
Chief, Division of Medicine-Gastroenterology and Hepatology