The faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology are involved in a variety of clinical, translational and basic research projects in the digestive tract, liver and pancreas. The faculty work closely with the University of Arizona Cancer Center, the first NCI-designated cancer center in the Southwest and only one in the state. The UA has top-rated researchers and unparalleled related resources in optical sciences and biomedical engineering.

Research Opportunities

The following list gives a selection of gastroenterology research interests of current faculty.

Barrett’s Esophagus

Karyometry, or study of tissue culture cells, to identify the presence of or predict future development of dysplasia; this research involves development of 3-D in-vivo multiphoton imaging.

Tumor Imaging

Use of receptor-targeted microbubbles for the identification of cancer at surgical margins. This project involves ligand development, micro-/nano-bubbles, multi-photon microscopy, optical coherence tomography and murine models of cancer.

Novel Imaging Device Development

New optical instrument design and prototype development to enhance vision beyond the capability of human eyes. Close collaboration with UA College of Optical Sciences. Examples of this include the real-time imaging of eosinophils, direct imaging of aberrant crypts and optical devices that offer unprecedented fields of view.

Colorectal Cancer

Clinical and translational research on prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. This includes high throughput studies using human biospecimens to study the molecular pathology and genetic epidemiology of colorectal cancer, phase III chemoprevention studies for its prevention and comparative effectiveness research on methods for colorectal cancer screening.

Advanced Endoscopy

Pancreatic cystic lesions, double-balloon enteroscopy.

Liver Transplantation Outcomes

This research is focused on health services studies in hepatology with the broad aims of eliminating health-care disparities while improving the quality of medical care for patients with chronic liver disease. This involves evaluating the impact of health-care delivery models on the quality of care for patients with cirrhosis. Results will inform us of the current gaps in care for patients with liver disease and the reasons that underpin the quality chasm in hepatology in a high-risk, underserved patient population. For additional research related to liver diseases, visit the website of the UA Liver Research Institute.

Research Links

For more information on gastrointestinal and other research projects related to the digestive track, liver, pancreas and colon:

Other valuable links for research and other tools and information related to our division: