Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Program


Improve outcomes for children affected by gastrointestinal illness through clinical, translational and basic science research.


To understand complex factors underlying etiologies and progression of chronic GI diseases through translational studies, and state and nationwide collaborations. We believe that fostering meaningful translational collaborations between scientists and clinicians enhances clinical approaches and impacts the quality of life of our patients.

Areas of focus

  • Nutrition-microbiome control of epigenome
  • Early life risk factors for intestinal inflammation
  • Quality of life outcomes in IBD
  • Role of diet in intestinal maturation/function
  • Human milk extracellular vesicles
  • Post-transcriptional regulation of intestinal function
  • Quality of life outcomes in pediatric liver disease
  • Role of diet and microbiome on pediatric liver diseases

Sarah Andres, Ph.D.
Dr. Andres’ research program is centered on dietary and post-transcriptional regulation of intestinal function, especially in premature infants at highest risk for severe intestinal inflammation (necrotizing enterocolitis, NEC). Her mission is to identify and develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat and prevent intestinal inflammatory diseases, such as NEC.

Anna K Hunter, M.D., M.C.R.
Dr. Hunter’s research focuses on nutritional influences on intestinal inflammation, Short Chain Fatty Acid production and epigenetic regulation. Her mission is to optimize diet approaches for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and identify markers of diet response as well as early risk factors for IBD development.

Henry Lin, M.D., M.B.A.
Dr. Lin’s research focuses on factors that influence outcomes in cholestatic liver diseases including biliary atresia and Alagille syndrome, as well as identifying non-invasive screening markers of liver fibrosis.  His mission is to improve access to innovative research studies for patients with pediatric liver disease.