Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases


The IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases works in partnership with a designated National Institute of Health Center (NIDDK) at the University of Pennsylvania.  This program covers diseases and disorders affecting the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, small intestine, and colon. 


  • The program’s scientific goals focus on the molecular controls of cellular growth and differentiation in digestive organs, including normal and disease states such as cancer, and developing new means of organ generation for transplantation.
  • Program members research esophageal diseases such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus and cancer (NCI P01, U01 and U54 grants).
  • IRM researchers investigate pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer (NIH R01 grants).


  • Intestinal stem cell biology in colon cancer
  • Liver regeneration
  • Liver organ transplantation
  • Program members are involved in an NIDDK intestinal stem cell consortium (U01 grant)

“When our interdisciplinary research and programs bring together individuals with broad interests and diverse backgrounds, our collaborations lead to greater advances.”
Anil K. Rustgi, M.D., is Director of IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases, and T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine.  Dr. Rustgi researches molecular genetics of gastrointestinal cancers including those originating from the esophagus, pancreas and colon.