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Gastroenterology and Nutrition Research

Research conducted by Boston Children’s Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition is driven by our ongoing and relentless quest to improve patient care.

In an effort to advance treatments, our world-class team of experts has:

  • led x [hundreds, tens, dozens] of national clinical trials and four GI and nutrition-specific research labs
  • authored and/or co-authored hundreds of published research articles
  • partnered with national organizations, including the National Institute of Health (NIH), North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
  • received prestigious training and research awards, including four winners of the Shwachmann Award, the highest award of the NASPGHAN

These leadership roles have been instrumental in securing Boston Children’s #1 ranking in gastroenterology and GI surgery for the third consecutive year by U.S.News & World Report.

Clinical trials

Dozens of Boston Children’s researchers are serving as lead investigators and/or physician participants in GI and nutrition clinical trials ranging from fecal transplantation and the role of bacteria in IBD to LAL-deficiency and more. For a list of clinical trials currently led by Boston Children’s Hospital, view here.

IBD treatment and research center

The mission of our pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) center is to offer our patients the finest quality of IBD care available. In an effort to uphold this mission, our center is committed to discovering the causes of, and improving the treatments for, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other gastrointestinal disorders. Learn more.

Early onset IBD

Infantile and very early onset inflammatory bowel disease (VEO-IBD) is on the rise and represents 25 percent of all pediatric inflammatory bowel disease cases. The condition, which causes severe intestinal inflammation, affects children under 5, was recently linked to genetic mutations in the cellular receptor for a signaling protein, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and believed to also lead to lymphoma.

Identifying the causes of VEO-IBD and investigating treatment options is an integral part of Boston Children’s IBD research. This commitment, and the collaborative effort of clinicians and scientists from North America, Europe, Australia, South America, Israel and the Middle East, became the impetus for the international consortium titled The Roadmap to the Cure of Early Childhood IBD. Learn more about the consortium and ongoing VEO-IBD research.

Basic research and IBD Center laboratories

Boston Children’s is at the forefront of IBD clinical research and dedicated to collaborative learning. We are home to hundreds of faculty researchers and dozens of physicians specifically dedicated to IBD research. Here is a list of our IBD-specific laboratories:

The Fieberger Laboratory is part of the Harvard Digestive Disease Center, a larger consortium of talented, interdisciplinary investigators that focuses on gastrointestinal research.

The Kagan Laboratory is focused on understanding the regulation of innate immunity at the level of microbial detection and signal transduction. Of particular interest is the family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which evolved to specifically link microbial detection to the control of adaptive immunity.

The Lencer Laboratory and four NIH-funded core laboratories form a consortium of scientists focused on gastrointestinal research.

The Snapper Laboratory is part of a larger consortium of talented interdisciplinary investigators that focuses on gastrointestinal research.

Publications and highlights

For recent advancements and ongoing research efforts at Boston Children’s Hospital via our science and innovation, health care and patient-focused publications, read more.


For Boston Children’s ongoing research efforts via media coverage from a wide variety of local, national and international news organizations, read more.

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