Faculty Spotlight: Pediatric Gastroenterology and Surgery

September 17, 2015

In the interest of building connections and shared research opportunities between providers across NYP, the CADC Research Spotlight highlights faculty at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care, with a focus on their research and clinical interests.

This issue’s spotlight is on the two pediatric surgeons and three pediatric gastroenterologists who have joined in the past two academic years. Other recent faculty additions include Dr. Wallace Wang (gastroenterology, advanced endoscopy), Dr. Meira Ambramowitz (Jill Roberts Center for IBD), Dr. Catherine Lucero (hepatology), and Dr. Karim Halazun (hepatobiliary surgery and transplantation). These faculty members will be highlighted in future editions of Research Spotlight.


Name: Elaine Barfield, MD

Specialties: Pediatric gastroenterology

Clinical & Research Interests: Celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, inflammatory bowel disease, functional gastrointestinal disorders

More information: Dr. Barfield serves as a faculty advisor for the CCFA Fellows Education Committee and as a member of the NASPGHAN Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee. She has received several awards including being named an American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Scholar during her fellowship training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Barfield will serve as a co-director of the pediatric section of the Fifth Annual Peter D. Stevens Course in 2016.


Name: Neera Gupta, MD, MAS

Specialties: Pediatric Gastroenterology

Clinical & Research Interests: The natural history, outcomes, and risk factors for severe disease in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease, plus the underlying mechanisms of growth impairment in IBD.

More Information: Dr. Gupta serves as the Chair for the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Research Committee, Co-Chair for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Pediatric Affairs Committee, and member of the CCFA National Scientific Advisory Committee, the CCFA Partners Project Selection Committee, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Gastroenterological Association. She is on the editorial board for the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, and reviews manuscripts for several journals. Dr. Gupta is the principal investigator for a multicenter study examining sex differences in growth impairment in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Gupta developed and organizes the ongoing Pediatric IBD Research Day series at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Find Dr. Gupta on Twitter:@NeeraGuptaMD


Name: Demetri J. Merianos, MD

Specialty: Minimally invasive pediatric general and thoracic surgery

Clinical & Research Interests: Neonatal and congenital anomalies, inflammatory bowel disease, chest wall deformities, surgical oncology

More Information: Dr. Merianos is board certified in both general surgery and pediatric surgery, and he is fluent in both Spanish and Greek. He has won numerous teaching and research awards, and he is an active member of many prestigious medical and surgical societies. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters, and he has presented his research findings at a number of national and international scientific conferences. He has published extensively on the immune barriers to in utero stem cell transplantation, but his current research focuses on clinical outcomes and surgical effectiveness.


Name: Shaun Steigman, MD

Specialties: Pediatric surgery

Clinical & Research Interests: Neonatal surgery, fetal surgery, minimally-invasive pediatric surgery, gastrointestinal pediatric surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, thoracic surgery, pediatric surgical oncology, pediatric trauma, prenatal counseling of congenital disorders, repair of tracheoesophageal fistula and/or esophageal atresia, and complex anorectal malformations

More Information: Dr. Steigman is board certified in both pediatric surgery and general surgery. Dr. Steigman has authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as two book chapters. He has received multiple accolades for his research, including the Jens G. Rosenkranz Resident Research Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery for his work on fetal surgery and tissue engineering. Dr. Steigman is an active member the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Association for Academic Surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

James D. Smith

Name: Kimberley Chien, MD

Specialties: Pediatric gastroenterology

Clinical & Research Interests: Clinical interests include inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, nutrition, feeding disorders. Research interests include health care transition in chronic GI disorders, patient outcomes and quality improvement research

More Information: Dr. Chien is a pediatric gastroenterologist with Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Chien works collaboratively with the CADC as Director of the Adolescent IBD Transition program and research registry in order to help adolescent patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to become more educated about their chronic disease and independently manage it upon reaching adulthood. By creating a registry, Dr. Chien hopes to better understand this challenging population and identify risk factors that influence transition readiness. In addition, Dr. Chien is involved in quality-of-care-based research.

Find Dr. Chien on Twitter:@KChienMD