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About Us

The Division of Gastroenterology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine is a world-class center for the study and treatment of digestive diseases.

The division's internationally respected faculty members are renowned for conducting leading-edge research and perfecting clinical applications for new technologies—all with the goal of delivering the highest quality patient care. Many are consistently ranked among the nation's top gastroenterologists in surveys of their peers.

The division's main clinical enterprise is the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center, a multidisciplinary "one-stop shop" where gastroenterologists, hepatologists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and surgeons work together to deliver superior patient care. The center has been recognized as being among the top 50 in gastroenterology care by U.S. News & World Report.

Faculty members are experts at treating all types of gastrointestinal diseases including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic and biliary disease
  • Gastrointestinal motility problems
  • Gastrointestinal cancers

The division's faculty members also are actively engaged in a broad spectrum of clinical and basic research, including clinical trials, to advance the knowledge, treatment and cure of gastrointestinal diseases. Their work has brought the Division of Gastroenterology national and international recognition for excellence. Research areas include:

  • Novel mechanisms for arresting cancer growth
  • Molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal and esophageal ulcers
  • Gene therapy for treating esophageal and pancreatic cancers
  • Advanced techniques and modalities in interventional endoscopy
  • Diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C, as well as liver cancer
  • Advances in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Portal hypertension

Physician education is a vital part of the mission of the division's faculty members. The division offers a highly competitive three-year fellowship program, as well as a one-year program in advanced endoscopic ultrasound for gastrointestinal oncology.

Training in these accredited programs includes rotations at four sites, each offering a unique clinical experience and perspective on patient care. They are UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach and Kaiser Permanente's Anaheim and Irvine centers. Fellows also have a six-month research rotation, during which they are encouraged to publish their data in peer-reviewed publications.

Gastroenterology fellows work with the division's skilled faculty members to treat a broad range of gastrointestinal diseases. They also learn break-through treatments perfected by these faculty members, including gene therapy for pancreatic cancer and endoscopic ultrasound for the early diagnosis and pre-operative staging of gastrointestinal cancers.

Another technique pioneered at UC Irvine is endoscopic ultrasound-guided, fine-needle aspiration. It is used worldwide as a superior, cost-effective and less invasive alternative to surgical biopsy, sparing patients from difficult and painful exploratory surgeries. 

Division of Gastroenterology faculty members also have developed leading-edge techniques such as radiofrequency and cyroablation for Barrett's esophagus, interventional endoscopic ultrasound and confocal laser-induced endomicroscopy.

By emphasizing leading-edge research and outstanding clinical training, the Division of Gastroenterology faculty members are committed to providing the highest quality, compassionate patient care.