GI Faculty

Sections & Programs

Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Our Section Mission:

To ensure the best care, we will see your patient quickly and collaborate with you to create an individualized treatment plan. Our multidisciplinary team of experts will partner with you to identify and confirm any underlying esophageal, gastrointestinal or hepatic disorder, including challenging patient cases.

Ritu Verma, MD

Ritu Verma, MD - Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director, University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

Section Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

We offer the newest technologies beyond conventional testing, such as Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE), video capsule endoscopy, small bowel enteroscopy, Magnetic Resonance Cholangio-Pancreatography (MRCP) and Endoscopic Retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP). Our team can facilitate breath tests for diagnosing small bowel bacterial overgrowth, lactose or sucrose maldigestion, fructose malabsorption and gastritis by H. pylori  (a leading cause of peptic ulcers).

We collaborate with our pediatric surgeons and adult gastroenterology colleagues to treat and manage a broad range of acute digestive diseases, as well as hepatic and pancreatic diseases. We collaborate with our surgeons to manage surgical liver diseases including liver transplants. 

  • Multiple locations of care focusing on personalized care for a wide variety of gastrointestinal and liver disorders
  • Access to the only dedicated Celiac Disease Center in the Midwest
  • An internationally-renowned program for inflammatory bowel disease and treatment, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Expert handling of patients with intestinal failure requiring carefully tailored interventions for intestinal rehabilitation
  • An internationally-renowned program for pediatric liver transplantation, committed to providing the best pre-, peri- and post-operative care
  • A team approach focusing on Eosinophilic Esophagitis and other manifestations of food allergy alongside a dietitian and an allergist 
  • Access to multiple clinical trials that bring new treatment protocols from lab to patient care
  • Comprehensive support programs for patients and families including nutrition counseling and family education
  • Achalasia
  • Aerodigestive Conditions
  • Anorectal Conditions
  • Barrett's Esophagus
  • Celiac Disease in Children
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Esophageal Disease
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplant
  • Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Hepatobiliary Disease & Congenital Defects 
  • Intestinal Failure in Children
  • Intestinal Infections
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Pediatric Food Allergies
  • Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Pediatric Liver Disease and Liver Transplant
  • Long-term Total Parenteral (TPN) Therapy
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Short Bowel Syndrome 
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Weight Management

About Our Section

Special Services

Our team of highly skilled experts are ready to tackle the most complex pediatric digestive diseases. We offer specialized care for patients with difficult-to-treat conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal failure, complex liver disorders, eosinophilic esophagitis and acid peptic disease, intestinal polyps, and nutritional disorders related to feeding problems, malabsorption and other complex diseases. In addition to managing complex care, our team also treats common gut conditions, such as abdominal pain, vomiting and constipation.

The mission of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is to cure celiac disease. As we focus on research toward a cure, we also strive to raise awareness and diagnosis rates through education and advocacy. Our team is at the forefront of celiac disease research, sponsoring dozens of research projects in the last 10 years. In addition, our staff experts have authored or coauthored a more than 50 published celiac disease studies. Through our research, we’re striving to identify new treatments for celiac disease and to find a cure.

Learn more about the Celiac Disease Center

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic and complex conditions. That's why it's important to work with physicians who understand inflammatory bowel disease. The University of Chicago Medicine has a long history of excellence in IBD research, and we continue to have access to the latest therapies. The pediatric IBD experts at Comer Children's recognize that every individual is different, so we take a personalized approach to finding the treatment that works best for you.

Learn more about our IBD research and clinical care

Intestinal failure encompasses patients with congenital or surgical short bowel syndrome, intestinal pseudo-obstruction, complicated Crohns disease and other intestinal or genetic, neurological, cancer therapy and systemic diseases that prevent children from tolerating enteral nutrition at the levels that support adequate growth. The age of affected children ranges from newborn infants to toddlers, school age children and adolescents. Our resources include parenteral nutrition (TPN), utilization of gastrostomy and jejunual feeding tubes and collaboration with Speech and Feeding therapists. We have a multidisciplinary Home TPN program and GI clinics that manage and closely monitor these children.  We also collaborate with several local and out of state home care agencies.

The Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital is one of the most experienced and innovative programs in the United States. Babies and children from throughout the Midwest — and even around the world — come to Comer Children’s for this complex procedure and for comprehensive care before, during and after transplantation. Diagnoses that may signal the need for a liver transplant include: Biliary Disease, Fulminant Hepatic (Liver) Failure, Metabolic Liver Disease, Chronic Hepatitis, and Crytogenic Cirrhosis. 

Learn more about the pediatric liver transplant program here

Our gastrointestinal endoscopy resources include upper endoscopy, enteroscopy, colonoscopy and video capsule endoscopy. These tools are routinely used in diagnosis and monitoring the broad range of gastrointestinal and systemic diseases that affect infants, children and adolescents. Therapeutic endoscopy is also available for removal of intestinal and colonic polyps, management of bleeding peptic ulcers and esophageal varices, retrieval of ingested foreign bodies, dilatation of esophageal strictures, etc. Additional resources include 24-hr pH and impedance manometry for diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux.

At The Forefront Live: Understanding Celiac Disease

What does it take to find out if a child has celiac disease? We spoke with Dr. Ritu Verma, medical director of UChicago Medicine’s Celiac Disease Center, and dietitian Macy Mears to answer this question and more on this episode of At the Forefront Live.

Quick Links

Constipation: Everyone Poops, Or Do They?

Fun, friendly video on functional constipation for parents and children. It includes an overview of the digestive track and how everything works, and what constipation is, a discussion of a high fiber diet, stool withholding and proper toilet sitting, stool impaction, a quick overview of laxatives and what to do when all else fails.

Learn more about this topic