Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition


Committed to quality research, from bench to bedside

Since its inception, the foundation of Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Vanderbilt has been grounded in basic investigation and clinical research. The GI division has a major commitment to laboratory research as well as clinical trials. We have seven faculty members who lead independent laboratories in bench investigations. Our investigators at Vanderbilt are drawn from a variety of disciplines, including GI, microbiology and immunology, infectious diseases, cancer biology, and cell and developmental biopsy.  

The vast majority of research in our division is in molecular or cellular studies. To complement the bench-oriented research component of the GI division, cadres of clinical investigators augment the research opportunities and endeavors of the GI faculty. Interfacing basic investigation with a clinical investigation is a goal of the division. 

The division’s biomedical investigative program continues to grow. We recently renewed our signature research hub, the Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center, which coalesces all GI research at Vanderbilt, provides pilot funding for junior investigators, supports cutting-edge core facilities that serve as beacons for investigators across the research enterprise, and supports an Academy of Educators program.  

Multidisciplinary grant funding

Last year the division also renewed several large multidisciplinary grants, including a Program Project Grant on Helicobacter pylori,  NIH GI SPORE grant, National Cancer Institute Moonshot grant and Helmsley Charitable Trust Atlas grant. In addition to receiving $13.4 million in federal and foundation funds, the division hosted the Editorship of Gastroenterology, which achieved a record high impact factor of 33.9 during its term. 

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has five tenured physician-scientists, two tenure track physician-scientists, and two tenure-track basic science investigators. 

These faculty have additional appointments in other departments and graduate programs, including Cell and Developmental Biology; Cancer Biology; and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. In addition, there are 13 research track faculty in the division.  

There are numerous trainees at different levels in the laboratories, including undergraduates, medical students, PhD graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. 

  • Our division’s goal is to work side-by-side with sponsors so that together we can conduct successful research studies that have the potential to improve the lives of patients around the globe. 
  • Being one of the nation's top university medical centers, we can combine clinical and research expertise with operational capabilities that are hard to find elsewhere. The Digestive Disease Center is a state-of the-art diagnostic and treatment center, utilizing the most advanced techniques and technology in the region. It is one of only 16 digestive research centers supported by the National Institute of Health. 
  • At Vanderbilt's GI Clinical Research Enterprise, we take pride in our experience, facilities, patient recruitment, and safety/compliance records. 

Our laboratories are fully accredited and licensed through CLIA, CAP, and the State of Tennessee.  

Our researchers have experience working with central laboratories and collecting and shipping the samples on the same day to the central lab.  

Vanderbilt's laboratories are equipped with: 

  • Centrifuge 

  • Refrigerated centrifuge 

  • Refrigerator 

  • -20 freezer (Celsius) 

  • -80 Freezer (Celsius) 

  • Access to dry ice 

  • Locked cabinets and rooms for Investigational Products with restricted access 

  • Phlebotomy area 

  • Core facilities for tissue culture, scintillation counting, and darkroom work  

  • Common equipment used for cell and bacterial culture, microscopy, and autoclaving 

Our labs and researchers have experience in pharmacokinetic (PK) sample collection and preparation and have the ability to perform tuberculin skin tests or QuantiFERON-TB Gold tests for TB screening.

The GI Clinical Research Enterprise at Vanderbilt University Medical Center coordinates all clinical research activities for the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.  

We are currently enrolling patients in numerous studies across four subspecialties, Nutrition, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hepatology, General GI/Esophageal/Motility and would be happy to talk with you about participation in clinical research.  

If you would like to speak with a staff member about any of our current or upcoming clinical trials, please email the director at michael.g.mcgill@vumc.org and he will be happy to connect you with the appropriate staff member. We look forward to hearing from you!  

 We have experience with clinical trials requiring an unblinded pharmacist for drug preparation and to prepare an IV infusion and subcutaneous injection drug. 

  • Our facilities and staff are equipped to administer IV medication. 
  • Locked cabinets and rooms with restricted access are available for Investigational Products. 

  • Our medical records are electronic based. 
  • Monitors have on-site access to our medical records on a computer. Password and training are provided. 
  • Our site has the ability to perform chest radiology and ECG