Editor Biographies


Michael Pack, MD, co-Editor in Chief
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Michael Pack

Dr. Pack is Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received his MD from Washington University in St. Louis and completed internal medicine residency training at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular biology and genetics in the laboratory of Darwin J Prockop. Dr. Pack then went on to complete his GI clinical and research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. During this period he obtained training in the zebrafish model system in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Fishman and was the first to use the zebrafish to study digestive organ development. Dr. Pack’s current research spans multiple topics across the broad area of liver and intestinal development and physiology as they pertain to human disease using zebrafish, mouse and cell culture models. His laboratory also has a strong interest in using the zebrafish model for drug development and understanding how environmental exposures impact digestive disease.


Klaus H Kaestner, PhD, MS, co-Editor-in-Chief
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Klaus H Kaestner

Klaus is the Suor Butterworth Professor of Genetics at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He studied biology and chemistry at the University of Bremen in Germany before obtaining his MS degree from the University of Maryland and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, to learn about modern mouse genetics before joining the faculty at UPenn in 1997. Dr. Kaestner’s research spans multiple topics across the broad area of gastrointestinal developmental genetics and epigenetics. He has been a leader in the investigation of the FoxA transcription factors in organ development, showing that without them no liver can be specified. Dr. Kaestner’s group also demonstrated that Cdx2 is critical to determining the anterior posterior axis of the gut tube. Most recently, his lab identified Foxl1-positive subepithelial telocytes as the intestinal stem cell niche. Dr. Kaestner was previously Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and has served on multiple editorial boards including Gastroenterology and CMGH.


Alison Simmons, FMedSci, FRCP, PhD, Associate Editor
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Alison Simmons

Alison Simmons is Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Oxford and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She received MB BS from Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London and trained in medicine and gastroenterology in London and Cambridge. She undertook a PhD in Oxford before forming a research group at the MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford. Professor Simmons group focus on immunology of intestinal disease. Her group has provided new insights into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. She redefined the cellular map of the intestine, discovering unexpected heterogeneity and charting the basis of mucosal remodelling that fuels inflammation in colitis defining populations of disease associated cells. She has made key contributions to deciphering the function of the strongest IBD susceptibility genes and host pathogen interactions. She received a National Institutes of Health Research Professorship 2013, a US Harrington Scholar-Innovator award 2014 and is a Wellcome Trust Investigator. Professor Simmons was elected member of Association of Physicians, UK in 2009, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2011 and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, 2019. Professor Simmons sits on a range of advisory panels for public and private sector bodies responsible for biomedical research in US and Europe. She has been a member of Oxford University Council, the UK MRC Infection and Immunity board and is a co-founder of biotech start ups based in the UK and US.


Jonathan P. Katz, MD, Associate Editor
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Jonathan P. Katz

Jonathan is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his MD from the University of Chicago and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been on the faculty since 1999. A recognized authority on epithelial biology, animal models of gastrointestinal diseases, and the Krüppel-like Factors (KLFs), his recent work has focused primarily on the biology of the squamous-lined esophagus through functional analyses of epithelial proliferation, differentiation, and carcinogenesis, using both in vivo and in vitro approaches, including murine models and innovative three-dimensional tissue culture systems. He was elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2012 and has been a member of the Editorial Boards of Gastroenterology and Cancer Biology and Therapy.


Irene Oi-Lin Ng, MBBS, MD, PhD, Associate Editor

Irene Oi-Lin Ng, MBBS, MD, PhD

Irene Ng is Chair Professor in Pathology, Loke Yew Professor in Pathology, and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Liver Research at The University of Hong Kong. She is also Consultant Pathologist at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. She received MBBS from the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong and obtained her MD and PhD degrees in molecular pathology in 1995 and 2005, respectively. She trained in Pathology and Liver Transplantation Pathology in London and Liverpool, UK. Her group focusses on the integrated functional genomics of liver cancer using genome-scale technologies coupled with clinical translational studies. Her group has made key contributions in delineating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this cancer, using genomics, transcriptomics, and single cell analysis, to capture cancer heterogeneity, identify novel subclones, and unravel signaling pathways. Professor Ng was awarded The World Academy of Science (TWAS) 2014 prize (Medical Science) and obtained the Croucher Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellowship twice in 2005 & 2013. She was elected Fellow of American Association for the Study of Liver Disease in 2014, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) and Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. She is a member of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council and the Executive Council of the Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert Association. Professor Ng was previously Associate Editor of Hepatology and is serving on multiple editorial boards including Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology, Gastroenterology and Liver Cancer.


Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, MD, PhD, Associate Editor
Institut Imagine, Université de Paris, Paris, France

Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, MD, PhD

Nadine Cerf-Bensussan is Director of Research of Exceptional Class at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche (Inserm). She received her MD from the Université Paris Descartes and completed Pediatrics residency in the Hôpitaux de Paris. She led a PhD as a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and in Paris in Necker-Enfants Malades hospital where she joined the research department of Immunology and Hematology led by Pr C. Griscelli and Pr. A Fischer before starting her own group focused on intestinal immunopathology. Her work on intraepithelial lymphocytes has allowed to identify the an CD103 integrin and provided new insight into the mechanisms that lead to loss of tolerance and to lymphomagenesis in celiac disease. Her work in gnotobiotic mice has participated in the identification of Segmented filamentous bacterium as a key driver of the post-natal maturation of the gut immune barrier. In 2014, her group joined the newly created Institut Imagine in order to develop a program dedicated to the study and care of intestinal monogenic disorders. She was awarded an ERC Advanced grant in 2013, received the Inserm Prize of Research in 2014 and the Maki Celiac Tampere Prize in 2018. She participates to advisory panels for public bodies and is currently coordinator of Inserm Transversal Program on Microbiota.


Melinda Engevik, PhD, Social Media Editor

Melinda Engevik, PhD

Mindy is an Instructor at Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Pathology & Immunology. She has Ph.D. in Systems Biology & Physiology from the University of Cincinnati and completed her postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research focuses on microbe-epithelial interactions in the gastrointestinal tract, with a particular focus on infection and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Mindy currently serves as an AGA Young Delegate and enjoys her involvement in the scientific community.


Sultan Mahmood, MD, Social Media Editor

Sultan Mahmood, MD

Sultan finished his medical school in King Edward Medical University in Pakistan. He did his internal medicine residency as well as GI fellowship training in University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where he also served as the Chief fellow from 2017-2018. He is the co-founder of @GIjournal which is a weekly GI journal club on Twitter. He is currently working in University at Buffalo as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. He also serves the role of Co-Program director of the GI Fellowship program in University at Buffalo. His research interests include medical education, work-life balance, quality improvement in the endoscopy suite and cold snare.

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