Emily C. McGowan, MD, PhD


Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics




  • MD, Medicine, University of Virginia
  • PhD, Clinical Investigation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Understanding the epidemiology and treatment options for food allergy, especially eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs), including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).


Over the past two decades, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) has rapidly transformed from a case-reportable disease to a major cause of upper gastrointestinal morbidity. EoE is characterized by eosinophils in the esophagus, symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and/or difficulty swallowing, and the exclusion of other causes of esophageal eosinophilia.  EoE is primarily driven by food, as diets eliminating common food allergens can lead to long-term disease remission.  However, many questions remain unknown about why certain patients develop this disease, how foods trigger this inflammation, and what non-invasive tests could be used to diagnose and monitor this condition.

To help address these questions, Dr. McGowan established the UVA EoE Cohort Study in 2017, which currently follows over 300 individuals with this condition. Her group is particularly interested in questions surrounding the epidemiology and disparities in diagnosing this condition and in identifying non-invasive methodologies that could be used to diagnose and monitor EoE.  In addition, her group, along with others in the Division of Allergy/Immunology, recently found that patients with EoE have strikingly high levels of IgG4 to foods and other allergens in the blood when compared to non-EoE controls.  They are now examining whether IgG4 plays a pathogenic role in this disease and whether it could be used as a biomarker of disease activity.

McGowan Lab Team

McGowan Lab

From left: Rebecca Revell, Emily McGowan, and Roopesh Singh