Welcome, and thanks for your interest in the UVA Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship program. As an SC native, I earned my undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise Science at Furman University followed by my medical school training at the Medical University of South Carolina. I then completed my pediatric residency at UVA where I was involved in research examining the incidence and risk factors of splanchnic vein thrombosis in pediatric pancreatitis as well as chronic abdominal pain as a presentation of alpha-gal. When determining where to complete my fellowship, staying at UVA was a no-brainer. I had fallen in love with the charm of Charlottesville and the culture of UVA pediatrics. The collegial environment and unparalleled education of the GI faculty here played a role in my decision to go into the field and I wanted to continue under their mentorship.
While I enjoy the breadth that gastroenterology and hepatology have to offer, my primary clinical interests are inflammatory bowel disease and other luminal diseases. My fellowship research project involves modeling the effects of a diet-derived anti-inflammatory compound, sulforaphane on the gut using colonoids as a platform.
In my spare time, my wife Ashley and I enjoy exploring and playing with our three children Hadley, Eila, and Bennett. We love spending time outdoors and enjoying all the family-friendly activities that Charlottesville provides. Also, as a former competitive cyclist, I have taken up mountain biking and can be found exploring our local trails.
Welcome to UVA Pediatric Gastroenterology. I am a native Puerto Rican and finished my medical training at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine followed by a pediatric residency at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. I chose UVA because it is an excellent academic center that provides great exposure to both hepatobiliary and GI pathology. The pediatric GI faculty is an excellent group of physicians who are not just very knowledgeable but also amazing teachers and mentors. Charlottesville, although small, has a good culinary and wine scene.
On my interview day at UVA, I immediately felt at home and welcomed. The strength of the fellowship program was evident when talking with pediatric residents who had nothing but positive things to say about the GI department. Both Craig and Esthermari spoke highly of all the attendings and vast opportunities to learn procedures. The UVA campus and Charlottesville have a southern charm that I found intriguing. Coming from Chicago there is nothing that quite compares to the history and beauty. Also, being from the Midwest where there are no mountains, I look forward to hiking with my Australian shepherd, Lacy. For me, UVA felt like the perfect fit because of the heavy procedure focus, opportunity to pursue my interest in Eosinophilic Esophagitis research, and the approachability of everyone within the GI department.