Dr. Jorge A. Bezerra is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology of Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. An MD graduate from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal, Brazil, he did pediatric residency at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, AZ, and clinical and research fellowships in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Bezerra has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for laboratory and translational research on pathogenic mechanisms of biliary atresia and genetics of liver diseases, and to direct the Cincinnati Digestive Health Center, a Research Core Center funded by the NIDDK to catalyze digestive disease research at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He holds the William and Rebecca Balistreri Chair of Pediatric Hepatology, is the Medical Director of the Liver Care Center, and Faculty Member of Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Program.
Dr. Bezerra’s research goal is to improve the care of children with liver diseases by developing new diagnostics and therapeutics. He uncovered key immunologic signatures in the liver of children with biliary atresia. In the laboratory, he used complementary in vitro and mouse model systems to precisely define cellular and molecular triggers of bile duct injury soon after birth, with a cellular crosstalk among dendritic and natural killer cells and lymphocytes to target the bile duct epithelium and produce obstruction and fibrosis. He also discovered a novel molecular circuit naturally designed to promote cholangiocyte proliferation and restoration of the biliary epithelium. In partnership with adult hepatologists, he showed that the activation of this circuit is also linked to mechanisms of cholangiocarcinoma. His clinical studies are done largely as an investigator of the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network, which provides a powerful infrastructure for the discovery of biomarkers to stage the liver disease in biliary atresia and guide personalized care.
Dr. Bezerra has been a member of the AASLD for over 20 years, and became a Fellow of the Association in 2014. He served the Association in several committees, including the Education, NIH Liaison and Basic Research Committees. He was the AASLD Secretary from 2010-2012, and is an Associate Editor of HEPATOLOGY. Dr. Bezerra is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and joined the American Association of Physicians in 2015.
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Jorge A. Bezerra has received research grants from Gilead and Shyer.