Medical Advisory Board
Maria T. Abreu, MD, is the Director of the Crohn's and Colitis Center, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, as well as Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The IBD group at the University of Miami has distinguished itself for focusing on the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to development of IBD in Hispanics. Dr. Abreu is involved in clinical and basic science research relating to diet and microbiome in IBD. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2010 and in 2018 to the Association of American Physicians (AAP). Dr. Abreu is past Council Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Council. Her most recent appointment is as the Chairperson of the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) and Councilor-at-Large member of the AGA Governing Board. Dr. Abreu is a proud recipient of the 2019 Sherman Prize by The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation that recognizes outstanding achievements in IBD.
Lindsey Albenberg, DO, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an attending physician in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She is the program director for the Fellowship in Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease and her clinical practice focuses on dietary therapies for IBD. Dr. Albenberg is a researcher within the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease at CHOP. One of her key research interests is the response of the gut microbiota to dietary modification in inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Ashwin Ananthakrishnan is the Director of the MGH Crohn's and Colitis Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical school training at JIPMER in India and subsequently obtained his Masters in Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. After completing his GI fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital where he is involved in clinical care, research, and teaching. In addition to his clinical expertise in the management of patients with complex IBD, he has been involved in NIH-funded investigations using large prospective cohorts to define the role of environment on IBD. He is also conducting studies aimed to personalize IBD therapy by defining individual patient trajectories and to understand the appropriate treatment algorithms in vulnerable populations including the elderly. He has published over 250 manuscripts, has co-authored two textbooks in IBD, and is an Associate Editor at Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in addition to serving on multiple editorial boards.
Lori Beeken, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in the acute care setting at Scripps Green hospital for the past 14 years and is currently working in the outpatient Gastroenterology clinic at Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA. Lori specializes in working with patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases with a primary focus on inflammatory bowel disease. She received her undergraduate education at St. Mary's College of California, her Master's in Nutritional Sciences from San Diego State University, and completed her dietetic internship through Loyola University of Chicago. She has been fortunate to do research and work alongside Dr. Gauree Konijeti for the past 3 years, with the hopes of shedding light on the profound connection between medical management and nutrition therapy for gastrointestinal diseases.
Kimberly Braly, RDN, LDN, CNSC, is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition therapy and nutrition management for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Kim completed her undergraduate degree at Oregon State University and her dietetic internship through the University of California, Davis. She helped establish the IBD program at Seattle Children's Hospital and actively participated in nutrition research alongside Drs. David Suskind, Dale Lee, Ghassan Wahbeh, Matthew Giefer, and others from 2013-2018. Since relocating to Utah, Kim runs a global private nutrition practice advising patients with IBD and continues her IBD research as a consultant. Kim consulted for the DINE-CD study and is lead dietitian for the PRODUCE study, seeing patients and supporting GI dietitians across the country. She is passionate about helping patients with IBD and finding alternative means of treating autoimmune disease through diet. You can learn more about Kim at kimbralynutrition.com.
Oriana M. Damas, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Crohn's and Colitis Center in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Director of Translational Studies for the Center. She is an IBD clinician and also a physician scientist. Her research delves into understanding environmental and dietary patterns that can influence development of disease and modify disease outcomes. Dr. Damas has an NIH NIDDK K23 award that focuses on understanding dietary, genetic and microbiome factors that lead to gut inflammation in Hispanics, which represent an emerging population of IBD.
Professor Andrew S. Day is an academic pediatric gastroenterologist based in Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand (NZ). After training in pediatrics in NZ, Dr Day commenced a pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Sick Kids in Toronto. He then established his research, academic, and clinical career over a decade in Sydney, Australia, before relocating to Christchurch in 2009. Dr Day's ongoing research endeavors focus almost exclusively on aspects of IBD, with key themes including nutrition and nutritional therapy. His research activities have resulted in more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts, along with many other publications.
Stephanie L. Gold, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a gastroenterologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital, with a focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and nutrition. Dr. Gold's clinical interests include nutrition optimization for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and the use of diet as an adjunct therapy for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. She has established a unique Nutrition-IBD clinic at The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, where patients have access to an in-depth nutrition and muscle health assessment as well as dietary guidance and support to complement their IBD care. Her research interests include improving the identification of malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and sarcopenia in patients with IBD as well as identification of dietary patterns associated with disease activity.
Dr. Natasha Haskey is a clinical scientist and Registered Dietitian with over 20 years of practical experience in nutrition therapy for IBD. She completed her undergraduate and Master's degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2022, she completed her doctorate at the Center for Microbiome and Inflammation Research at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada, examining how a Mediterranean diet influenced clinical disease activity, inflammation and the microbiome in ulcerative colitis. She co-authored the textbook called "Gut Microbiota: Interactive effects on nutrition and health"- the first textbook on nutrition and the microbiome for health professionals. Currently, she is a post-doctoral fellow, working in collaboration with Dr. Maitreyi Raman, continuing her research on diet and IBD.
Gauree Gupta Konijeti, MD, MPH, is a gastroenterologist specializing in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, at Scripps Clinic in San Diego. She trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, completed internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA West LA VA Hospital, and attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Konijeti holds a Master of Public Health from UCLA and is Director of the IBD Program at Scripps Clinic. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Konijeti has received funding from Scripps Clinic, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct research in diet and nutrition in IBD and cancer screening.
Kaylie Nguyen, MS, PNP, has been a Nurse Practitioner at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Division since 2004. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of CA San Diego and her Master's in Nursing at the University of CA San Francisco. She is a core member of the team that is currently developing the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Stanford. She began offering the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as a therapeutic option for her patients with IBD in 2005, well before it was popular or accepted by the medical community. As the clinical leader of the IBD Nutrition Program, she is driving innovative change to better serve patient families as nutritional therapy options for IBD expand. She was a key contributor to the nationwide PRODUCE study and continues to develop and participate in clinical research, as well as resident and fellow education on diet and IBD at Stanford Children's.
Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, LDN, is a nutritional epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the UMass Medical School. She is the Director of the Center for Applied Nutrition at UMass, and is engaged in clinical research and education. She developed the IBD-AID anti-inflammatory diet, a dietary pattern that is not only limited to IBD, but may also be used as a guide for prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Key research interests include the identification of tasty foods that lead to a healthy microbiome. She is a principal investigator in the MELODY TRIAL, a dietary intervention for pregnant women with Crohn's Disease.
Dr. Maitreyi Raman is a Gastroenterologist and Physician Nutrition Specialist. She completed Medical School at the University of Ottawa, and Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology at Dalhousie University. She then did an advanced fellowship in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Toronto, and a MSc at the University of Calgary. Presently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Raman was the past Medical Director for Nutrition Services, present Director for AsCEND (Alberta's Centre of excellence for nutrition in Digestive Diseases), Director for the Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Calgary, and Director for LyfeMD. Dr. Raman's research interests include investigating the effects of malnutrition in IBD, diet as primary therapy for IBD, and its effects on gut microbiome and metabolites, and their role in precision nutrition IBD therapy.
Alexa N. Sasson, MD, FRCPC, is a gastroenterologist specializing in inflammatory bowel disease in Toronto, Canada. She trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Toronto and completed an Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Sasson is currently completing a Master of Public Health in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and pursuing a Clinical Nutrition fellowship at the University of Toronto at Toronto General Hospital. Her primary clinical and research interests focus on nutritional support and understanding the role of dietary therapy for individuals with IBD.
Ala Shaikhkhalil, MD, is an attending pediatric gastroenterologist and physician nutrition specialist at Nationwide Children's. She is also an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. In addition to her training in pediatric gastroenterology at Nationwide Children's, Dr. Shaikhkhalil completed a fellowship in pediatric nutrition at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her specialty interest is in nutrition and its role in children's health and growth, in addition to the role nutrition plays in various disease processes including inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease. Dr. Shaikhkhalil participates in multidisciplinary clinics for children and adolescents with nutrition-related bone health concerns and cystic fibrosis. Her research focuses on nutrition education at all levels of medical training including culinary medicine, gastrointestinal and nutrition manifestation of cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease, and the role of zinc in growth and body composition of extremely preterm infants
Rotem Sigall Boneh, RD, is a clinical and research dietitian with 8 years of experience in research in the field of dietary therapy and IBD. She graduated with honors and earned her Nutritional Science degree at the Hebrew University Jerusalem and is currently completing her Master's Degree in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Tel Aviv University, investigating the role of the Mediterranean Diet in pediatric IBD. She specializes in nutrition therapy and nutrition management for patients with IBD and is the lead dietitian in the Crohn's Disease Exclusion Diet (CDED) trials. She is the founder and former chair of D-ECCO, the dietitian committee of the European Crohn's and Colitis organization. She actively participated in position papers (ESPGHAN, ECCO, IOIBD) and published several articles in the field of diet and IBD. She was the head of the research unit at the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition unit at the Wolfson Medical Center and was the project manager of several randomized control trials. Currently, she is a researcher and the Principal Investigator of the DIETOMICS-CD trial.
Jen Smith, MS, RD, CSP, LD, LMT, is a Clinical Dietitian at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She has been working at Nationwide Children's Hospital with an emphasis in Gastroenterology since 2003. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University. She is a board certified specialist in Pediatric Nutrition. She has won many awards in nutrition including Ohio Dietetic Association's Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year. Jen's primary area of interest is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She is a leader in IBD nutrition and has led local, regional, and national nutrition projects which have been presented at national conferences and published in scientific journals. She is active member and has been involved with speaking engagements within many organizations including the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, the NASPGHAN Council for Pediatric Nutrition Professionals, and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. She is an active participant in ImproveCareNow, a quality improvement collaborative, dedicated to improving care for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.
Colleen Webb, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with extensive experience in counseling patients with complex gastrointestinal conditions. She created the nutrition education program for healthcare providers and patients at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. There, she took part in research on the role of nutrition and lifestyle in IBD management. Nowadays, Colleen runs a virtual private practice, is an adjunct professor at New York University where she teaches the graduate-level "Diseased Gut" course, lectures nationwide on nutrition and digestive health, and creates resources for patients and healthcare providers to learn how and what to eat to improve digestive health and maximize quality of life. Most recently, she launched The Ultimate Online Training Education for Registered Dietitians Treating IBD Patients. You can learn more about Colleen at www.colleenwebbnutrition.com.