D. Brent Polk Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Patient Care
Sari Acra, M.D.The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition provides comprehensive care for children and young adults with nutritional, gastrointestinal, or liver disorders, including diagnostic evaluations, treatment, and disease education. Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art treatment for these disorders and to foster new discoveries that will change the manner in which they are prevented or treated in the future.

Our division is nationally recognized for having one of the top programs in research and education. Over multiple years, the Pediatric Out-Patient GI Endoscopy Center has been awarded the Professional Research Consultants' National Top Performer Award. The Division has developed several programs of clinical excellence that are multi-disciplinary and linked to the research and educational missions. These include:

Our pursuit of excellence in patient care
Division physicians and staff provide care at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, one of the finest children's hospitals in the nation.  

Fang Yan Ph.D. in the Gastroenterology labOur board-certified faculty receive national and international recognition for their successful grant awards, publications, invited presentations, and participation in national clinical trials.  Faculty research efforts are concentrated in the Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center, a multidisciplinary organization funded by ongoing grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Other ongoing projects include collaborations with the Division of Adolescent Medicine, the Division of Neonatology, the Division of Adult Gastroenterology, and the Autism Treatment Network.  Our research efforts have included clinical and translational studies in the U.S. and abroad, including field studies conducted in Brazil and Columbia.

Teaching students, residents, and fellows is a cornerstone of our division. Our goal is to recruit and train physicians with potential for exceptional academic and research careers. Internal evaluations of the program  by our fellows, as well as  external ACGME reviews  score the department as excellent to outstanding in every category. To provide a broad-based mentorship experience, we collaborate with mentors in other disciplines at Vanderbilt, such as Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Adolescent Medicine, Adult Gastroenterology, Surgery, Pathology, Molecular Physiology, and Global Health, as well as with senior mentors from other institutions.

Mission statement:

  • To provide excellence in patient care, education, and research in an environment with opportunity, reward for initiative, respect for colleagues, and trust in our teamwork.
  • To become regional and national leaders in the management of aero-digestive disorders, functional abdominal pain and motility disorders, gastrointestinal manifestations of autism, liver disorders and liver transplantation, inflammatory bowel diseases, and nutrition support and intestinal failure
  • To continue to grow our respected fellowship program in order to train well-rounded academic pediatric gastroenterologists with solid grounding in clinical, translational, or basic science research.