Seema Sharma Aceves, MD, PhD
Photo: Seema Sharma Aceves

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858-534-2983

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Elected 2013

Dr. Seema Aceves’ research interests are in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) with a focus on translational studies that investigate the impact and mechanisms of tissue remodeling in EoE. Esophageal remodeling leads to the cardinal clinical symptom of dysphagia and the most severe complications of EoE, specifically esophageal strictures and food impactions. The Aceves lab was the first to demonstrate that esophageal remodeling occurs in children with EoE. Her studies have further determined the pivotal role of TGF-β1 as a master regulator of esophageal fibrosis and smooth muscle contraction. Currently her lab works to dissect novel molecules and mechanisms that underlie the epithelial, fibrotic, and smooth muscle changes that lead to esophageal remodeling. Her ability to translate these discoveries back to the patients comes through the large pediatric EoE population cared for by Dr. Aceves’ team at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. Dr. Aceves’ lab uses primary human esophageal cells as in vitro model systems for EoE and uses human biopsy specimens to understand the in vivo expression of remodeling-associated proteins in children with EoE. In addition, she has been at the forefront of novel therapies including biologics and novel formulations of targeted corticosteroids. Her lab also studies the impacts of these therapeutic interventions on both the disease mechanisms and clinical features of EoE. Last, Dr. Aceves studies the relationship of polymorphisms in the TGF-β1 gene in order to understand the impact of TGF-β1 genetics on therapeutic response and disease progression in EoE.