, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition


Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition


Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego

Medical Group / IPA


Medical School

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


Stanford University School of Medicine

Board Certifications

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Pediatrics




Dr. Brent Polk is chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and executive vice chair for the Department of Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Prior to coming to Rady Children's, he was a professor of pediatrics and biochemistry & molecular medicine and vice dean for child health at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He was also the former chair of the Department of Pediatrics for USC and past chief of pediatrics, physician-in-chief and vice president for academic affairs and director of the Saban Research Institute at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Polk previously held the dean's chair and served as chief of the D. Brent Polk Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, director of the Digestive Disease Research Center and a tenured professor of pediatrics and cell and developmental biology at Vanderbilt University, where he received the Grant W. Liddle award for exemplary leadership in the promotion of scientific research careers of faculty and trainees including medical students.

A distinguished investigator, clinician and educator, Dr. Polk has more than 30 years of experience as a pediatric physician-scientist focused on the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, with the goal of asking questions through laboratory investigations informed by patient care challenges that may be translated back to identify risks of disease and targets for prevention or treatment. His laboratory is focused on the regulation of growth and development of the intestinal cell as it relates to development and disease, with a particular focus on signal transduction mechanisms in IBD. He currently serves as the chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Dr. Polk received bachelor degrees in biology and chemistry from Ouachita University and his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his pediatrics training at Arkansas Children's Hospital and UAMS, and his gastroenterology and nutrition training at Stanford University.


Probiotics and Probiotic-Derived Functional Factors-Mechanistic Insights Into Applications for Intestinal Homeostasis
Yan F and Polk DB

Production of a Functional Factor, p40, by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Is Promoted by Intestinal Epithelial Cell-Secreted Extracellular Vesicles
Yang L, Higginbotham J, Liu L, Zhao G, Weaver A, Peek RM, Polk DB, Li H, Yan F

Supplementation of p40, a Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG-derived protein, in early life promotes epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent intestinal development and long-term health outcomes
Shen x, Liu L, Peek RM, Acra SA, Moore DJ, Wilson KT, He F, Polk DB, Yan F

Pharmacological activation of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling inhibits colitis-associated cancer in mice
Dube PE, Liu CY, Girish N, Washington MK and Polk DB

Epidermal growth factor suppresses intestinal epithelial cell shedding through a MAPK-dependent pathway
Miguel JC, Maxwell AA, Hsieh JJ, Harnisch LC, Al Alam D, Polk DB, Lien CL, Watson AJ, and Frey MR

Neonatal colonization of mice with LGG promotes intestinal development and decreases susceptibility to colitis in adulthood
Yan F, Liu L, Cao H, Moore DJ, Washington MK, Wang B, Peek RM, Acra SA, and Polk DB

An LGG-derived protein promotes IgA production through upregulation of APRIL expression in intestinal epithelial cells
Wang Y, Liu L, Moore, DJ, Shen, X, Peek, RM, Acra, SA, Li, H, Ren, X, Polk, DB, and Yan, F

Activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Macrophages Mediates Feedback Inhibition of M2 Polarization and Gastrointestinal Tumor Cell Growth
Zaho G, Liu L, Peek RM Jr, Hao X, Polk DB, Li H, and Yan F

Preserving viability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in vitro and in vivo by a new encapsulation system
Li R, Zhang Y, Polk DB, Tomasula PM, Yan F, and Liu L

Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor 2 Restricts the Pathogenicity of CD8(+) T Cells in Mice With Colitis
Punit S, Dub? PE, Liu CY, Girish N, Washington MK, and Polk DB

Optical reconstruction of murine colorectal mucosa at cellular resolution
Liu CY, Dub? PE, Girish N, Reddy AT, and Polk DB

Predicting persistence of functional abdominal pain from childhood into young adulthood
Horst S, Shelby G, Anderson J, Acra S, Polk DB, Saville BR, Garber J, and Walker, LS

Targeted colonic claudin-2 expression renders resistance to epithelial injury, induces immune suppression, and protects from colitis
Ahmad R, Chaturvedi R, Olivares-Villag?mez D, Habib T, Asim M, Shivesh P, Polk DB, Wilson KT, Washington MK, Van Kaer L, Dhawan P, and Singh AB

Activation of EGFR and ERBB2 by Helicobacter pylori results in survival of gastric epithelial cells with DNA damage
Chaturvedi, R, Asim M, Piazuelo MB, Yan F, Barry DP, Sierra JC, Delgado, AG, Hill S, Casero RA Jr, Bravo LE, Dominguez RL, Correa P, Polk DB

Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor in macrophages regulates cytokine production and experimental colitis
Lu N, Wang L, Cao H, Liu L, Van Kaer L, Washington MK, Rosen MJ, Dube PE, Wilson KT, Ren X, Hao X, Polk DB, and Yan F

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