Welcome to the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology

Naga Chalasani, M.D.
Naga Chalasani, M.D.
Division Chief

Dear friend:

      Welcome to the website of IU Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Our division has a distinguished tradition of excellence in patient care and innovation in research and education. Consistently ranked in the top 15 units nationally by US News and World Report, we are one of the largest divisions in the country with enormous breadth to our clinical and research expertise. Our division, founded by Dr. Philip Christiansen in 1958, has flourished over the last two decades under the leadership of Drs. Lawrence Lumeng (Division Director from 1984 to 2007) and Glen Lehman (Clinical Director from 1985- 2005). Under the current leadership, there has been significant growth to our faculty and fellowship size, patient and procedural volume, and our federally funded research program. To better withstand unfolding challenges of our health care system, we have joined Indiana University Health Physicians (IUHP) as its Digestive and Liver Disorders service line in October 2011. Some important members of the division (notably, Dr. Julia LeBlanc, Michael Chiorean and Won Cho) have left IU to pursue other opportunities, but we have been able to recruit Dr. Eric Orman (from University of North Carolina), Dr. Tim Imler (our own fellowship graduate), Dr. Samer Gawrieh (from Medical College of Wisconsin) and Dr. Craig Lammert (from Mayo Clinic, Rochester) to join the division. Along with the Dept of Microbiology and Immunology, we have jointly recruited Dr. David Nelson who is an expert in gut microbiome investigations to advance team science related to various GI and liver disorders.

     Our administrative offices are currently located on the fourth floor of the Regenstrief Building but we are expecting to move to Rotary Building sometime in 2014. Our home base is in downtown Indianapolis where we are the exclusive GI and hepatology care providers at Indiana University Hospital, Eskenazi Health, and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. In order to better serve our suburban patients, we have ambulatory and procedural practices at Spring Mill, IUH-North hospital and IUH-Saxony Hospital. In continuing the tradition started nearly 30 years ago, we have a robust outreach clinical program where our faculty clinicians have established practices in the towns surrounding Indianapolis. We have outreach programs at Batesville, Martinsville, Greenfield and Lebanon. As you browse through our website, you will take notice of the breadth of our expertise in endoscopic procedures and clinical care of patients with gastrointestinal and liver illnesses.

Some highlights of our clinical strengths and expertise:

  • We consistently perform more endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedures than any other GI program in the United States. Our faculty physicians are pioneers in the field and have developed many of the techniques utilized for these procedures.
  • Our liver transplant and small bowel transplant programs are one of the largest in the country with excellent patient outcomes.
  • Spearheaded by Dr. Doug Rex, our colorectal cancer screening program is one of the most experienced and innovative programs in the country
  • Our hepatitis C program is the most experienced and innovative in the midwest, and its leader, Dr. Paul Kwo, is an internationally recognized authority in the field
  • Led by Dr. John Wo, our GI motility program is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the Midwest United States. Our GI motility laboratory performs high resolution esophageal impedance, Bravo esophageal pH wireless monitoring, transnasal pH and impedance monitoring (for laryngeal symptoms), High resolution anorectal manometry with rectal compliance/sensation, Antroduodenal manometry (for nausea and vomiting of unknown etiology), Hydrogen and Methane breath test, SmartPill wireless whole gut transit/motility capsule, Electrogastrography (EGG), Gastric stimulator check, Capsule endoscopy, and Secretin stimulation test for acid hypersecretion
  • We are the only group in the State of Indiana with dedicated expertise in inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) and celiac disease.
  • For treatment of precancerous and early stage cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, we offer all advanced luminal endoscopic procedures including endoscopic mucosal resection, photodynamic therapy, radiofrequency ablation, argon plasma coagulation, luminal stenting, polypectomy of small and large polyps
  • We are one of the top programs nationally and the only center in Indiana for performing double balloon enteroscopy
  • We are the only GI group in entire Indiana to have three full time GI psychologists on faculty
  • We are the only GI group in entire Indiana to have a bariatric physician on staff to medically manage obesity.
  • We are the only center in Indiana to pioneer cutting edge technologies such as the use of mini scopes to investigate diseases of the pancreas and biliary tree, lithotripsy of pancreatic stones. natural orifice transgastric endoluminal surgery (NOTES), and anti-reflux procedures.


     Our research is extensive and is both laboratory-based and patient-oriented. Our group receives more than 7 million dollars of research funding each year from the National Institutes of Health and other extramural sources. We have many faculty members with sustained federal funding (both NIH and VA) and we publish more than 100 full length papers each year in top-tier medical journals. Our faculty members serve as editors and members of the editorial boards of many prestigious biomedical journals. We have faculty members who serve on NIH and VA study sections and on the boards of many other national and international research organizations. Some examples of our research themes include hepatitis C, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, drug hepatotoxicity, alcoholic liver disease, colorectal cancer screening, new endoscopic devices and techniques including those to treat acid reflux, minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to treat precancerous and early cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas and biliary tree, endoscopic treatment of a variety of diseases of the biliary tree and pancreas, endoscopic sedation, sphincter of oddi dysfunction, and cystic tumors of pancreas.

     Education and mentoring are critical to our mission. We host one of the most robust general GI and advanced therapeutic endoscopy fellowships in the country and we will be starting a dedicated advanced IBD fellowship in July 2012. We are very proud that many of the prominent gastroenterologist's practicing in central Indiana are our former trainees. Our faculty members conduct local CME programs throughout the year in the form of several ERCP and EUS courses, annual GI update course, and annual AASLD update. Many of our faculty members regularly lecture at various national and international meetings.

     We renamed our endoscopy units at the University Hospital and the Spring Mill location after Drs. Glen Lehman and Douglas Rex, respectively. We have established David W. Crabb Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology and Hepatology to honor Dr. Crabb’s years of dedication and contributions to many missions of the medical school. Our ERCP suite at the University Hospital is undergoing a 10 million dollar renovation and it is expected to become the best equipped unit in the country.

    Whether you are a patient looking for a competent and compassionate GI physician, a medical student contemplating a GI elective, a medical resident looking for a GI fellowship, a researcher looking for a collaborator/study site, or if you are looking for a faculty position, please consider giving us a chance. We are very confident that you will not be disappointed.

Naga Chalasani, MD, FACG
David W. Crabb Professor & Director
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Professor of Cellular& Integrative Physiology

Division Leadership
Division Chief   Naga Chalasani, M.B.B.S., FACG
Director, IUHP Digestive and Liver Disorders   Naga Chalasani, M.B.B.S., FACG
Clinical Director   Stuart Sherman, M.D.
Program Director, GI Fellowship   Nabil Fayad, M.D.
Medical Director, Ambulatory Endoscopy Centers Debra Helper, MD   Debra Helper, MD
Medical Director, Liver Transplantation   Paul Kwo, M.D.
Director, Ambulatory GI Practice, SMO and DaLD   Lee McHenry, M.D.
Chief, Endoscopy at UH   Douglas K. Rex, M.D.
Chief, ERCP Service   Stuart Sherman, M.D.
Acting Chief EUS Service   John Dewitt, MD
Director, IBD Service   Debra Helper, M.D.
Chief of GI, Roudebush VA Hospital   Charles Kahi, M.D., M.Sc.
Chief of GI, Wishard Memorial (Eskenazi) Hospital   Hala Fatima, MD
Additional Leadership Assignments
Director, Inpatient Hepatology   Marwan Ghabril, MD
Director, Outpatient Hepatology   Raj Vuppalanchi, MD
Monthly Schedules, MDC Committee   Debra Helper, M.D.
GI Grand Rounds   Nabil Fayad, M.D.
ERCP Fellowship   Evan Fogel, M.D.
EUS Fellowship   John DeWitt, M.D.
Current News
  • Dr. Toyia James is conducting an Update on Diagnosis and management of pelvic floor disorders on March 7th. This CME event is to take place in the Goodman Hall Auditorium.
  • Dr. Craig Lammert will be leading the First Autoimmune Hepatitis Patient Support and Education National Conference (May 15-16) in Indianapolis.
  • The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology was honored with five physicians earning "Top Docs" ranking from Indianapolis Monthly from all areas of expertise (Hepatology, Colorectal Cancer, Pancreatobiliary, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Congratulations to Drs. Chalasani, Kwo, Rex, Helper, and Sherman for this prestigious honor.
  • Dr. Naga Chalasani presented the David Y. Graham Lecture key note invited lecture at ACG 2015 on Drug Induced Liver Injury.
  • Dr. John DeWitt performed the first POEMS procedure (Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy) for achalasia in the state of Indiana signifying the ongoing innovation of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Indiana University.
  • The Indiana University Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology was successful at AASLD 2015 with 22 presentations including 7 oral presentations.
Incoming GI Fellows

  • El-Halabi, Mustapha (University of Kansas)

  • Hartke, Justin (University of Virginia)

  • Jones, Keaton Robert (University of Cincinnati)

  • Gouri Sreepati (Indiana University)

  • Teagarden, Sean (Indiana University)

  • Trivella, Juan Pablo (University of Miami)
Upcoming Grand Rounds
  • 4/6: Hak Nam Kim, MD: “Colonoscopy training, can we do it better?
  • 4/13: Theo Heller, MD: “Sickle cell and the liver, more than meets the eye”
  • 4/20: M&M Conference
  • 4/27: Journal Club.


Motility Conferences
  • Oct Kincaid Autonomic Nervous System Assessment
  • Nov Irazoqui & Ward Autonomous Neural Control of Gastroparesis
  • Jan Wo Clinic & Research Update for GI Motility & Neurogastroenterology
  • Feb Shin Clinical Interest / Mayo Clinic

What matters. Where it matters.

702 Rotary Cir., Suite 225 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Ph: (317) 278-0414 | Fax: (317) 278-1949
Page was last modified on: 7/12/2013