Director, Division of Pediatric Surgery

BesnerGail.Besner@nationwidechildrens.org
614-519-0167

Assistant
Angela.Lyons@nationwidechildrens.org

As a practicing pediatric surgeon, Dr. Besner is often confronted with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) at the bedside. Having to tell a mother that there is only a 50% chance that their baby will survive an operation for NEC is heartbreaking. A novel probiotic biofilm delivery system developed by Dr. Besner and her collaborators holds great promise for protecting babies from NEC.

Education

  • MD: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Residency: Brigham & Women’s Hospital, General Surgery
  • Fellowship: Boston Children’s Hospital, Surgical Research
  • Fellowship: Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, Pediatric Surgery Fellowship

Research Interests
  • Protection of the intestines from injury using novel probiotic delivery systems
  • Growth factors
  • Stem cells
  • Production of tissue engineered intestine

General Research
Dr. Gail Besner's primary research began in 1990 with the identification of the growth factor "heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor" (HB-EGF). The long range goal of this research is to determine whether or not HB-EGF could be used in therapies to protect and treat intestinal damage in high-risk neonates. Her studies have shown that HB-EGF's anti-inflammatory effects and chemical properties play a vital role in the regenerating of intestinal cells after they have been damaged. Lab research has shown that HB-EGF can protect the intestine from damage caused by hemorrhagic shock, blood supply restriction and necrotizing enterocolitis. Clinical studies are on the horizon to further test HB-EGF as a treatment option.

Research center: Center for Perinatal Research

View PubMed

View Clinical Bio

View Nationwide Children's Bio

Current Funding

National Institutes of Health Grant # NIH 1 R01 GM113236
“Exosomes and HB-EGF in Stem Cell-Mediated Therapy for Necrotizing Enterocolitis” 

National Institutes of Health Grant # NIH R01 GM123482
“Tuneable Native Probiotic Formulations to Study and Treat Necrotizing Enterocolitis”

National Institutes of Health Grant # NIH R41 GM122130-01
“A Novel Probiotic Platform to Treat Necrotizing Enterocolitis”

National Institutes of Health NIH STTR 2 R42 DK107168-02
“Tissue Engineered Intestine”

Scioto Biosciences and Rev1
"A Novel Probiotic Platform to Treat Necrotizing Enterocolitis”