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Anil K. Rustgi, MD

Anil K. Rustgi, MD Physician

Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
Director, Clinical Digestive and Liver Center
T. Grier Miller Professor
Professor of Genetics

Dr. Rustgi is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

About Dr. Anil K. Rustgi

Recognized by Best Doctors in America 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, 2011-2012

Clinical Specialties


  • Medicine
    • Gastroenterology

Programs & Centers:

  • Cancer
    • Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program
    • Gastrointestinal Cancer Evaluation Center (GICEC)
    • Gastrointestinal Cancer Program
  • Gastroenterology
    • Gastrointestinal Cancer
    • General Gastroenterology Consultation
    • High-Risk GI Cancer Screening and Evaluation Program

Board Certification:

  • Gastroenterology, 1991
  • Internal Medicine, 1987

Clinical Expertise:

  • Anal Cancer
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Cancer Screening and Diagnostics
  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
  • Liver Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Practice Locations and Appointments

  • Gastroenterology

    Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine South Pavilion, 4th Floor 3400 Civic Center Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104 800-789-PENN (7366)

    A facility of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard Medical School
Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital


AAAS (#11973986), National Alpha Omega Alpha, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Cancer Society; American Foundation of Clinical Research, National American Gastroenterological Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Gastroenterology Association, National American Society of Microbiology, National Association for the Advancement of Sciences, National Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, National Caring For Carcinoid Foundation, National External Advisory Committee, University of Chicago NIH/NIDDK GI Center, National External Review Committee, Mayo Clinic GI division, National Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Panel, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, National National Colon Cancer Research Alliance, National National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), founded by Katie Couric, National National Pancreas Foundation, National National Pancreas Foundation, National NCI Cancer Prevention and Control Study Section, National NCI Parent Committee for Program Projects, National NCI Site Visit Study Section Committee for Program Projects, National NCI study section on GI cancer SPORE, National NIH GMA-2 Study Section, National NIH Special Emphasis Panel, National NIH/NCI Pathology B Study Section, National NIH/NIDDK intramural staff promotion, National Parent committee for NCI Progress Review Group (PRG) on upper GI cancers, National Scientific Advisory Board, PanCAN (, National Scientific Advisory Board, Stanford University School of Medicine Digestive Diseases Center, National Scientific Advisory Boards, Mayo Clinic and Baylor College of Medicine, National Stanford University School of Medicine Digestive Diseases Center, National Task force committee for NCI workshop on Tumor Microenvironment, National Veterans Administration Hospital, National

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Rustgi is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Medicine Radnor: Has privileges to perform procedures.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Description of Research Expertise:

Research Interests
Oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, molecular genetics of GI cancers (colon, pancreatic, upper GI)

Key words: Cancers: esophageal, pancreatic, colon Oncogenes: EGFR, cyclin D1, Ki-Ras Organotypic culture

Description of Research
Our laboratory has had long-standing thematic interests in the cell-type and tissue-type specific actions of certain oncogenes (cyclin D1, Ki-Ras, EGFR) and tumor suppressor genes (p53, p16INK4a) in modulating the initiation, progression and invasion of gastrointestinal cancers, especially upper GI, pancreatic and colon. To that end, we employ novel three-dimensional cell culture systems (mouse and human origins) and geneticaly-engineered mouse models to investigate molecular mechanisms. These projects are translated into the objectives of improving molecular diagnostics and experimental therapeutics in patients.

Our research is funded through an NCI program project entitled "Mechanisms of Esophageal Carcinogenesis", NIH R01 grant on pancreatic cancer, and NIH R01 grant on colon cancer. Students and postdoctoral fellows are supported in didactic venues and conferences, present at national meetings, and have obtained national grant fellowships when applicable.

Rotation Projects for 2015-2016
1. To understand the role of oncogenes (EGFR, cyclin D1, Ras) and tumor suppressor genes (p53, p120catenin) in the tumor microenvironment as they relate to tumor cell migration and invasion in GI cancers, using organotypic culture and mouse models.
2. To define mechanisms underlying cell lineage fate decisions during pancreatic development and cancer
3. To functionally characterize oncogenes in colon cancers.
4. To functionally characterize stem cells in the upper GI tract.
5. Mechanisms underlying tumor metastasis.

Lab Personnel:
Sarah Andres, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (NIH F32 Fellowship)
Basil Bakir, MD PhD student, CAMB (thesis project)
Priya Chatterji, PhD Student
Meredith Collins, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Koushik Das, MD, Gastroenterology fellow
Veronique Giroux, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher (Canadian fellowship)
Kathryn Hamilton, PhD, Research Associate(NIH K01 and CCFA grants)
Arjun Jeganathan, MD, Gastroenterology Surgery Resident
Tatiana Karakasheva, PhD student, CAMB (thesis project)
Apple Long, MD PhD student, CAMB (PhD thesis project)
Benoit Marchand, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mizuno Rei, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ben Rhoades, M.B., Research specialist and lab manager

Recently in Lab:
Daniel Abravanel, University of Pennsylvania, Rotating MD, PhD Student Claudia Andl, PhD, Research Associate (recipient of NIH K01 grant and AGA Research Scholar Award). Now faculty at Vanderbilt University.
Amy Demicco,University of Pennsylvania, Rotating PhD Student
Brent Fargnoli, University of Pennsylvania undergraduate student (University and Ben Franklin Scholar). Now medical student at University of Pennsylvania.
Christie Gutierrez, University of Pennsylvania, Undergraduate student (AGA student fellowship)
Katharine D. Grugan, PhD,Postdoctoral fellow (recipient of NIH F32 fellowship). Currently, at Centocor.
Christopher Hahn, BA, Research Specialist
Steffen Heeg, MD, Postdoctoral Researcher (German Cancer Society fellowship)
Cameron Johnstone, PhD, Research Investigator (recipient of American Association for Cancer Research fellowship and Department of Defense grant). Now at Peter McCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Australia.
Elizabeth Kennedy, University of Pennsylvania, Rotating PhD student Catrina King, PhD Received her PhD in Dec 2010; graduate of VMD program. Now a resident at Columbia University Medical Center
Emma Lundsmith, medical student (HHMI fellowship)
Blair Madison, PhD, Research Associate (NIH K01 grant), now Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University
Carmen Z. Michaylira, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow (recipient of NIH F32 fellowship)
Charles Miller, University of Pennsylvania, Undergraduate student
Perry Mongroo, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow
Keeley Mui, University of Pennsylvania, Rotating PhD Student
Max Reichert, MD, Postdoctoral Researcher (National Pancreas Foundation fellowship)
Anna-Sophie Rich, University of Pennsylvania, Medical Student (recipient of NIH/NIDDK fellowship)
Doug Stairs, PhD, Now Assistant Professor of Pathology, Hershey Medical Center (Recipient of NIH F32 fellowship and NIH K99-R00 grant in lab)
Shigetsugu Takano, MD, Visiting Assistant Professor
Jonathan Toung, University of Pennsylvania, Undergraduate Student (Vagelos Scholar)
Maria Vega, PhD student, CAMB (thesis project; NIH T32 training grant)
Johannes von Burstin, MD, Postdoctoral fellow (recipient of DFG fellowship). At Technical University, Munich, Germany.
Todd Waldron, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow (NIH F32 fellowship)
Melanie P. Wescott, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow (recipient of National Pancreas Foundation fellowship)
Louise Wang, University of Pennsylvania, undergraduate student (NIH fellowship). Now medical student at Stanford University
Rafi Winograd, University of Pennsylvania Rotating MD PhD student
Gabrielle Wong, PhD student, CAMB (thesis project; NIH T32 training grant)
Bihui(Claudia) Xu, University of Pennsylvania Rotating PhD student
Yao Yao, University of Pennsylvania, Rotating DVM PhD Student

Selected Publications:

Opitz OG, Suliman Y, Hahn WC, Harada H, Blum HE, Rustgi AK: Cyclin D1 overexpression and p53 inactivation immortalize primary oral keratinocytes by a telomerase independent mechanism Journal of Clinical Investigation 108 : 725-732,2001.

Opitz O.G., Harada H., Suliman Y., Rhoades B., Sharpless N.E., Kent R., Kopelovich L., Nakagawa H., Rustgi A.K.: A mouse genetic model of human oral-esophageal cancer Journal of Clinical Investigation 110 : 761-769,2002.

Andl CD., Mizushima T., Nakagawa H., Oyama K., Harada H., Chruma K., Herlyn M., Rustgi AK.: Epidermal growth factor receptor mediates increased cell proliferation, migration, and aggregation in esophageal keratinocytes in vitro and in vivo Journal of Biological Chemistry 278 (3): 1824-30,2003.

Deramaudt TB, Takaoka M, Upadhyay R, Bowser MJ, Porter J, Lee A, Rhoades B, Johnstone CN, Weissleder R, Hingorani SR, Mahmood U, Rustgi AK: N-cadherin and keratinocyte growth factor receptor mediate the functional interplay between Ki-RASG12V and p53V143A in promoting pancreatic cell migration, invasion, and tissue architecture disruption Mol Cell Biol 26 (11): 4185-4200,2006.

Okawa, T., Michaylira, C.Z., Kalabis, J., Stair, D., Nakagawa, H., Andl, C., Claudia, D., Johnstone, C.N., Andres, J., Klein-Szanto, A.J., El-Deiry, W.S., Cukierman, E., Herlyn, M., Rustgi, A.K.: The functional interplay between EGFR overexpression, hTERT activation and p53 mutation in esophageal epithelial cells with activation of stromal fibroblasts induce tumor development, invasion and differentiation Genes & Development 21 : 2788-803,2007.

Kalabis J, Oyama K, Okawa T, Nakagawa H, Michaylira CZ, Stairs DB, Figueiredo JL, Mahmood U, Diehl JA, Herlyn M, Rustgi AK.: A subpopulation of mouse esophageal basal cells has properties of stem cells with the capacity for self-renewal and lineage specification J Clinical Investigation 118 (12): 3860-9,2008.

Stairs DB, Bayne LJ, Rhoades B, Vega ME, Waldron TJ, Kalabis J, Klein-Szanto A, Katz JP, Diehl JA, Reynolds AB, Vonderheide RH, Rustgi AK: Deletion of p120-catenin results in a tumor microenvironment with inflammation and cancer that establishes it as a tumor suppressor gene Cancer Cell 19 (4): 470-83,2011.

Quante M, Bhagat G, Abrams JA, Marache F, Good P, Lee MD, Lee Y, Friedman R, Asfaha S, Dubeykovskaya Z, Mahmood U, Figueiredo JL, Kitajewski J, Shawber C, Lightdale CJ, Rustgi AK, Wang TC: Bile acid and inflammation activate gastric cardia stem cells in a mouse model of Barrett-like metaplasia. Cancer Cell 21 (1): 36-51,2012.

Kalabis J, Wong GS, Vega ME, Natsuizaka M, Robertson ES, Herlyn M, Nakagawa H, Rustgi AK.: Isolation and characterization of mouse and human esophageal epithelial cells in 3D organotypic culture Nature Protocols 7 (2): 235-46,2012.

Reichert M, Takeano, S, von Burstin, J, Kim, SB, Lee, JS, Stansbury, KI, Hahn, C, Heeg, S, Schneider, G, Rhim, A, Stanger, BZ, Rustgi, AK: The Prrx1 homeodomain transcription factor plays a central role in pancreatic regeneration and carcinogenesis Genes & Development 27 : 288-300,2013.

View all publications

Academic Contact Info

951 Biomedical Research Building II/III
Division of Gastroenterology
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
421 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-0154
Fax: (215) 573-5412
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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