Udeme D Ekong, MBBS, MPH

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology)

Departments & Organizations

Pediatrics: Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Liver Transplant Program

Faculty Research

Liver Center

Transplantation Center

Yale Medicine


Professional Education

MPH: Northwestern University, (2011)
MBBS: Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1992)
Fellowship: Northwestern University, Chicago, Transplant Hepatology (2003)
Fellowship: Columbia University, New York, Pediatric Gastroenterology (2000)
Residency: Lincoln Hospital, New York, Pediatrics (1998)
Residency: Birmingham Children's Hospital, United Kingdom, Pediatrics (1996)
Residency: Bedford Hospital, United Kingdom, Pediatrics (1995)
Internship: University of Ghana Teaching Hospital, Ghana, (1993)
Board Certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Transplant Hepatology

Education & Training

MPH Northwestern University (2011)
MBBS Ahmadu Bello University (1992)
Fellowship Children`s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University
Fellowship Children's Hospital of New York, Columbia Presbyterian
Residency Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center
Residency Birmingham Children's Hospital
Residency Bedford Hospital
Board Certification AB of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (2001)
Board Certification AB of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology (2005)

Honors & Recognition

  • NIDDK P30 DK34989 – Silvio O. Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers Pilot Grant. (2013)

  • Child Health Research Career Development Award Northwestern University, Chicago (2007)

  • ITN029ST/NIH-NIAID N01AI15416 Immunosuppression Withdrawal for Pediatric Living-donor Liver Transplant Recipients. (2006)

  • Advanced Hepatology Fellowship Award American Association for the Study of Liver Disease/Schering (2003)

  • Fellow Research Award North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology/Hepatology/Nutrition (NASPGHAN) (2002)

Professional Service

  • Chair – Late Graft Injury Working Group, Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (2014)

  • Chair, Hepatology Committee North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition (NASPGHAN) (2012 - 2015)

  • Hepatology Committee North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition (NASPGHAN) (2009 - 2012)

  • Membership and Professional Standards Committee UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) (2009 - 2011)

International Activity

  • “The Inflammatory Milieu in De Novo Autoimmune Hepatitis Reduces Regulatory T-cell Function.” Boston,MA, Serbia (2012 - 2012)

  • , “De Novo Autoimmune Hepatitis Post Liver Transplant associated with Immunoregulatory Dysfunction.” San Francisco, CA, Serbia (2011 - 2011)

  • “Clinical Outcomes Following Immunosuppression Withdrawal in Pediatric Living Donor Liver Transplant Recipients” Atlanta, GA, Serbia (2011 - 2011)

  • “Liver Re-transplantation of One or More Grafts for Recurrent Failure from Chronic Rejection.” Boston, MA, Serbia (2010 - 2010)

  • “Successful Immunosuppression Minimization in Pediatric Liver Transplantation.” Boston, MA, Serbia (2009 - 2009)

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Contact Info

Udeme D Ekong, MBBS, MPH
Patient Care Location
Yale Pediatric SpecialtyYale Physicians Building
800 Howard Avenue, Ste 4th floor

New Haven, CT 06519
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Mailing Address
PO Box 208064
New Haven, CT 06820-8064

Ekong Lab

TH1 and TH17 polarizing cytokines and their key signature cytokines, IFN-γ and IL-17A, make up the cytokine milieu within livers with de novo autoimmune hepatitis.

A) 40X magnification: a cluster of IL-6 positive cells within the portal tract (DAPI-blue, IL-6-red). B) 40X magnification: very few IL-1β positive cells present within the portal tract (DAPI-blue, IL-1β-red). C-D) 20X magnification: several IL-17A positive cells present within the portal tract (DAPI-blue, IL-17A-red) and co-expressed with FOXP3. Arrowheads point to FOXP3/IL17A co-expressing cells. (DAPI-blue, IL-17A-red, FOXP3 green). 60X magnification: Several CD4 positive cells seen that co-express with FOXP3 (DAPI-blue, CD4-green, FOXP3-red). E-F) 20X magnification: the TH1 polarizing cytokine, IL-12 (DAPI-blue, IL-12-red) as well as its signature cytokine, IFN-γ (DAPI-blue, IFN-γ-red), present within portal inflammatory infiltrates. G) 20X magnification: a few IFN-γ positive cells co-expressed with FOXP3 on same cell. Arrowheads point to FOXP3/IFN-γ co-expressing cells. (DAPI-blue, FOXP-green, IFN-γ-red). (H) 60X magnification: IL-12 co-expressed with CD68 (DAPI-blue, IL-12-red, CD68-green); as well as IL-6 (40X magnification) (DAPI-blue, IL-12-red, IL-6-green). (I) 20X magnification: CD14+ cells co-expressed with CD68+ cells (white arrows) (DAPI-blue, CD14-red, CD68-green). (J) 20X magnification. Representative slides from isotype controls from one patient are shown.

Liver histology of de novo autoimmune hepatitis

Hematoxylin and Eosin stains of liver biopsies with de novo autoimmune hepatitis. Portal tracts containing inflammation, which is predominantly lymphocytic, and foci of interface hepatitis (IH). Bile ducts (BD) show no significant infiltration of the epithelium by inflammatory cells or other injury. Portal vein branches show no significant endothelialitis or other injury. Original magnification of all images = 100X.

Regulatory T cell (Treg) function is impaired in patients with de novo autoimmune hepatitis

A) Regulatory T cells from healthy non-transplanted subjects (HC) (n=5) as well as subjects with de novo autoimmune hepatitis (dAIH) (n=5) are similarly demethylated in the TSDR region. B) Regulatory T cells from subjects with de novo autoimmune hepatitis (n=7) suppress effector cell proliferation less efficiently compared to sorted Tregs from healthy non-transplanted subjects (n=9) and liver transplanted subjects without de novo autoimmune hepatitis (LTC) (n=3) (dAIH vs. LTC 2:1, 4:1, p=0.03, 0.02 respectively) (dAIH vs. HC 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, p=0.005, 0.002, 0.03 respectively). C) Representative histogram for dAIH. Tresponder:Treg ratio 2:1. D) Representative histogram for LTC. Tresponder:Treg ratio 2:1.