Udeme D Ekong, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology)

Physician Biography

Dr Udeme Ekong is the Medical Director of Pediatric Hepatology and Pediatric Liver Transplantation. Dr Ekong, a triple-boarded pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist, trained and practiced at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, one of the nation’s premier pediatric liver transplant programs. In Chicago, she was responsible for the care of babies and children with a wide variety of liver diseases. Dr Ekong went to medical school in Nigeria, and did her pediatric residency training in the United Kingdom and New York. She completed her pediatric gastroenterology fellowship training at Columbia Presbyterian, New York and her transplant hepatology fellowship at Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago. Dr Ekong is a recognized authority in pediatric hepatology and pediatric liver transplantation, and holds a leadership position in the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition (NASPGHAN).

Patient Care

Accepts new patients? Yes
Patient Type: Adolescent; Child
Referrals: From patients or physicians

Patient Care Organizations

Pediatrics: Pediatric Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Liver Center

Transplantation Center

Yale Medicine

Board Certifications

  • Pediatrics AB of Pediatrics (2001)

  • Pediatric Gastroenterology AB of Pediatrics (2005)

  • Pediatric Transplant Hepatology AB of Pediatrics (2006)

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
Multicenter, Open Label, Phase 3 Trial of ATA129 for Solid Organ Transplant Subjects With Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease After Failure of Rituximab or Rituximab and Chemotherapy (ALLELE Study)
Diseases of the Digestive System - Liver, Diseases of the Eye, Diseases of the Nervous System Wilson Disease Registry
Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Immune System, Infectious Diseases Screening In Anticipation of Future Research
Children's Health, Diseases of the Digestive System - Liver De Novo Autoimmune Hepatitis in Pediatric Liver Transplantation
Hepatitis, Children's Health, Diseases of the Digestive System - Liver, Immune System The Role of Sodium Chloride and the Treg/Th17 Axis in Autoimmune Hepatitis

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Contact Info

Udeme D Ekong, MD, 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
Pediatric Gastroenterology & HepatologyPO 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.